Uruguay’s 2011/12 rice harvest reaches 1.4 million tons with 7.850 kilos/ha yields
Uruguay’s area to be planted with rice in the coming 2012/13 season is estimated at 179.000 hectares, slightly down from the 181.400 of this year, according to the country’s Department of Agriculture Statistics (DIEA) and based on a poll following the 2011/12 harvest.
The crop this season reached 1.4 million tons of dry clean rice with a yield of 7.850 kilos per hectare. However this season’s 181.400 hectares represented a 7% drop from the previous harvest of 2010/11 with 196.000 hectares.
As has happened for the last ten years the best yields were along the west and north of the country with an average of 8.635 kilos in a planted area of 35.800 hectares.
DIEA also points out that as part of the fields rotation policy, almost 60% (108.000 hectares) of this year’s paddies with rice stubbles will be turned into pasture. The percentage varies between 47% in the west and north area and 65% to the east where most of Uruguay’s rice is grown.
However regarding next season’s estimates DIEA also points out that the poll was taken at the moment of harvest and many farmers will undoubtedly see their final decision conditioned to availability of water for irrigation and the cereal’s price/cost equation.
To this effect the joint arbitration committee specially nominated to establish costs for the rice sector and thus define the definitive price mills must pay for the 2010/2011 crop, the sum agreed was 12.45 US dollars for the 50 kilos bag of dry clean rice plus an additional 35 US cents on tax refunds.
Hernan Zorrilla vice-president of Uruguay’s rice farmers, ACA, said that the mechanism created to solve differences when farmers and mills can’t agree on prices “has worked satisfactorily and with a high degree of professionalism”.
The mechanism to solve price differences was subscribed 15 years ago between ACA and Uruguay’s main rice mills. Likewise the two sides agreed on the provisional price for the current 2011/2012 crop which was established at 12.02 dollars for the 50 kilos bag plus the tax refund.