An excellent rice harvest just ended in Uruguay

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Average yields per hectare could be a record.

In general terms, it could be said that the rice harvest throughout the country has finished.

In a year so complicated by the severe drought we were going through, the rice sector was saved with flying colours, mainly because it is a crop that needs to be flooded for production. Therefore forecasts are made in advance so that the water sources are sufficient.

However, because atmospheric demand has increased exponentially in recent years, this calculation is very tight in some cases. Last year some farms in the north had to be abandoned due to the inability or only intermittent irrigation, and this year the same thing happened with some hectares in the east. Although they are not bearing surfaces, it is valid to make this precision.

In the rest of the cases, except for some quality problems and broken in the north due to excessive temperatures, this summer with light and heat greatly favoured crop development.

The north of the country, mainly the department of Artigas and some of Salto, has already completed the threshing, which began there in the first days of February. The average was 194 bags per hectare.

In the centre, progress is 96%; in the east, where most of the surface is cultivated, the harvested area reaches 99%.

In general terms, an excellent harvest is in sight, pending the official results of the mills, which are estimated to be finished by the end of this month. It would not be surprising if the yield record per hectare is broken, a prize currently holding the 2020-21 harvest when an average of 9,450 kilos per hectare were harvested throughout the country.

The situation of high temperatures, added to good light, favoured the development of the crop on summer days: especially December, January and February.

As regards the area, more specific data is expected once the harvest is over, accounting for the hectares planted and those that could be effectively harvested.

Costs hurt competitivity

The estimated cost per hectare for rice for the last harvest was US$ 2,140. This situation, added to industrial costs when processing the product, accounting for electricity, fuel, and labour, with a weakened dollar, hit the rice sector significantly.

Fuente: El Pais

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