Climate change is escalating the risks in farming particularly in the more vulnerable areas that are prone to drought, flood, and typhoon conditions. Pests and diseases in these areas have acquired adaptability, which contributes to the complexity of crop management.

Fortunately, localized weather forecasts are being institutionalized to mitigate the risks. Doable crop management advisories are being provided to help farmers respond to farming contingencies appropriately.

One of the components of DA PhilRice Batac’s Farm Wise project is to elevate farmers’ resiliency in farming. It generates localized weather forecasts and advisories, with the active involvement of agricultural extension workers (AEWs) who deliver the advisories to the farmers.

To do this, the AEWs are being trained to craft the advisories themselves as part of their work and eventually make the municipal/city agriculture offices as hubs of science-based farming advisories. The project generates and disseminates weather forecasts and crop management advisories on a municipal level with at least 10-day lead time.

A 10-day localized weather outlook from PAGASA is processed per municipality for Ilocos Norte/Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan. The data is published at the PhilRice Batac Facebook page and sent through text blasts.

According to Engr. Juanito M. Maloom, agrometeorology expert and currently leading this initiative, “localized weather forecasts along with right crop management advisories can be packaged and disseminated at the right time to aid in the decision-making of farmers, making them adapt better to adversities.”

This project tackles the need to increase efficiency of farm inputs, reduce the ill effects of pests and diseases, and improve the technologies that can be adapted.

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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