PEST AND NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY BUSTERS. The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in Batac City, Ilocos Norte recently trained 26 rice specialists on pest and nutrient management. Pest management is critical on rice production as failure in this area could lead to an estimated annual average loss of 37%. Meanwhile, excessive nutrients will cause pest damage, lodging, and soil pollution. The participants, who underwent training for three days, were composed of agricultural extension workers, local farmer technicians, farm school owners and workers, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority staff in Ilocos Norte. The training is an initiative of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – Rice Extension Services Program.