Use of precision seeder cuts production cost, boosts harvest

Jerry Respicio, a 53-year-old rice farmer from Aglipay, Quirino, saved P5,500 in labor cost and increased his harvest by 30cav (50kg each) when he used precision seeder in planting.

“Before, I spent at least P10,000 for manual transplanting. This was reduced to P4,500 when I practiced direct seeding through the precision seeder introduced to us. My plants also grew healthy and uniformly,” Respicio said.

He added that his harvest increased from 80-90 to 120cav/ha.

Direct seeding using precision seeder was introduced to him when he participated as a farmer-cooperator in the 2021 dry season Palaysikatan technology demonstration.

Before shifting to direct seeding, Jerry used to transplant his rice crop manually for almost two decades. He shared that manual transplanting takes a lot of effort and labor cost is high as it requires 10-20 persons to transplant the seedlings.

“This method is proven beneficial to farmers in reducing production cost. With modern technologies, we can see yields increasing. It is also strategic now because it is difficult to find laborers to do manual transplanting. Direct seeding is the best option,” Joy C. Evallo, municipal agriculturist, noted.

She assured that the local government unit’s efforts to encourage farmers to adopt direct seeding continues.

Through the 33-ha technology demonstration fields, more farmers in Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga, and Ifugao witnessed technologies on direct seeding using drum seeder, precision seeder, drone seeder, and seed spreader this dry season.

The Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Seed Program through DA-PhilRice Isabela pursues to establish more PalaySikatan techno-demos in other areas in Cagayan and the Cordillera Administrative Region to further promote cost-reducing and yield-enhancing technologies. RCEF was created by the Rice Tariffication Law.

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