THROUGH a mechanized farming system, a former “talahiban” or wild grassland in Barangu Sampot, Paniqui, Tarlac has turned into a productive rice farm.
The said piece of land has been barren for a long time. But with the application of technologies like drone broadcasting in rice cultivation, it can attain a yield of 8 metric tons per hectare.
“Unlike the human hand, which can differ in broadcasting strokes, such as when it is already tired, the machine made seed spreading more uniform in plant gaps,” said Aaron Cano, Bayer Crop Science (BCS) new business activation manager.
“It appears wind pressure from the drone also helped firmly establish the seed on the ground,” he added.
“We just used two pumps, so the land never received the water it needed. It is a very marginal area in terms of water supply and land preparation, never been tilled or fertilized but we still got a good yield from the trial,” Cano said.
Danny Tongol of BCS’s Bayer Learning Center said the company’s planting protocol called “Bayer Much More Rice” makes a big difference in yield compared to traditional farmers’ practice.
“The eight tons yield in Paniqui could not have been achieved under usual farmers’ practice. For some farmers, if there is around 20-percent weed occurrence in the farm, that is considered acceptable to them. For us and our ‘Bayer Much More Rice’ recommended package of technology, we aim to maximize yield output and this includes effective weed control” Tongol explained.
From the start, all Arize rice seeds from BCS have inherent resistance to bacterial leaf blight, which is a common problem during the wet season.
The recommendations include sufficient fertilization; control of weeds and plant diseases using of herbicide, fungicide, insecticide; and related crop protection solutions.
The Carlos O. Cojuangco Foundation Inc. (Cocfi) has linked up Tarlac farmers with drone supplier New Hope Corp. and the Bayer Learning Center to come up with the successful technology demonstration farm.
“We should advocate the use of these technologies so that we can at least catch up with our neighbors who are now ahead of us in farming mechanization,” said Robert Randolph Moulic of Cocfi.
While only a small 2,000 square meter land, the model farm yielded 28 cavans at 57.5 to 58 kilos per cavan. Converted into a hectare, this is equivalent to a potential yield of 8.055 tons, equivalent to 8,055 kilos.
Given yield potential of the mechanized rice farm, gross earnings may reach around P150,000 per hectare in one season, at P19 per kilo per palay (unmilled rice) harvested. Deducting about P50,000 production cost per hectare, net profit could reach a whopping P100,000 per hectare per season.