Biofertilizer for inbred rice production upscaled in Tubungan, Iloilo

Posted by: RAFIS DA6 | Posted at: February 6, 2023

Enabling farmers to increase their yield despite the hike in fertilizer costs, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Western Visayas established a technology demo farm introducing alternative sources of nutrients for inbred rice production to farmers in Tubungan, Iloilo.
DA and the Municipal Agriculture Office of Tubungan tapped farmer cooperators in Brgy. Tabat to demonstrate five trials showcasing the efficacy of biofertilizers for optimum crop yield and helping farmers reduce their input expenses.
In the 2,000-square-meter demo farm, farmers set up five trials that served as areas of comparison for recommended nutrient management practices and farmers’ practices.
Farmers used their preferred variety in the first plot and applied fertilizer based on the usual kind, amount, and timing. Farmers planted another plot with varietal mixture (VARMIX) seeds plus biofertilizer (humus plus and zinc-rich). In the third trial, farmers produced VARMIX seeds and used Carrageenan (seaweed-based extracts) as a nutrient source. In the fourth and fifth trials, farmers used their preferred seed varieties with biofertilizer and Carrageenan fertilizers, respectively.
According to Mark Lester Gamboa of DA, the demo farm established during the 2022-2023 dry cropping season aimed at determining the impact of biofertilizers in growing suitable inbred seeds, including PSB RC10 and NSIC RC222 from the DA Rice Program, and VARMIX consist of NSIC RC 298, NSIC RC 216, NSIC RC 238 and PSB 82 from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) – Nueva Ecija.
Aside from seeds and technical assistance, DA also provided them with eight bags of inorganic fertilizer, such as complete fertilizer (14-14-14), urea (46-0-0), and muriate of potash (0-0-60).
Some 60 farmers from the municipality also participated in the season-long Farmer Field School (FFS) on Integrated Nutrient Management from October 2022 to the present. DA and the local agriculture office retooled farmers in the adoption of Palay Check System, Rice Crop Manager, and field monitoring activities in the techno demo site.
On the other hand, Tubungan municipal vice mayor Leo Sularan encouraged farmers to support DA’s conduct of the techno demo project and FFS, where they could get relevant strategies to cope with the climate change challenge affecting their rice production. He also reiterated the importance of following the recommended fertilizer application and preserving soil nutrients to ensure farmers’ higher crop yield and income.
DA also established demo farms in the municipalities of Sta. Barbara, Badiangan, and Bingawan in Iloilo, and Jordan, Guimaras.### By Sheila Mae H. Toreno/DA-RAFIS 6
Photos by Wil Ann Teves/Intern, WVSU