Hundreds of millions of pounds of corn could be lost
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Photo taken from elsalvador.com
According to the MAG (Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock), the loss could be greater than 210 million pounds if the drought persists in days to come.
Yesterday, the Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Hugo Flores, confirmed that due to the current drought, El Salvador runs the risk runs of losing at least 210 million pounds of its current corn crops. The drought has more greatly affected the eastern zone of the country.
According to the official, in the eastern zone a loss of around 110 million pounds was already estimated for the period up to the August Festival vacations. Still, a new recount of the damages caused by the drought demonstrates the risk of losing over 100 million more.
Flores told Radio YSKL that a loss of around 210 million pounds would be roughly equivalent to 10.5 percent of the total production projected for the country.
He said that in coming days, in order to reduce damages, 24 thousand manzanas (about 42 thousand acres) would begin to be replanted and that 3.5 thousand farmers affected by a lack of pasture would be given inputs.
According to information from the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), the southern region of La Unión has registered 28 consecutive days without rain in July, while accumulated non-consecutive dry days between June and July has reached 45 days in La Unión and San Miguel, 43 days in San Francisco Gotera and between 37 to 42 days in the coastal zone, including the departments of San Miguel, Usulután, San Vicente and La Paz (see map).
Moreover, in the north-eastern zone of the country and in the area surrounding the Cerrón Grande Reservoir, more than 30 non-consecutive dry days have been observed.
In San Miguel, this situation has led to a rise in corn prices, from 16 to 23 dollars for a little over 100 pounds. Prices could continue to climb if the drought persists.
Despite these damages, the Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Livestock said that consumers should remain calm, as the situation is not catastrophic.
According to Flores, the eastern zone produces in total just over 350 million pounds of corn, which translates to around 17 percent of all the corn harvested in the country.
Translated by: Alaina Marie Sylla