You asked (22-11-2011)
In your article "Flooding in the Mekong Delta" on October 22, 2011, paragraph 10 mentions that Dong Thap Province planted a third crop of paddy of 98,858 ha. However, GSO data shows Dong Thap ended winter paddy production in mid 1990s.
Has the province re-started winter paddy production?
I would appreciate if you would clarify this.
Thank you for your attention.
Pat Cosslett, Vienna, Virginia, USA
We have checked with the Dong Thap provincial plant protection department who confirmed that the "third crop" mentioned in the article was in fact the autumn-winter rice crop, which starts around the end of June/early July following the summer-autumn and winter-spring crops. The autumn-winter crop is usually harvested after 90-110 days.
Nguyen Tri Ngoc, director of the Department of Crop Production at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, additionally confirmed that crops in the north differed from that in the south due to varied cultivation methods and harvest periods.
The north cultivates only chiem (winter-spring) and mua (summer-spring, spring-winter, or summer-spring-winter) crops.
In the south, the three main crops include summer-spring, winter-spring and spring-winter. While the spring-winter crop has been cultivated in the south for the past 10 years, only from this year will it become the main crop of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region based on advantages gained from recent flooding. Please refer to a recent page 6 Vietnam News article, entitled "Rice on target despite floods", published on October 6 for more information.
Ngoc noted that the "third crop" was also utilised as a supplementary crop in some southern provinces such as Ben Tre, Ca Mau and Bac Lieu.
The division of crops, especially in the south, is very complicated, according to Ngoc, who said that it would take ages to clarify each name and concept. He added that even some agricultural workers had limited knowledge regarding certain crops.
As for GSO data, visit our website for statistics on the country's monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly and yearly social economic situation. Agricultural crop cultivation data is updated frequently.
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