Farmers whose irrigation is at the tail end of the National Irrigation Administration’s water supply system may benefit from a water management technique promoted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute of the Department of Agriculture (DA-PhilRice).

Fredierick Saludez, DA-PhilRice agriculturist, said that the Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) technology, with the aid of an observation well, can help reduce irrigation water consumption without lowering rice yield. Observation wells are used to monitor changes in groundwater levels.

“Rice plants don’t need continuous irrigation. There are stages that we can minimize it without affecting the plants’ growth and yield,” Saludez explained in a recent “Palaywakin ang Galing” session aired on the Institute’s Facebook pages.

He elaborated that in implementing AWD, farmers can start irrigating the field based on the observation well 21-30 days or four weeks after planting. Before this, irrigate the field with 2-3cm water depth.

“Irrigation can be controlled after one month because the seedlings are already well established, and weeds can easily be managed,” he explained.

He added that intermittent flooding allows the soil to have enough oxygen during the tillering period.

During flowering, 5cm depth of standing water must be maintained to avoid the development of unfilled grains because of insufficient water.

For uniform development of the grains, irrigation must be drained a week before harvest for light-textured soil and two weeks before harvest for heavy-textured soil.

“Palaywakin ang Galing: yunPALAYun” is a campaign that promotes the technologies and services of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP).

The RCEF-RESP is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law authored by Sen Cynthia A. Villar. The RTL allocates P1 billion every year to enhance the capacities of rice farmers to become competitive in rice production. For more information about the program, queries can be sent to DA-ATI  thru 0920 946 2474.

Browse to watch the full episode and visit to read more about AWD.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute