Uruguay’s rice 2009 crop is estimated in 1.3 million tons and although the area planted was 4.5% less that in 2008, yield is a record 8.012 kilos per hectare, according to the latest release from the Agriculture Statistics Department, DIEA.
The DIEA survey (taken between April 20 and 30) for the 2008/09 crop shows that 160.000 hectares were planted compared to 168.000 in the previous farm year with a production of 1.3 million tons of clean, dry rice.
The yield is the highest for the three main areas of Uruguay planted with rice, northwest, centre and east. Traditionally the lowlands of the east of the country next to Brazil are where most rice is produced. At the time of the survey 84% of the rice had been harvested.
Regarding the 2009/10 crop, the DIEA poll showed that all farmers interviewed are intent in planting again, which could lead to a recovery of the 4.5% area lost this year. Much however will depend on the drought and supply of water which ravaged most of Uruguay for several months, and extended to the south of Brazil and central Argentina.
In related news Brazil announced it will increase its purchases of wheat from Uruguay and Paraguay to compensate for the possible shortage of Argentine cereal, Brazil’s traditional supplier.
“We’re increasing purchases in Uruguay, Paraguay and other countries too”, said Foreign Trade minister Welber Barral.
Brazil’s consumption is 11 million tons, half of which is supplied from overseas, but since Argentina’s production in one of the lowest in history, 6.3 million tons, “we are forced to look for other sources”, said Barral.