MANILA, Philippines—Palay (unmilled rice) and corn harvests hit record highs in the first semester of 2011 on the back of improved irrigation and a rainy summer, the Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said at a press briefing palay production reached 7.57 million metric tons in the first half of the year. This was a 14.4 percent increase from 6.62 million tons in the first semester of 2010. Corn harvest hit 3.30 million tons, 37 percent more than 2.41 million tons a year ago.
The previous highest first-semester rice yield was recorded in 2009, at 7.37 million tons. The past highest corn yield was 3.29 million tons, which was recorded in the first semester of 2008.
The Department of Agriculture attributed the jump in production to the expansion of irrigated lands. It also noted that there was sufficient rainwater in the first half of the year to enable farmers in non-irrigated areas to plant rice.