‘Wintering season’: Pretty, but cuts down rubber tree profits
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato, Philippines — Thousands of rubber tree planters in Cotabato province are now experiencing losses following the “wintering season” that is common every first quarter of the year.
Engineer Sustines Balanag, a Cotabato provincial agriculturist, said the natural phenomenon had affected at least 18,400 rubber planters owning an estimated 28,800 hectares of rubber plantation all over the province.
He said the wintering season lowered the latex production this year from 50 percent to 70 percent — or at least 200 kilograms per hectare.
During the regular season, a hectare of rubber trees could produce an average of 400 kilograms of latex per hectare.
Balanag said each rubber tree could produce 1.6 kilograms of rubber cup lumps every 15 days. But it dips to at least 0.8 kilograms as an effect of the wintering season.
Processed rubber cup lumps from Cotabato province are shipped to China and Malaysia for the production of tires, Balanag said.
Balanag said rubber planters could begin to recover losses by April.
Cotabato farmers lose P 143M worth of rice crops to floods
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.