Farmer Gets High Yield from Controversial Hybrid Rice
A 69 year-old in Buliran, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija is surprised to harvest 345.6 cavans from a hectare planted to a hybrid rice reportedly exhibiting stunted (bansot) growth.
Severino G. Payumo became happier when he learned that because he harvested a whopping yield from the controversial SL8 hybrid rice of SL Agritech, he has been nominated to the provincial search for 10 outstanding hybrid rice farmers in Nueva Ecija for the 2008-2009 dry season.
At 50-kilogram per cavan, his yield was officially entered by the technical panel composed of representatives from SL Agritech, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit III (DARFU II1), PhilRice, Central Luzon State University, Provincial Agriculture Office, and Cabanatuan City Agriculture Office at 17.25 t/ha.
According to news reports, SL8 hybrid rice exhibited stunted growth 25 days after transplanting and started flowering.
The seeds reputedly came from China A x R Hybrid Rice Breeding Station, the hybrid seed production area of SL Agritech in Mainland China. Also, the so-called bansot rice plants were reportedly planted to 1,000 ha and caused panic and financial loss among farmers as fields had to be plowed under and replanted.
WHAT DID THE FARMER DO?
SL Agritech and officials of DA-RFU III and of provincial and city agriculture offices visited farms and assured farmers that only about 2 percent to 4 percent of the normal yield of SL8 was affected, hence it can still achieve normal harvest.
Payumo was one of the first farmers who invited the inspection team to visit his area planted to SL8. He said that when the team assured him that only a small percentage of the yield will be affected, he jokingly answered, “even 10 percent is tolerable.”
WHAT DID HE DO TO ACHIEVE SUCH AS WHOPPING YIELD?
The key is thorough land preparation. Payumo believes that land preparation is very important. Having a thoroughly prepared and well-leveled field, he said, is half way to good harvest.
“With proper leveling of rice paddies, you can control the height of irrigation, weeds, and golden apple snails,” he added.
So two months before the start of the second cropping, he applied 50 bags of fresh chicken manure to the said area. The period, he said, allows time for the manure to dry.
He used a 4-wheel tractor for the primary tillage operation, and allotted about a month of land preparation for the organic matter in the field to decompose.
He applied two bags of triple 14 and a bag of 16-200 as basal fertilizer. Then he planted 21-day old SL8 seedlings at a planting distance of 18 cm x 18 cm. Twelve days after transplanting, he applied again two bags of triple 14 and a bag of urea. After 21 days, he applied another two bags of urea, two bags of 14-14-14, and one of 16-20-0.
One hundred percent of his fertilizer requirement as per recommendation of the DA-RFU III Soils Laboratory was applied during the first 30 days after transplanting. And during the early reproductive stage of the rice plant, he applied a bag of 17-0-17. All in all, he used 12 bags of commercial fertilizers plus foliar fertilizers.
Payumo said that the first 35 days after transplanting is the most crucial period. This is the time when complete care and attention is given to the” plants. So during that time, he was inspecting every day the growth of the plants and observing occurrence of pests.
By : Pete Samonte