Rice farmers were impressed by the ride-on precision seeder that is showcased in a field day and forum held in Sta. Cruz, Zambales, Oct. 13.

The said field day introduced the precision seeder to Zambales farmers through a demo wherein the machine seeded about 2ha of rice field with NSIC Rc 222. The precision rice seeder is a self-propelled planting equipment that accurately drops seeds at a precise depth and spacing. It can plant dry, soaked, and incubated seeds.

Bermy Miano, chairman of Guisguis Farmers Association, said that the precision seeder is helpful to them as it could reduce labor costs and seeding rate.

“I broadcast 80kg of seeds per hectare. But through the precision seeder, 20-40kg of seeds is already enough for a hectare. I also spend P12,000 for 20 farm hands in seeding. With the machine, we only need one operator,” he said.

He also took note of the machine’s good planting distance, which will result in the seedling’s uniform growth. Experts said that with uniform growth, healthy seedlings produce a good canopy and every plant can avail of sufficient sunlight and soil nutrients.

Meanwhile, Evelyn Buncato, said that she is impressed by the machine’s feature of covering up seeds that are buried in the ground.

 “This feature is useful as it prevents birds from eating the seeds,” she said.

She also liked how canals were automatically created, which could free them from additional labor costs.

Similar field day and forum was also conducted in the province in September, wherein Diosdado Movilla, shared that he harvested 6t/ha from NSIC Rc 436 after he used precision seeder for the first time.

In association with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the local government of Zambales, Philippine Rice Research Institute the project, “Building capacity on promoting economically and environmentally efficient rice production through direct-seeded rice,” which aims to strengthen the use of direct-seeding technologies.

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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