Feed imports ill-timed, PhilMaize says

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    The Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (PhilMaize) is asking government to devise a system that would align arrivals of feed substitutes during the lean months.

    Roger Navarro, PhilMaize president, lamented the fact that feed wheat imported by the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc. (PAFMI) will coincide with two harvest seasons of corn, which may depress prices and pare down the incomes of farmers.

    PAFMI said it had to import 81,000 metric tons (MT) of feed wheat from Australia because of limited supply and high prices of local corn. The volume will be delivered in two shipments, the first 37,000 MT will arrive this month while the second shipment of 44,200 MT is scheduled to arrive in December.

    Navarro cited the need for complementing, calibrating and harmonizing the appetite towards importation of feeds substitute.

    “It is simple, if prices are high and if there is no enough harvest, they can go import. They (feedmillers) should just be sensitive enough to know our historical traditional harvest pattern and not deliberately import even during the harvest season,” he said.
    Navarro said fall army worm (FAW) continues to infest corn crops.

    FAW can cause significant damage to crops in the absence of natural control as the insect prefers corn but can also feed on more than 80 additional species of crops, including rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops and cotton.

    Last year, the country’s corn production fell by 8.2 percent to 1.65 million MT from 1.8 million MT. However, for the second quarter of the year, corn experienced a 15.4 percent growth reaching 1.35 million MT from 1.17 million MT.