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Thursday, December 14, 2017 26° Mostly cloudy

Higher mango yield at lower production cost

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By Zac B. Sarian

  • CARABAO MANGO – The Philippine mango is noted for its superior eating quality but there are many problems encountered in producing a high yield. These include the high cost of fertilizers and chemical pesticides to control pests like hoppers, cecid fly and diseases like anthracnose. There are, however, practical techniques that could reduce expenses like the application of the right fertilizers and crop protection inputs.

  • HORTI FARM TOUR TO EAST-WEST SEED – Members of the Philippine Horticultural Society will go on a field tour of the facilities of the East-West Seed Company in San Rafael, Bulacan on March 26. The group will be led by Dorie S. Bernabe, PHSI chairman. The members of the group are particularly interested in the flowering plants that are being sold by the seed company. Photo shows floriferous Big Begonia, a new variety that was recently introduced by East-West. The group will also visit the Mega Orchid Farm also in San Rafael.

  • MANGO KING – Ricardo Tolentino of Laoag City is the acknowledged Mango King of the Philippines. He is the only grower today with a mango farm that is compliant with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). He says that providing the right fertilizers and use of a minimum of pesticides can reduce the cost of mango production. Excessive use of chemical pesticides, he says, can result in insects that are immune to chemicals and therefore cannot be easily controlled. He is shown here with his profusely flowering carabao mango.

  • YOUNG MAN WITH A BIG DREAM – Dennis Martin is a young farming enthusiast from Isabela with a big dream. With his small farm of 1.5 hectares, he plans to break the world record on rice harvest. He reports that two weeks before panicle initiation, his rice plants have already achieved an average of 40 tillers per hill which could mean a record yield. He practices the so-called SRI or System of Rice Intensification. He is managing the farm together with OJTs from the Isabela State University in Echague. Photo shows him in the field with his beautifully growing rice plants.

    Many mango farmers complain that they spend too much on inputs such as chemicals so that it is difficult to make a profit. Ricardo Tolentino, the acknowledged Mango King from Ilocos Norte, knows how you you can lower the cost of production and get a high yield.

    Tolentino stresses the importance of providing the mango trees with adequate fertilizers of the right kind. At the same time, you have to minimize the use of chemical pesticides to reduce expenses.

    The Mango King recalled that the mango rehabilitation program initiated by Gov. Imee Marcos a few years back had proven that adequate fertilizers can significantly increase yields. For instance, the old mango trees in Ilocos Norte used to produce about 1,000 kilos per tree. Then all of a sudden, the yield went down to just 500 kilos. With just the application of complete fertilizer at five kilos per tree, the yield increased by 40 percent or an additional 200 kilos.

    Now, based on his experience and observations, he recommends applying 6 kilos of processed organic fertilizer, 4 kilos of complete and 2 kilos of 0-0-60 or muriate of potash per mature tree. It is also very important to apply the chemical fertilizers in the right place. As per his observation, the chemical fertilizers should be buried four to six inches deep around 1.5 meters from the trunk. He has observed that the root hairs which take up the nutrients are plentiful in that area. Previously, the recommendation was to apply the fertilizer much farther from the trunk – within the far end covered by the canopy.

    At flower induction – At the time of spraying the trees with flower inducer, Tolentino recommends the inclusion of insecticide and fungicide in the spray solution. By doing this, the emerging flowers will already be protected from insects and fungal diseases. With this, Carding said, you will only need to spray the trees three times against pests and diseases. This is much less than what many mango growers in Pangasinan are doing. There, the growers spray their trees as many as ten times against hoppers. And that is the reason why the insects have become immune to the pesticides in that province.

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    AANI Agri-Bazaar – There is an ongoing AANI Agri-Bazaar cum Agri-Kapihan at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. It started yesterday and will end tomorrow, March 19.

    There are lectures on timely topics like quail raising, mango production, health and wellness and others. There are also fresh and processed farm produce for sale like fruits and vegetables, root crops, rabbits, chicks for free range raising, exotic fruit trees and more.

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    East-West Seed Tour – Members of the Philippine Horticultural Society will have a farm tour of the facilities of East-West Seed Company in San Rafael, Bulacan on Saturday, March 26.

    The group will be headed by Dorie S. Bernabe, PHSI chairman of the board. They are particularly interested in the flowering plants that are being distributed by the seed company. Of course, they will also be interested in the hybrid vegetables and other high-value crops that East-West is producing.

    Aside from East-West, the group will also proceed to the orchid farm of Mega Orchids, also in San Rafael. This is one of the biggest orchid projects in Central Luzon managed by Mr. and Mrs. Al Isidro.

    From Philrice – We got this report from PhilRice that plant breeders headed by Dr. Roel Suralta are developing breeding lines that can produce varieties that are high-yielding and drought resistant that would be good for upland production.

    Rainfed upland areas can poorly accumulate water because of the uneven slope location, absence of bunds, and lower water-holding capacity of the soil.

    The plan is to let the rice plant have the ability to avoid dehydration, basically, to access whatever water source there is through its roots, according to Dr. Suralta.

    Results of the study showed that under upland drought condition, deep and thick nodal roots are not the only root traits that contribute to rice productivity. Traits such as maintenance in nodal root production, deep nodal rooting ability, greater nodal root length ratio, and greater lateral root development also help.

    According to Dr. Suralta, lateral root branching increases the size of contact with the soil for greater water and nutrient uptake. When combined with maximum rooting depth, it may maximize the plant’s ability to avoid dehydration caused by drought.

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