Bio-organic Fertilizer Increases Crop Yields, Cuts Chemical Inputs
Filipino-made bio-organic plant supplement made from fruit extracts and beneficial microorganisms can increase crop yields by as much as 30 percent while reducing the use of chemical fertilizer by 50 percent in the initial cropping.
The bio-organic fertilizer, called Seed Growth, was developed by renowned inventor Engr. Glenn T. Castillo by using nanotechnology which deals with the development of materials or devices within the size of 100 nanometers or smaller in at least one dimension.
According to agriculturist Dann Revaula of G’Core Group which distributes Seed Growth, farmers can expect high yield from using it on rice, corn, vegetables, plantation crops, fruit trees, and even aquaculture.
He explained that Seed Growth contains nano-minerals that rapidly stabilize soil pH level and neutralize soil acidity. It also activates beneficial microorganisms and non-symbiotic forms of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil that help convert nutrients into more usable forms.
Another benefit from Seed Growth, Revaula said, is the increase in crops’ resistance to insect pests and diseases due to the release of gibberellins and kinetin-like hormones, so that farmers need not apply pesticides at all.
“For rice, we recommend the application of Seed Growth starting from land preparation up to fruiting stage to achieve best results,” Revaula said.
Seed Growth is initially applied to rice at a rate of 100 ml per 16 liters of water during land preparation. The succeeding applications at 7 days after transplanting (DAT), at 30 DAT, at 45-60 DAT, and at milking stage require a uniform dosage of 15 ml per 16 liters of water. This rate is enough for 1,000 square meters, says Revaula. “But most farmers apply 2 liters of Seed Growth in combination with 10 bags of organic fertilizers per hectare,” he said.
For vegetables, the dosage is 15 ml per 16 liters of water at 10-15 days interval starting from land preparation. For ornamentals and fruit trees, the recommended rates are 1 ml per 1 liter of water and 30-35 ml per 16 liters of water, respectively at intervals depending on crops’ nutrient requirements.
Revaula, however, said that the results from using Seed Growth especially on rice is not fully achieved right on the first cropping as the soil will undergo a so-called transition period.
In the first cropping, for instance, Revaula said that farmers who have used Seed Growth on their crops attested that they achieved 30% increase in yield and 50 percent reduction in inorganic fertilizer application. This rate increased in the second and third croppings where they got 70 to 100 percent increases in yield and 70 to 75 percent reduction in inorganic fertilizer inputs. These, of course, are achieved with proper management and favorable weather conditions.
Seed Growth is now used by farmers in Luzon, Visayas and especially in Mindanao where it was first introduced. Revaula said that Seed Growth users now harvest an average of 150 cavans of rice per hectare or even higher compared to 80 cavans per hectare back when they were not using Seed Growth.
Seed Growth costs P1,500 per liter. It was one of the products featured at the 2009 National Invention Contest and Exhibits organized by the Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology.
By Melpha M. Abello