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Rice Production, Supply, Imports, Exports and Consumption in the Philippines (1960-2014) - Post-harvest Losses

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 Post-harvest Losses

The values of the milled rice production shown in Fig. 01 and Fig. 02 are about 63-65% from the USDA published "rough rice production" of the Philippines.  The 63-65% calculated" is roughly about the head rice recovery during the milling stage and did not include the negative impact of post-harvest losses (PHL) on the available "domestic rice production" (light violet filled with yellow square in Fig. 02).

The estimated post-harvest losses (PHL) do not include the reduction in weight of the palay (paddy rice) as it is dried quickly from a moisture content from 20-26%, (or even higher during the rainy season harvest), down to about 14% or lower depending on the designated use of the dried palay.


Rice Post-harvest Losses
Fig. 02. Rice Post-harvest Losses. Legends: Local Production Less Post-harvest Losses (PHL) - (light violet filled with light yellow square).  View Fig. 01, for  legends of the other parameters.


Improper drying and storage practices lead to low grain or seed quality. Incomplete or untimely drying or storage of palay (paddy rice) with high moisture content could: 

  1. Induce heat build up in the grain - because the freshly harvested palay is a “complete food” for microorganism and other organisms (e.g., insects), the heat build up will provide the proper growth environment for molds, insects and other organisms.
  2. Provide the environment for mold development — mold growth could release mycotoxin that will render the rice unsuitable for human and animal consumption
  3. Make the palay susceptible to insect infestation
  4. Lead ultimately to grain discoloration or yellowing — the discoloration is a result of the by-products of mold and other microbial growth
  5. Lead to poor germination and vigor — this is critical if the palay (paddy rice) would be intended as seed source for the next crop cultivation
  6. Lead to odor development — because the moist palay is a complete food, microbial growth could trigger fermentation that releases a variety of chemicals depending on the microorganisms present with the stored moist palay (paddy rice) grains.
  7. Reduce head rice yield — improper drying could trigger cracking or fissuring that would reduce the percentage of whole grain in the milled rice.

In India, dried Neem leaves are used to line the storage jars to mitigate infestation of the stored grains.  Read the “Rice” section in the Reference section of this website for more detailed information.