Written by Charisma Love B Gado


While businesses are promoting goods for less such as dress or travel for less, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) advances products for more – more yield and income.   A promise that could make farmer’s mornings perfect.

Noli Estoy, a 43-year-old farmer from Victoria, Tarlac had recently experienced not-so-good morning. He skipped breakfast and was stranded for two hours due to heavy rains before reaching PhilRice.

“My morning was all rush just to be at PhilRice. After monitoring my field, I hurriedly changed clothes and missed breakfast because I have to be at our assembly place at 6 am. Then it rained so hard that I traveled with my fellow farmers to Nueva Ecija by 8 am,” the first-time PhilRice visitor narrated in Filipino.

However, he said that the discomforts faded when he saw the good crop stand of rice varieties, specially hybrids, planted at PhilRice experimental station.

“I tried some of the varieties planted here during the dry season in 2011. Looking at the crop stand, I could tell that they also do well in the wet season,” the farmer for two decades said.

Estoy, who plants different varieties every season, said he will try the PhilRice-recommended varieties such as Mestiso 29 (NSIC Rc244H), Mestiso 38 (NSIC Rc262H), and Tubigan 22 (NSIC Rc240) as they could yield as high as 10-11 t/ha.

High with hybrid

Hybrid rice is the product of crossing two rice plants with superior qualities. They are named Mestiso after a river in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Mestiso 38, 29, 20, and 19, hybrid varieties bred by PhilRice and their collaborators such as the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, have an average yield of 6.4 – 11.2 t/ha.  Most of the varieties could be planted in field conditions similar to Cagayan, Bohol, Bukidnon, Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and General Santos.

Mestiso 38

Its yield ranges from 6.4 to 10.4 t/ha and could be 114 days after transplanting. It has moderate resistance to blast, bacterial leaf blight, stem borer, brown plant hopper, and green leaf hopper.

Mestiso 29

It has an average harvest of 7 t/ha but could yield as high as 11.2 t/ha. Maturing in 110 days after transplanting, it is moderately resistant to white and yellow stem borer and brown plant and green leaf hopper. Although it is susceptible against blast, BLB, sheath blight, and tungro, this variety could perform well in the wet season.

Mestiso 19

With an average yield of 6.7 – 10.7 t/ha, this variety is moderately resistant to green leaf hopper and yellow stem borer. It is also susceptible to bacterial leaf blight and tungro and matures in 110 days after transplanting.

Mestiso 20

This variety, which matures in 111 days after transplanting, is high yielding at 6.7 t-11.7 t/ha; and moderately resistant to blast, sheath blight, white stem borer. However, it is susceptible to bacterial leaf blight and tungro.

New inbred varieties

Multi-location yield testing showed that Tubigan 22 has an average yield of about 6
t/ha. It has yield potential of about 11 t/ha when transplanted and about 8 t/ha as direct-seeded rice.  Maturing in 108 days when direct-seeded and 115 days when transplanted, it is resistant to blast, sheath blight, bacterial leaf blight, and white stem borer.

Malagkit 5, a good yielding glutinous variety with 7 t/ha maximum yield, matures in 122 days and has moderate resistance to whiteheads, brown planthopper, green leaf hopper, and yellow stem borer. It is also slightly aromatic when cooked.

“I could be a better farmer now [these new varieties]. Visiting PhilRice in a rainy weather with an empty stomach is one of the most fruitful days of my life,” Estoy added.

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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