Maps January February March April May June

A year in the life of rice
by Cornelia Garcia and Andrew Nelson

here? When? How much? These are some of the most frequently asked questions about rice cultivation that we face as part of the GIS lab team at the International Rice Research Institute. In the last issue, we featured a global perspective on the rice calendar. Here, we zoom in on the details in the major rice-growing areas of Luzon, Philippines. These 12 maps—derived from satellite

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images—show the progression of the rice crop month by month. The areas in blue are freshly planted and the areas in green are mid- or late-season rice. The areas in light gray show the maximum extent of rice grown in Luzon. The dry-season crop is planted in December to January (blue). Most rice crops are well established (green) by March and are harvested in April or May.

The wet-season crop is planted in June to July, is well established by September, and is harvested in October or November. The cycle starts again by December, when the following year’s dryseason crop is planted. The maps show that much of Luzon has two rice cropping seasons and that the extent of the monsoon-season rice is greater than the dry-season crop. The

extent of wet season rice emphasizes both its importance to productivity and its vulnerability to the impacts of typhoons and storms. The maps also show how varied the rice calendar can be from place to place, even over small distances. This makes answering geographic questions about rice cultivation both challenging and fascinating.

Ms. Garcia is a researcher and cartographer while Dr. Nelson is a geographer and head of the GIS laboratory at IRRI.

December

November

October

September

August

July

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Rice Today July-September 2013

Rice Today July-September 2013

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