Twin tools to ensure efficient use of Fertilizer

The issue on fertilizer effectiveness and plant absorption of macro and micro nutrient relies mainly on the right amount, kind and timing of application of this stimulant in the soil. This concern mainly on the determination of the soil nutrients through soil analysis wherein the use of Minus One Element Technique (MOET) and Leaf Color Chart (LCC) for Nitrogen application is must for rice farmers in this era of scientific farming.

Clark N. Melendres, DA-RFO 6 Agriculturist II and Coordinating Officer for Special Foreign Funded Projects said that farmers should incorporate scientific tools to efficiently use resources and increase rice production.

“The MOET is a simple and practical decision-aid technique that assess nutrient requirement of the rice crop in actual field conditions. This also helps identify what nutrient is/are adequate or lacking in the soil,” Melendres said.

He said that this technique addresses problems on high cost of soil chemical analysis, inaccessibility to test centers in remote areas and high cost of inorganic fertilizers.

The MOET kit consist of seven nutrient formulations labeled as Complete which contains essential elements and six other formulations same as complete but lack or minus the specific nutrient specifically, Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), Zinc (Zn), Sulfur (S) and Copper (Cu). These fertilizer formulations were then mixed to pots preferably without holes containing soil samples from the rice field.

Melendres stressed that farmers should always remember to decontaminate or wash their hands and tools after mixing each fertilizer formulations with the soil to avoid contamination. Then the pots will be planted with four to five seedlings or pre-germinated seeds and retaining only the two best growing plant per pot seven days after transplanting or sowing. The growth, tillering and biomass of the rice plant in minus one treatment will be observed and compared with that of the Complete treatment 30 to 45 days after planting to come up with results on what macro or micro nutrient is/are lacking in the soil. Fertilizer recommendations are also provided with the kit based on the planting season and desired target yield per hectare.

While the LCC is a cheap, fast and handy field instrument to measure green color intensity of leaf which is related to the plant’s nitrogen content. It is reflected on the chart that the yellowish green (No. 2) represents the lowest nitrogen concentration and the dark green (No. 5) as the highest.

Here, Melendres said that the first LCC reading will be done at 14 days after transplanting using the topmost, fully expanded and healthy leaf at least ten sample plants within the area. Farmer should do the LCC reading between 8:00am and 10:00am and not exposing the instrument to direct sunlight. Reading should be done by placing the middle part of the leaf on top of the LCC’s color strips for comparison.

If more than five out of ten leaves have readings below 4 in transplanted rice and below 3 in direct wet-seeded rice, it is recommended the apply 1 bag Urea/ha during Wet Season (WS) and 1.5 bag/ha during Dry Season (DS). If sulfur is deficient in the soil, farmer may use 2 bags of 21-0-0/ha during WS and 3.5 bags of 21-0-0/ha during DS instead of Urea

Melendres stressed that the same person should take the LCC readings from the first sample plant to the tenth plant every reading. LCC readings should be repeated every seven days until the first flowering stage.

The DA has distributed LCCs to all Municipal Agriculture Offices and encouraged farmers to make use of this tool to assess nitrogen content in their fields. These twin tools were of great help to rice farmers to confirm efficient use of fertilizer in their farms.(JEEOgatis)

Upland villagers in Alimodian get KOICA small scale projects

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The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office 6 turned over on July 20 the small scale projects to the upland residents of Alimodian, Iloilo.

One hundred twenty-three households from the barangays of Dao, Umingan, Manasa, Lico and Cabacanan Rizal benefitted in the phase one implementation of the Panay Island Upland- Sustainable Rural Development Project (PIU-SRDP).

PIU-SRDP aims to improve living and community environment, and to increase household incomes, sustainability, strengthen value chain marketing, and promote ecological awareness of the upland farmers through sustainable rural development.

The initial phase, which was launched last December 23, had focused on the improvement of household conditions including the construction of toilets, concreting of floors, and repair of kitchen and walls, and development of barangay facilities like the construction of barangay and multi-purpose halls, and road riprapping with drainage.

According to DA 6 Regional Technical Director for Operations Manuel O. Olanday, this Korean government-assisted project emphasizes values reorientation and community empowerment adhering to Saemaul Undong’s values of diligence, self-help and cooperation.

Olanday thanked the KOICA group and the residents who worked together for a year to materialize the phase one implementation. He encouraged everyone to be ready for the next phase which will highlight community participation through the provision of income generating projects.

Jina Park, KOICA field manager assigned in barangays of Manasa and Umingan, shared that the second phase, which aims for income generation in selected barangays, will commence on September. She personally thanked the upland villagers for their hardwork and cooperation to complete the projects by themselves through the practice of Bayanihan system.

On the otherhand, municipal mayor Geefre A. Alonsabe said that the Korean government’s intervention will help in making Alimodian as an agri-tourism site soon. Alonsabe also expressed gratitude to KOICA, DA, and the Provincial Government of Iloilo for the successful implementation of small-scale projects in the ‘Seven Cities’.

Three phases of the project—the improvement of living environment, income generation, and promotion of self-confidence among the target beneficiaries are set to be completed by 2020. Other PIU-SRDP pilot sites are in Tapaz and Jamindan in Capiz; Patnongon in Antique; and Libacao, Aklan.#(SMHToreno)

Recoter is new DA 6 regional director

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Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has recently appointed Engr. Remelyn R. Recoter as the new Regional Executive Director (RED) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas effective July 1.
Recoter had worked for the DA-Agricultural Training Institute 6 for 18 years then she became the Regional Technical Director for Operations since 2007 until 2012. In 2013, Recoter was designated to lead the DA in Davao Region after the onslaught of typhoon Pablo.
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Outgoing Regional Executive Director Larry P. Nacionales
During a simple rite held at DA 6 Admin Compound on July 18, outgoing RED Larry P. Nacionales turned over the responsibility to RED Recoter.
Nacionales assured all members of the organization that the new director is a ‘good shepherd’ who knows how to deal people and a new environment. He lauded Recoter for proving her capability when she successfully managed an agency during her stint as the DA Davao Region head for the past three and a half years.
“It’s high time to work as a team, let’s focus and produce more results, be positive and avoid human element,” Nacionales urged.
On the other hand, Recoter assured Nacionales that she will continue the good things implemented by the office.
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New DA 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter
“To where I am now, I owe it a lot to Director Larry for shaping me as a leader.I would like to thank the person for giving me the opportunity to soar high,” Recoter said.
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She further explained, “Kung may pagkukulang, pupunuannatin. This will not be ‘business as usual’.With the new administration we have to work fast, we have to act fast.
The marching order of President Duterte is to produce more affordable and available food, and to stop corruptions in the department. We will have a participatory approach in all our decision-makings toward the attainment of our goals.”
Recoter advised DA 6 employees to follow Sec. Piñol’s facebook page to keep updated with the new policy directions on agriculture and fisheries. #( SMHToreno)