Corn Farmer Posts Record Yield
A cooperative leader in San Manuel, Tarlac, has harvested a record 16.2 tons of yellow corn per hectare. The feat was called experts as the highest per hectare yield recorded in the country so far.
Posting the record-breaking harvest was Juanito Rama, head of the San Manuel Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Earlier, he volunteered his 2.5 hectare corn field for a demonstration test of a combination of cutting-edge farming practices, including zero tillage or no plowing done, and the use of a liquid organic-based fertilizer called Masinag.
The 2.5-hectare farm of Rama yielded a total of 40,500 kilos worth P506,250. The farmer leader said he used hybrid seeds supplied by one of the country’s biggest corn breeders and applied six bags of complete commercial fertilizer plus six liters of the liquid organic fertilizer for each hectare of his corn field. He planted the seeds without plowing the soil.
The combination of the two bold farming techniques, zero tillage and the use of liquid fertilizer, cut his labor cost and input costs by half and increased his net earnings.
A support group of experts, including the Land Bank of the Philippines, a scientist from the Central Luzon State University, the Department of Agriculture through the New National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), the seed supplier and the developer of the liquid fertilizer contributed to Rama’s success.
Dr. Nenita de la Cruz, leader of the team of farm scientists from CLSU involved in the field test, said that neighbors of Rama were skeptical when her group guided Rama in using the zero tillage faming technique.
Direct seeding was done on the Rama demonstration farm without plowing the field. It was only cleared of the remaining rice stubbles after the wet cropping season in November last year.
A nearby farm where the prevailing farm practices were used were used by the scientists as a “control” field and the basis of their scientific analyses and comparison. The yield in the control farm was 12 tons per hectare for inputs of 16 bags of commercial fertilizer.
The newly planted corn was rained out and I feared the seeds would not germinate, but they did, said Rama in recounting his experience to representatives of the Federation of Tarlac Cooperatives on the day of the harvest.
The farming technology on the Monsanto Bt corn seed was used with some innovations, particularly the use of the liquid organic fertilizer and zero tillage.
With the success of the field demo test, the package of technology applying the foliar fertilizer and zero tillage will soon be taught to the other corn farmers, according to Dr. de la Cruz.