Corn Variety Bioseed 9909 Attracts South Cotabato Farmers
Farmers in South Cotabato have a new apple of the eye and it is the new corn variety called Bioseed 9909, which has a potential yield of 11 tons per hectare (t/ha).
The variety, which Bioseed Research Philippines, Inc., bred has earned praises from the farmers who have tried it. In fact, corn farmers from as far as Libungan, North Cotabato attended a harvest festival in Brgy. 5, Banga, South Cotabato just to see the good yield of Bioseed 9909.
The harvest festival was held in the farm of Justo Damasco, 60, a migrant from Mabini, Pangasinan. He utilized 36 ha for Bioseed 9909 crop production of which 14 ha are in Brgy 5. At the time of the festival, 9 ha were ready for harvest.
Justo, who can still fluently speak in Ilocano, said he has already tried planting many corn hybrids in the past, but he found Bioseed 9909 as the best.
It is because the new corn variety is resistant to stalk rot, a serious disease which causes the stalks to topple down. Justo said Bioseed 9909 has a tough stalk and, hence, it is hardly infected by the disease.
In the past, damage caused by stalk rot in Banga reached 20 to 25 percent. Justo said that since the damage in Bioseed 9909 is almost nil, his yield has tremendously increased.
Half A Million Pesos
By the time this story was being written, Justo had harvested 6.5 ha from which he obtained 1,356 bags of corn ears (still with cobs). With an average of 54.5 kilograms (kg) per bag, his initial yield was 73,902 kg. Given that only 56.5 percent of the corn ears would become dry grains or kernels, his dry grain yield would be 41,754 kg. At P11.90 per kilo, he expects a gross income of P496,880 or P76,443/ha.
Come to think of it, that’s only from 6.5 ha., and since he planted a total of 36 ha, his net income this season could be P2.76 million.
In a phone interview – although we interviewed him at around 5 o’clock in the morning, he was already up since 3 o’clock, because he was irrigating the harvested area in preparation for the wet season rice crop, – Justo said his yields in the past were poor compared with his yield this season. “It has greatly increased because of Bioseed 9909,” he said.
He added that Bioseed 9909, which matures in 105 days, has 100 percent germination rate and excellent early vigor that is why it is very good for high plant population density. One bag of seeds (18 kg) contains no less than 70,000 kernels. More importantly, the number of kernels from the base to the tip are the same. This is a good trait which contributes to high yield.
Justo also observed that the new variety appears resistant to corn borer; Bioseed Research Philippines, however, does not make any claim to this effect.
On the other hand, he stressed that good nutrition and cultural management are needed to attain the yield potential of Bioseed 9909. To start with, he could plant corn in his farm in Brgy. 5 until early February since the soil is moist all the time. In Brgy. 4, however, where some of his lands are located he makes sure that he has already planted before December so that the plants would not be affected by drought.
Although Justo does not apply basal fertilizer, he applies two bags of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) and two bags of urea per hectare 15 days after planting (DAP). This is followed by the application of four bags of urea per hectare 28 to 30 DAP.
He also makes sure that his crop is adequately protected from insect pests by spraying insecticide after the second fertilization and flower initiation, and at 100 percent flowering stage. Each application consists of 12 loads of knapsack sprayer per hectare; Atrazine is applied 7 DAP for weed control. He does not also need to irrigate as the soil has enough moisture.
Another migrant whose father is from Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija is fortysix-year old Celso Gabriel. He was the first person who conducted a field demonstration for this variety in Banga and he likewise, commended it. To take advantage of the potential net income, he planted Bioseed 9909 this season in his 2.5-ha farm.
Although his crop is still at the flowering stage (48 DAP), Celso is hoping that his yield and income from Bioseed 9909 will be greater than the yield from other hybrid varieties that he has tried in the past. Like Justo, he also observed that this variety is resistant to stalk rot and ear rot, corn’s very serious diseases especially during the wet season. “The ears of Bioseed 9909 corns are heavier, and the variety has more kernels,” he said.
