South Korea\'s rice production fell to the lowest in 31 years this year due to a steady decrease in rice paddies, a government report showed Thursday. Rice output reached 4.22 million tons in 2011, down 1.7 percent from 4.29 million tons a year earlier, the Statistic Korea said in a statement. This year\'s figure marked the lowest since 1980 when local farmers cropped a mere 3.55 million tons of rice due to unseasonably cold weather. The drop in rice output was mainly attributable to a steady reduction in rice fields, of which the total stood at 854,000 hectares this year, down 4.3 percent from a year before. Growing crops other than rice on paddies also boosted this year\'s rice production fall, according to the statement. However, the average rice production per 10 acres grew 2.7 percent on-year to 496 kilograms in 2011, the statistical agency said.