Adrian Manza on the cover of the August 2018 issue of Agriculture Magazine.
A model of a conpact farm that is viable and sustainable is featured in the August issue of Agriculture Magazine that will be off the press in a few days. The article, written by Julio P. Yap, Jr., features the model compact farm developed by Neil T. Pedralvez and his wife Cheryll in Brgy. Maligaya, Dinalupihan, Bataan.
To be economically viable, the compact farm should be at least 500 to 2,000 square meters which is bigger than the typical backyard garden. According to the article, the concept of a sustainable compact farm revolves around the three-crop rule which includes the cash crop, the insurance crop and the main crop.
Upland kangkong is a favorite money-maker in a compact farm.
Neil Pedralvez and his wife Cherry.
The cash crop could consist of short term varieties like lettuce that are planted on a weekly basis, providing a continuous cash flow. Pedralvez explains that the insurance crops are vegetables in-season that are resilient to calamities like pest infestation. One example is the right variety of hot pepper that has long life and also commands a good price, especially when harvest is in short supply. The right variety of radish which does not require a big investment but which commands a good price is another example of an insurance crop.
On the other hand, the main crops are those that are considered off-season which could fetch higher prices when sold. One example is tomato that can be grown during the wet season. Another is a sweet corn variety that is resistant to diseases during the rainy months.
Eggplant as an insurance crop.
Adrian Manza and Asham Zahid examine big ears of Hybrid Corn of the Future.
Pedralvez, by the way, is a chief agrarian reform project officer at the Region 3 office of the Department of Agrarian Reform.
ORGANIC GARDEN PEA – The August Agriculture Magazine also features a detailed article on Organic Production of Garden Pea in the Highlands, courtesy of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).
The guide includes uses and nutritional value of garden pea, recommended varieties, soil and climate requirements, land preparation, planting, steps in compost production, production of organic plant supplement, application of trichoderma in field plots, pest and disease management and others.
FREE PRIMER – Readers would be interested to know that a primer on fertilizers and plant nutrition could be had for free from Zetryl Chem Philippines headed by Danton B. Pajarillaga. The company is the distributor of biostimulants that can boost crop production without the use of toxic chemicals.
FOR RUMINANT RAISERS – Growers of ruminants like goats will be happy to know that there is an article which shows how to Minimize Parasitic Infestation in Ruminants During the Wet Season. Parasitism, according to the article, brings enormous losses to the farm and causes anemia, decreased resistance to infection, poor breeding efficiency, reduced production of meat and milk, and weight loss, all of which can lead to death when left untreated.
Here’s an important point in the article. “To alleviate the ill effects of parasitism, farmers need to institute an integrated farm management approach. However, they need to understand first the cycle of infection, which begins when parasite-infested animals excrete manure with worm eggs. These eggs mature into effective larvae in the pasture. The larvae travel to the blades of grass and shrubs, usually early in the morning when blades are moist. Then these mature into full-grown worms in the stomach of the grazing animals that ingested them.
MEMOIRS – Other interesting features include short memoirs of this agri journalist. These items include the most profitable farm animal raised by the late Don Enrique Zobel; Jose Abellar who introduced wire cages in poultry farms; elite pigs in air-conditioned quarters; a most successful resettlement project in Thailand, and other features.
Agriculture Magazine is the most widely circulated agricultural magazine in the Philippines today. It is distributed nationwide through bookstores and outlets of Manila Bulletin.