Newly commercialized hybrid rice varieties bred by Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and University of the Philippines-Los Baños, withstood tungro infestations in some parts of the country where they were tested for adaptability.
Mestiso 19 (NSIC Rc202H) and Mestiso 20 (NSIC Rc204H) produced high number of tillers and exhibited resistance to tungro in a series of adaptability trials conducted in Cagayan, Leyte, Aurora, and Palawan during this year’s dry season.
Ernesto Andaya, farmer-cooperator in Taytay, Palawan, attested that the varieties had survived infestations, which occurred in the demonstration fields. Tungro, which means degenerated growth, causes stunted rice plant and less tillers and reduces yield by 80-100%.
“The adaptability trial enables us to see the performance of rice varieties and learn which of them is suitable in our area. The result convinced me to try Mestiso 19 and Mestiso 20,” the 70-year-old farmer said.
Meanwhile, PhilRice Executive Director Eufemio T. Rasco Jr. told about 600 rice farmers that Mestiso 19 could help boost the yield and income of Mindanao farmers.
“Adaptability trials show that Mestiso 19 showed consistent good performance in both wet and dry seasons in Mindanao than in some parts in Visayas,” Rasco said in a recent farmers’ field day and forum in Midsayap, North Cotabato.
With its resistance to some pests, Rasco said Mestiso 19 can be planted in wet season.
Mestiso 19 could yield as high as 10.7 t/ha and matures in 110 days Aside from tungro, it has intermediate reaction to blast and brown planthopper. However, it is susceptible to bacterial leaf blight.
On the other hand, Mestiso 20 registered maximum yield of 11.7 t/ha and matures in 111 days. It is moderately resistant to green leafhopper and brown planthopper and has intermediate reaction to blast. In some areas, it is susceptible to tungro and bacterial leaf blight.
The adaptability tests of the newly-released inbred and hybrid rice varieties are conducted in 69 areas in the country. PhilRice spearheads the trials in collaboration with the local government units and the municipal agricultural offices.