Cagayan Valley leads way in mechanized rice direct seeding

Published January 19, 2018, 2:00 PM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Zac B. Sarian

Cagayan Valley could easily be called the leader in mechanizing harvesting rice in the country. It has the most number of rice harvesting machines at present, especially in Isabela. Aside from Isabela, the region consists of Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Batanes.

Today, Cagayan Valley or Region 2 is once again leading the way in adopting the mechanized rice direct seeding technology by acquiring the latest model of the 8-row seeder from the Korea Agricultural Machinery Cooperative (KAMICO) represented by Fitcorea in the Philippines. Several such machines have been bought by the Department of Agriculture and are now being used by members of cooperatives.

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The mechanized direct-seeding technology offers significant advantages to farmers. Foremost is that it can cut production costs in several ways. First, it uses much less seeds than when direct seeding is done manually. Farmers usually use 150 to 200 kilos of seeds per hectare when they do manual direct seeding. On the other hand, direct seeding by machine requires only 40 to 80 kilos per hectare.

Mechanized direct seeding also cuts cost on labor and the job is finished much faster. The direct-seeding machine plants the seeds in equal distances and in straght rows. That means, it is possible to mechanize weed control if the use of herbicide is not done.

Direct-seeded rice matures about 10 days earlier than the transplanted rice. This means that the crop is exposed for a shorter period to the vagaries of inclement weather like floods and typhoons as well as destructive pests.

In a one-year research a few years back, the Korean riding type seeder and the PhilRice drum seeder were evaluated at the PhilRice Central Experiment Station. It was found that the Korean direct seeder can finish seeding four hectares in one day while the PhilRice drum seeder can only seed one hectare in one day.

Results showed that Korea’s riding type seeder attained higher yield than the PhilRice drum seeder. This was due to better placement of seeds by the Korean seeder that resulted in good seedling emergence and crop growth. The placement of seeds is slightly drilled and covered with soil, and compact in one hill unlike the PhilRice drum seeder where the seeds are placed on the surface of the soil and slightly scattered.

For the wet season direct seeding, it is recommended that the field be well prepared and leveled to achieve good emergence of the seedlings and crop growth. The seeds are soaked for 24 hours and incubated for another 24 hours. Draining of the field should be done four days before seeding.

The performance evaluation of the Korean seeder and the PhilRice drum seeder was under the auspices of DA-PhilRice in collaboration with the Korea Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA) headed by director Dr. Kim Jae Duk.

AANI Farm Visit – AANI will conduct a farm visit to the famous Dioko Ecotourism Park and Resort in San Joaquin, San Pablo City in Laguna on January 28, 2018 (a Sunday). Participants will be able to observe many practical farming and gardening ideas in the 30-hectare farm resort put up by Vice Mayor Celso Dioko of Muntinglupa and helped by his brother Virgilio Dioko as resident manager.

The farm boasts of a modern Bahay Kubo which is surrounded by the vegetables mentioned in the song “Bahay Kubo.” There are organically grown leafy vegetables outdoors as well as inside greenhouses. The vegetables grown outdoors are in between fruit trees that include pummelos, durian, sweet sampaloc, pomegranate and others.

There is also a mushroom house which produces oyster mushrooms commercially. Other attractions are the tropical strawberry, melons inside the green house, vermiculture to produce organic fertilizer, veggies grown the hydroponics way, honeybee production, butterfly garden and others.

Those interested to join should contact Jocelyn Mahipus at 0917-795-0916 for more information.