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Agri and Fisheries News
Where do you find these tarpaulin trimmings? Does any hardware store in the Philippines carry them?
mb.com.ph; November 22, 2013
Vine vegetables like sitao, ampalaya, upo, patola and others are good money-makers. But you have to provide them with trellis for support.
If you ask Pedro ‘Jun’ Perez of Tiaong, Quezon, he will tell you that the best trellising material for such crops as per his experience is a little known material that is a waste product in the manufacture of tarpaulin. It is the trimmings that are about three-fourths of an inch wide, and very long.
He has been using this for five years now in his 8,000-square meter sitao plantation near where he lives. He believes that his trellis could be serviceable for many more years because the strands are still in shape and practically undamaged.
Usually, other farmers use nylon cord or steel wire for trellising. These are not as lasting as the tarpaulin trimmings, according to Jun.
One roll that is 40 kilos costs about P700. About 20 rolls worth P14,000 would be enough for one hectare. In the case of his 8,000-square meter sitao plantation, he spent a total of P60,000 including the posts and labor. That could easily be recovered from the harvest from vine crops grown.
At the time of our visit to his farm (Oct. 22, 2013), he was harvesting 200 kilos of pods every other day from his sitao. The going price then was P50 per kilo so he was making P10,000 every other day.
Jun has his own strategy in growing his sitao. He observes that most other farmers plant their sitao at the beginning of the rainy season. He waits for a couple of months before he sows his own crop. That way, when the other farmers have finished harvesting from their plants, his sitao will be productive and he will normally have the market for himself.
Jun is really smart not only in choosing his trellising material but also in timing his planting. - by Zac Sarian
Source: A cheap veggie trellis material
balita.ph; November 21, 2013 9:49 am
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Nov. 20 — In an effort to maintain coconut production in the province of North Cotabato and contain pests that destroy coconut trees, the North Cotabato office of provincial agriculturist (OPAg) distributed biological control agents to different municipalities, officials said Wednesday.
"Coconut farmers of North Cotabato can now count their farms' produce with these biological control agents," according to a statement released by OPA.
These biocons are called Parasitoids, an insect intentionally produced at the OPAg biocon laboratory to control Brontispa Longissima, better known as Brontispa.
Brontispa belongs to a type of pest that breaks the bearing of coconut trees and other palm tree families like oil palms.
More or less 4,480 Parasitoids were distributed to five local government units in the province for distribution to coconut growers in the municipalities of President Roxas, Makilala, M’lang, and Midsayap, and the lone city of Kidapawan.
Each LGU received tubes of Parasitoids to protect their coconut farm from Brontispa.OPAg also intends to provide the same assistance to other LGUs and as a requirement, local farmers submit their request letter addressed to either the Governor or the Department Head of OPAg.
Upon approval, disposal will be scheduled when the species reached the needed number based on land area.
Governor Emmylou Mendoza lauded OPAg for the continuous effort in helping the local farmers of North Cotabato, knowing that the province’s major investments rely in the field of Agriculture.
According to reports from OPAg Biological Control Laboratory a study stated that it is better to use Parasitoids compared to chemical formula in killing pests like Brontispa.
It is further mentioned in their report that Coconut trees produce healthier leaves and bear more fruits when Parasitoids are used to control the pest.
As recorded, Parasitoids are very susceptible to insecticides and pesticides compared to Brontispa which is an advantage to farmers.
Basically, Parasitoids slowly stop the vast production of Brontispa by laying their eggs in the larva or pupa of the pest, dominating their prey.
In North Cotabato alone, a total of 44,672.7 hectares are planted to bearing and non-bearing coconut trees.
Every week, approximately 4,000 biocon agents are produced by OPAg Biological Control Laboratory. [(PNA)LAP/LOR/NYP/EOF]
Source: Anti-coconut pests developed in North Cotabato, distributed to coco growers
balita.ph; November 14, 2013 12:41 pm
LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 13 (PNA) – There is much help that ducks could provide in organic rice farming which the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) wants Bicolano farmers to take advantage of.
That is why the agency’s regional office for Bicol based here has been holding training sessions on its Rice-Duck Integrated Farming System (RDIFS) for agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in a campaign to bring back organic farming in the region in support to the National Organic Agriculture Act of 2010.
DAR’s Program Beneficiaries’ Development Division regional chief Lucia Vitug on Tuesday said ducks which are locally called 'itik' are the best partner in palay farming, one, because they serve as weeders thus, farm owners need not hire laborers to remove the weeds in the farm because ducks can do the job more efficiently and effectively.
Ducks eat young weed plants and weed seeds while their trampling activity also kept the weeds under control by as much as 90 percent thereby oxygenating the water and encouraging the roots of the rice plants to grow vigorously.
