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Commodity Intelligence Report
July 16, 2015

Colombian Rice Production to Rebound; New Mill in Yopal, Casanare Department

Colombia’s rice production in 2015/16 is expected to be almost 9 percent above last year due to an increase in area harvested of almost 9 percent. Rough, or paddy, rice production for 2015/16 is estimated at 1.95 million metric tons. Recent stability in rice production in Colombia is due to improved pest control, variety use, and crop management, and has stimulated the construction of a new rice mill in the country. Rice area is expected at 425,000 hectares for a milled production of over 1.32 million metric tons. Yields are expected to be about what they were last year at almost 4.60 tons per hectare (T/Ha).
A new mill constructed on the southeastern edge of Colombia’s rice-growing central regions in Yopal in the department of Casanare (figure 1) will have a storage capacity of 18,000 metric tons. A series of 22.16 meter-high silos will each be able to hold almost 6,600 cubic meters of rice. Harvested rice at the mill can be moved through a screw conveyor into the silos with the use of sweep augers equipped with cleaning screens. These silos will handle paddy rice delivered by truck to the mill. Much of the farmland north and west of the mill is seeded to irrigated rice.

Figure 1. The new rice mill just constructed in Colombia is within the southeastern regions of irrigated rice production

Rice production in recent years has been stable as production management has improved and stabilized (figure 2). A slight dip in production was seen in 2014/15 when heavy rains and soil erosion limited the harvested area in the unirrigated rice land closer to the northwestern coastal regions. Yields for irrigated rice in the central and southwestern regions, however, have been good as variety selection, better pest

control, and water management have improved.
The new mill will allow longer-term storage of rice. More storage and continued improvements in production may allow for greater sustainability of in-country rice supplies in Colombia. (For additional information contact Dr. Denise McWilliams,, Crop Production Analyst-South America).

Figure 2. Colombia rice has reached a stable production level with improved crop management. Heavy rains in 2014/15 and 2011/12 decreased harvested area, however, reducing production. The 2015/16 area harvested estimate is preliminary.

Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on IPAD's Agricultural Production page or at PSD Online.

For more information contact Denise McWilliams | Denise | (202) 720-0107
USDA-FAS, Office of Global Analysis

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