For the Mekong Basin, the two major crops have been selected for the analysis: rice and maize. Thailand and Vietnam, two riparian countries in the basin, are rice exporters numbers one and two, respectively, in the world market. The Mekong River Delta has three major cropping seasons for rice: winter-spring or early season with full irrigation at the end of crop season (November to February), summer-autumn or mid-season with supplementary irrigation at the beginning of crop season (June to September), and main rain-fed season (June to December), the long-duration wet season crop. The largest rice area is cropped during the summer-autumn season. The rice yield is highest in the winter-spring season, and lowest in the main rainy season. Farmers in this region adopt a direct-seeding method of crop establishment to save labour costs. In the Mekong River Delta of South Vietnam there are about 70,000-100,000 ha of land which flood every year. After the flood season, early maturing corn can be planted on untilled wetlands in January, and harvested in April. This practice was first developed in some provinces in Vietnam, and has been extended to thousands of hectares. Maize gives average yields of 3.0-3.5 t/ha, while skilled farmers attain yields of 5 t/ha (FFTC, 2003).

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