Written by the Web Team
An alternative farm technique that could help reduce rice production cost is benefitting farmers in three agrarian reform communities in Talavera, Nueva Ecija.
No-tillage technology or preparing the field without plowing or harrowing had lessened land preparation time and expenses of farmer-cooperators in Dimasalang Sur, Brgy. Homestead II, and San Ricardo.
In a Farmers’ Field Day and Forum in Brgy. Dimasalang Sur and Homestead, June 14 and 15, respectively, Reynaldo dela Cruz said the alternative technology had reduced his land preparation time from a month to 20 days.
Dela Cruz’ farm laborers also relayed that transplanting is easier with no-tillage technology.
“They (farm help) were able to finish the work fast! What’s good with this technology is that it softens the soil and properly leveled the field,” he said.
Dela Cruz said he was almost tempted to plow his field when stubbles still abound after first passing.
On the third passing, however, weeds were already decomposed even without using herbicides. The farmer for 25 years said flooding the field at 3 cm-level is enough to control the weeds.
Meanwhile, Roy Ramos said he had saved much on fuel with the no-tillage technology. Ramos usually consumes 8 l/day in conventional. When he tried the alternative technology, he only used about 4 l during the entire land preparation.
“I only spent around P1,000 in land preparation this season! Before, fuel and labor cost were around P5,000,” he said.
Ramos applied effective microorganisms or beneficial microorganisms to decompose the stubbles and control the weeds.
Another Farmers’ Field Day and Forum on no-tillage technology is set in three barangays in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija in July.
“We will also assess the yield difference between the conventional and no-tillage tillage plots after this season,” Celia Abadilla, project team member added.
Pilot-testing the technology in agrarian reform communities is part of the No-Tillage and PalayCheck System for Irrigated Rice Production project signed early this year between PhilRice and the Department of Agrarian Reform. The Bureau of Agricultural Research funds the project.