To help the farmers cope with and mitigate the extreme impacts of El Niño, PhilRice encourages farmers to plant drought-tolerant varieties and use El Niño-ready technologies on rice production.
PAGASA recently reported that the ongoing El Niño condition is likely to continue until early 2016 with chances of strengthening toward the end of the year.
For irrigated lowland, farmers may consider planting several early-maturing varieties such as PSB Rc10 (Pagsanjan), NSIC Rc130 (Tubigan 3) and NSIC Rc152 (Tubigan 10). Pagsanjan matures in 106 days with a maximum yield of 7.5t/ha. Tubigan 3 matures in 108 days with a maximum yield of 7.6t/ha while Tubigan 10 matures in 109 days with a maximum yield of 8.7t/ha.
Farmers may also plant NSIC Rc134 (Tubigan 4), an early-maturing variety (107 days) with a maximum yield of 9.8t/ha and NSIC Rc160 (Tubigan 14) also an early-maturing variety (107 days) with a maximum yield of 8.2t/ha.
For rainfed lowland, farmers may choose from NSIC Rc192 (Sahod Ulan 1), PSB Rc14 (Rio Grande), and PSB Rc68 (Sacobia). Sahod Ulan 1 matures in 106 days with a maximum yield of 5.5t/ha. Rio Grande matures in 110 days with a maximum yield of 6.1t/ha. Sacobia matures in 116 days with a maximum yield of 4.4t/ha. These varieties are also known for their drought-tolerant properties preferable in areas where El Niño is expected to hit worst.
Drought-tolerant varieties for the uplands include PSB Rc80 (Pasig), PSB Rc9 (Apo), and NSIC Rc23 (Katihan 1). Pasig can yield up to 8.7t/ha and matures in 112 days. Apo matures in 119 days with a maximum yield of 5.6 t/ha while Katihan 1 matures in 108 days with a maximum yield of 7.6t/ha.
Farmers can also use water-saving technologies such as controlled irrigation or alternate wetting and drying (AWD), aerobic rice, drip irrigation, and reduced tillage technology.
Meanwhile, PhilRice continues to roll-out information materials on El Niño. Said communication resources are available for download from the institute’s website (www.philrice.gov.ph).
Farmers can also contact the PhilRice Text Center (0920-911-1398) should they want to know more about El Niño and the technologies that they can use to reduce the losses brought about by the phenomenon.