Celso’s harvest from his previous Bioseed 9909 crop was 12 tons a hectare (t/ha); his lowest yield, however, was 9 t/ha.
He also mentioned that some farmers may not appreciate this variety during its vegetative stage (30 DAP) if they are looking at it for the first time. This is because its leaves are upright unlike other varieties whose upper portion of the leaves is drooping down. He said that the stand of the crop becomes beautiful once it is already loaded with ears, especially when these are already maturing.
He added that once the farmers have tried it, they will-surely continue planting it unless something better crops up. Compared with other varieties, its ears are relatively shorter (8 inches long) but the size of the cobs is uniform from base to tip that’s why it has more kernels.
Asked what he does to obtain high yields, Celso said he applies four bags of lime per hectare plus a little amount of fertilizer. This is followed by the application of two bags of complete fertilizer and two bags of urea per hectare at off-barring, and then two of bags of complete fertilizer, four bags of urea and one bag muriate of potash (0-0-60) per hectare at hilling-up.
Celso said that all the farmers nearby his farm in Brgy. 4, Banga are now planting Bioseed 9909, as they have watched his crop from day I to harvest.
Jerry Estrella, municipal agriculturist of Banga, said that 20 percent of the 900-ha corn land in Brgy. 4 being utilized for this new variety.
He mentioned that in a recent corn derby, a contest participated in by more than 20 corn varieties, Bioseed 9909 emerged as the No. 1 single cross in the March 2006 harvest. It should be recommended to farmers because of its very desirable traits such as high shelling percentage, small cob and flint type.
In Brgy. Malaya, Banga, two farmers who are also providing inputs on credit to farmers, eagerly promote Bioseed 9909. They are Gemma B. Perez, a widow at 42, and Eddie Doromal who owns 70 ha of corn and rice land and provides inputs on credit for 110 ha.
Farmers in Brgy. Malaya have also shifted to Bioseed 9909 which is now planted in almost 400 ha, according to Eddie.
In the previous cropping season, Eddie planted Bioseed 9909 with a variety of another seed company. The other variety produced 98 bags of wet shelled grains from 2.5 ha or 30.2 bags/ ha. In great contrast, the yield of Bioseed 9909 was 202 bags of wet shelled grains from 2.75 ha or 73.45 bags/ha. This is more than double the yield of the other variety.
In another area where he planted to Bioseed 9909 in 9,800 sq. m., he got 66 bags of wet shelled grains, still more than twice the yield of the other variety.
Eddie said that farmers in Banga frequently visited his farm to observe his Bioseed crop. After they saw his harvest, the farmers already wanted to plant the variety that is why Eddie was able to buy only 50 bags of seeds for the present crop since almost nothing was left due to high demand. Besides, he was late in placing his order for seeds.
For the next cropping season after the wet season rice, he expects to order no less than 150 bags of Bioseed 9909. Rajeev V Nayak, Bioseed Research Philippines general manager, said his company is ready to meet the increasing demand for this variety.
Gemma Perez, on the other hand, is now on her third crop of Bioseed 9909. For her first crop, she planted it in 1 ha of her 15-hectare farm and harvested 6 tons. In the second crop, the area increased to 2 ha and she harvested 13 t or 6.5 t/ha. Because of Bioseed’s encouraging performance, she already planted 9 ha for the current crop, which is more than four times the area in the second crop.
She said that last season, she planted two other varieties and found out that Bioseed 9909 has a much better shelling recovery (65 to 70 percent). Its germination percentage is very high at no less than 99 percent, she said. She also said corn borers attacked the crop – it was planted in May – of her neighbor, while her Bioseed 9909 was spared.
More importantly, she gets prioritized whenever she delivers Bioseed 9909 grains to a trader in Gen. Santos City and gets an additional 25 centavos per kilo for this variety.