HANOI, VIETNAM – Abnormally cold weather, unseasonable rains and rising input costs led to a decrease in spring rice planted area and production in Vietnam, according to a Global Agricultural Information Report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

The report estimated that spring harvested area fell by 10,000 hectares from an estimate earlier this year to 3 million hectares and production declined from 20.5 million tonnes to 20.1 million.

FAS forecasts total 2021-22 rice output at 43.31 million tonnes, revised down from 43.73 million tonnes earlier in the year.

“Abnormally cold weather in the first quarter of this year and uneven rain distribution affected yields of the spring crop in the northern region,” FAS said. “Unseasonable rain has also not been beneficial for the spring crop in the southern region, reportedly affecting the harvest pace and kernel quality in some areas.”

The report also noted that Vietnamese farmers tend to reduce their use of fertilizers and pesticides when prices are consistently high, which can lead to lower yields.