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Knowing the right fertilizer application is now easier with the development of Nutrient Manager for Rice (NMRice), a decision tool currently being used by farmers in the location-specific technology development (LSTD) project sites of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

The performance of NMRice is being evaluated relative to the Leaf Color Chart, which is used to assess nitrogen status of rice plant and with the Minus-One Element Technique, which is used to diagnose soil nutrient status.

Using either the internet or mobile phone, farmers and extension workers could learn the best fertilizer application that matches the needs of the rice crop in a specific field.

A project led by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in partnership with PhilRice and University of the Philippines-Los Baños, NMRice could be accessed by clicking www.irri.org/nmrice or http://webapps.irri.org/nm/ph or by calling, free of charge, 2378 for Globe subscribers. Upgraded access to NMRiceMobile is coming soon for Smart subscribers.

Ruben B. Miranda, PhilRice Deputy Executive Director for Development, said the NMRice software calculates the nutrient requirements based on farmers’ answers to the multiple choice questions on the status of their rice fields. Miranda stressed that recommendations are only suited in a cropping season.

Meanwhile, Eufrocino V. Laureles, IRRI assistant scientist said the NMRice could help farmers achieve their target yield as information on the best time, amount, type of fertilizer needed are also computed with their expected yield. However, he said that the highest expected yield is limited to 9 t/ha.

The computer-based decision tool is a product of years of consolidated research on site-specific nutrient management among scientists from IRRI, PhilRice, and University of the Philippines-Los Banos. Information is available in Bicolano, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Tagalog, and English.

Meanwhile, NMRice mobile, was developed with DA-Agricultural Training Institute, University of Southeastern Philippines, and West Visayas State University.

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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