Written by the Web Team
Rice plants in the no-tillage demonstration trial at Brgy. Dimasalang Sur, Talavera, Nueva Ecija stood strong unlike other crops that lodged with the recent heavy rains and strong winds.
“I’m happy with the result of no-tillage technology or preparing the field without plowing and harrowing. My plants have more tillers and the leaves are more robust. Never thought though that this practice could minimize lodging,” Reynaldo dela Cruz, farmer-cooperator said in Filipino.
Roel Suralta of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), crop expert specializing on root studies, said no-tillage retains just the right amount of moisture, which contributes to stronger root system.
“In conventional land preparation, paddy soils are softer because soils are heavily disturbed. A soft soil weakens the holds of the roots,” he said.
Dela Cruz and his fellow cooperator also reported a savings of almost P4,000 for a 6-11 hours of preparing the field. They used to spend more than P9,000/hectare in conventional land preparation, which usually takes at least 17 hours.
Farming for 25 years, dela Cruz said no-tillage technology had saved him 10 days from preparing the land. Through conventional ways, land preparation is usually completed within 20-30 days.
Meanwhile, Carlito Salvador, 75-year-old farmer, said he will try the technology come next cropping season to save on time and expenses.
“Basing on the crop stand, rice yield in this demonstration trial will be more than 5 t/ha, a harvest which I also get from conventional tillage. But what I like most about this technology is the incorporation of rice straw in the soil to be used as additional source of nutrients,” he said in Filipino.
The demonstration trial 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.