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Sunday, February 18, 2018 30° Mostly cloudy

Promising forage crop grows fast

Published

By Zac B. Sarian

  • GEUKDONG-PH AT 45 DAYS – Dante Delima, operations manager of Agri-Tech Integrated Services Corporation (Atisco), poses with a thick growth of Geukdong-PH which is only 45 days old at the company’s experimental farm. After doing production trials and laboratory nutrient analysis, seeds for planting are now being released. It is similar to the Geukdong grass in Korea, seeds of which Delima also obtained.

  • HARVESTING GEUKDONG-PH – Photo shows a worker harvesting Geukdong-PH at the research farm of Atisco. The grass is very palatable so that it is well-liked by cattle, goats, sheep and other farm animals. The harvested material can be fed fresh to the animals but could also be made into silage for the farmer’s own use or for sale. Goat raisers are particularly interested in buying silage for feeding their animals in confinement.

  • GEUKDONG-PH SEEDS – Photo shows a 150-gram pack of Geukdong-PH seeds containing about 1,900 to 2,000 seeds being sold at R100. Planting is just like planting corn. Furrows are made 50 centimeters apart. Two to three seeds are planted per hill distanced 50 centimeters apart.

  • 16 TONS OF EGGPLANT PER HECTARE – Lito Cabrera, an eggplant planter from Candelaria, Quezon was able to increase his yield per hectare through proper plant nutrition. In the last season, he was able to harvest 16.28 metric tons per hectare compared to 13.01 tons per hectare previously. One reason he gives is his use of a foliar fertilizer called Megatonic which significantly boosts plant growth and yield. Megatonic is distributed by Ramgo Seeds.

  • SHEEP FARMING BECOMING POPULAR – More and more farmers are raising sheep for a number of good reasons. For one, it is easier to raise than goats as they are more hardy and less prone to diseases. Sheep for breeding, especially the Dorper breed, command a high price. According to Jeff Lim of Gerona, Tarlac, who has 500 sheep in his flock, a 4-month old male Dorper sells for R20,000 while the female costs R25,000. Dorper can be used to upgrade the so-called native breed and other breeds.

  • FREE AZTEC SPIRULINA FARM TOUR – People who are interested to visit the most modern spirulina farm in the country and learn about the many health benefits of spirulina should register for the free farm tour to be conducted at the Aztec Spirulina Farm in Cainta, Rizal. Spirulina is a blue green algae that is rich in protein. In fact, it has been mentioned by the UN-FAO as the most complete food in the world. Those interested to attend the free farm tour on January 17 may contact Engr. Pol Puente at 0917-837-7947. Attendees will witness the very modern facilities of the farm and listen to lecture on the health benefits of spirulina.

    A promising forage grass has been released by Agri-Tech Integrated Services Corporation (Atisco) after undertaking production trials and nutrient content analysis. This is what Dante Delima, Atisco operations manager, calls Geukdong-PH  which is similar to the Geukdong grass in Korea.

    The plant grows fast under local conditions so that it can be harvested in 60 days after planting and every 45 days thereafter. It is a perennial grass so that it will regrow after each harvest.

    As per laboratory analysis, Geukdon-PH has protein content of 13.9 percent. Cattle, goats and other farm animals love to eat it because it is very palatable. It is more tender than napier grass so that the animals eat every part of the harvested forage given to them. It is also a good material for making silage.

    Geukdong-PH is propagated by seed. Planting is similar to planting corn. The soil should be well prepared and furrows for planting are 50 centimeters apart. Two to three seeds are placed per hill distanced at 50 centimeters apart.

    Applying organic as well as chemical fertilizer will be beneficial. To further boost growth, the plants could be sprayed with Power Grower Combo as early as when they have four leaves. This will make the plants shoot up very fast and will also promote more tillering.

    Seeds for planting are now available in 150-gram packs containing 1,900 to 2,000 seeds per pack, costing only P100. Inquiries may be made at 0947-409-4700. If you want to produce seeds, according to Dante, you allow the second ratoon to reach maturity so that the plants will produce seeds.

    BRIEF UPDATE ON JEFF LIM – Many years back, we wrote about Jeff Lim when he was just starting his goat project in Gerona, Tarlac. His family then was in the manufacture of noodles. When we talked to him a few days ago, he said the noodle business is long gone and he is devoting his full time to his small ruminants – goats and sheep.

    Jeff has gone a long way in his livestock project. He now has about 800 goats, mostly of the Anglo Nubian breed for meat and milk. Right now, about 50 does are in the milk line each producing one liter of milk a day. He sells his pasteurized milk at P150 per liter. Everything is sold right in Tarlac.

    He also sells breeding animals. Male goats, 4 to 6 months old, are priced at P15,000 while the females are P20,000 each. Only those not suitable for breeding are sold for slaughter at P130 to P180 kilo liveweight. Usually one slaughter animal weighs from 25 to 40 kilos each.

    SHEEP – Jeff has 500 sheep in his flock, mostly Dorper and upgrades. Dorper is a fast-growing breed with a broad body conformation. Male sheep for breeding are sold at P20,000 while the females are higher at P25,000 each.

    The goats and sheep are confined. They are fed with silage and fresh forage. Jeff has rented a 12-hectare farm to grow his forage crops that include Pakchong, mulberry, ipil-ipil madre cacao and others. The animals are each given 1.5 kilos of corn silage a day. Since silage making also entails much labor in harvesting and chopping the materials, he prefers to just buy from Eugene Gabriel from Isabela at P4.50 per kilo. He also gives his breeders and those in the milk line with concentrate at half kilo a day. He has his own feed formulation with 16 percent protein content, toll-milled by a private company.

    FREE SPIRULINA FARM TOUR – If you want to observe how spirulina is produced at the Aztec Spirulina Farm in Cainta, Rizal, you can register by contacting Engr. Pol Puente at 0917-837-7947. The tour will be held on January 14, 2017.

    During the tour you will witness how the blue-green algae are produced under modern facilities that are very hygienic. You will also listen to a lecture on the many health benefits of spirulina which has been tagged by the UN-FAO as the most complete food in the world. Aztec Spirulina has been analyzed to contain 72% protein.

     

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