Another, Vitug said is that there is no need to buy insecticides because ducks eat the pests in the farm such as the highly devastating golden kuhol (snail), green leafhopper, brown plant hopper, zigzag leaf hopper, rice bug, short-horned grasshopper and long-horned grasshopper.
Worldwide studies, she said, proved that the populations of these pests were significantly lower in rice-duck farms compared to paddies without ducks. Ducklings were found catching insects efficiently in the rice-duck plots, thereby reducing the insect population.
Besides, these common water birds’ droppings also serve as fertilizer, so that farmers save on the cost of this farm input.
Ducks, according to Vitug, also stimulates the growth of every palay plant as while they search for snails, they at the same time cultivate the soil.
RDIFS data show that, on the average, yields of the rice-duck are 20 percent higher than those of the sole rice paddies and the superiority of the rice-duck system is consistent in all locations and all seasons, she revealed.
“In short, the presence of ducks in the farm lessens the input cost in palay production,” she added.DAR agriculturist Tomas Diesta agreed with Vitug as he added that the use of ducks in palay farms implies that the produce is certified organic given that the use of chemicals is forbidden by the presence of these birds, otherwise they will be poisoned.
Apart from reducing insecticide and chemical fertilizer requirements, RDIFS also ensures a safe environment and organic products, he said.
There are also previous studies which prove that the duck-rice organic farming system led to the increase in yield and food security since ducks also lay eggs which can be another source of food, reduction of manual labor, good health and sound environment, Diesta said.
The higher income from this system is generated in two ways– the higher rice yields combined with the reduced cost of production and the additional income from ducks’ eggs, meat and live sales, he said.One of latest training on RDIFS conducted by the DAR regional office was for various organizations of ARBS in Bulan, Sorsogon wherein participants shared some grievances in the farming business.
Diesta said the participants revealed that the farming system they were on has been pulling their life on much lower level because of the high input cost, climate change, poor irrigation system and absence of support services in technology.
“We were aware of these sentiments beforehand that is why we are pushing hard the application of ‘duck power’ in farming. With this, the participating ARBs found a new inspiration towards productivity,” he said.
Diesta explained: the soil is the most important component in farming, however, its fertility dies because chemicals kill micro-organisms that are naturally present in it and helping in the natural fertilization process like composting of dry leaves.
Soil analysis showed that nutrient levels in the soils of the rice-duck fields were higher indicating that the grazing of the ducks enriched the soil’s nutrients, probably through their excreta.The movement of the ducks in the paddies enhances the aeration of the soil and prevents accumulation of harmful gases in the rhizosphere which is another reason for the stimulation of the growth of the rice plants.
Ducks’ movement and feeding activity in the rice field disturbed the soil, resulting in the improvement of its physical property, hence, enhancing the rice root systems, Diesta said.“All these advantages give us the reason in pushing on organic farming and introducing to ARBs the use of ducks in the system,” he added.
After the Bulan ARBs training, Vitug said the participants were given opportunity to visit rice fields in the nearby town of Sta. Magdalena that are dedicated to organic farming particularly the RDIFS.“They were amazed on seeing the rice fields that truly weed-free and the growth of palay was great. Convinced of what they have seen, they are determined to adopt the RDIFS organic farming,” she added. - [By Danny O. Calleja (PNA) CTB/FGS/DOC/CBD/]
Source: Ducks are farmers’ partner in organic farming /with photo
balita.ph; November 7, 2013 12:29 pm
TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Nov. 6 (PNA) — About 30 farmers in this city have shifted to planting sweet corn from their long time vegetable growing that has not been giving them good results.
City agriculture office (CAGRO) chief Engr. Harold S. Dawa said the farmers started growing sweet corn in May this year which gave significant increase in their income.
He said their office is helping the farmers grow sweet corn in Barangay Madaum even as he said they will expand the program in barangays Mankilam and Pagsabangan.
"There is a big demand for sweet corn here and also in the neighboring provinces that is why they already have a captive market," he said.
He said they will assist the farmers in looking for other planting sites, in farm inputs and in marketing.
The sweet corn production was launched here in May 2013 when the city agriculture office was looking for an alternative on vegetable farming where production was low.
According to one grower, Bonifacio Montilla who is also president of the Madaum Vegetable and Sweet Corn Farmers Association, a 1,300 square-meter lot planted to one kilo of sweet corn seedlings generates an income of P25,000 in 72 days.
Louie Lapat of the city information office said this program is in line with the revitalized goal of Mayor Allan Rellon on food security.
Lapat said the city government will be acquiring the ten-hectare lot next year that the farmers used as planting site for their use. - [by Digna D. Banzon (PNA) CTB/ASA/DDB/LDP]
Source: Tagum City farmers shift to sweet corn farming