The talk of the town in Region 12 in Mindanao is the successful direct seeding of hybrid rice in both the dry and wet seasons in Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat. The dry-seeded rice on 200 hectares were well established and growing beautifully when the photo shown here was taken. Subsequently a 2,000-hectare demo of direct-seeded hybrid rice was also very successful, according to Engr. Milagros Casis, Executive Director of the region.
The demo farms using Tatag Hybrid TH82 from SeedWorks Philippines were undertaken by Regional Field Office 12 of the Department of Agriculture in an effort to increase productivity of farms that are traditionally direct-seeded with the use of inbred varieties in the region. The region is popularly referred to as SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos).
With the very successful result of the direct-seeding demos, the DA officials in the region as well as the executives of SeedWorks Philippines headed by Carlos Saplala are very excited because the technique could be adopted in the 90,000 hectares that are traditionally direct seeded with inbred varieties in the wet season and the 60,000 hectares during the dry season.
Why are the agriculture officials excited? Because direct seeding could significantly reduce the cost of planting. At the same time, the use of hybrid rice will result in higher yields and bigger profits for the rice farmers. Even the 190,000 hectares traditionally devoted to transplanted rice could possibly be converted to direct seeding.
In past years, techno demos in dry seeding using hybrid varieties were attempted but were not successful, according to Precilla B. Baldonado, Community Service Office’s focal person from Purok Bannawag, Brgy. Palumbre in Lambayong.
The SeedWorks Mindanao Team headed by Frank Aguda convinced the agriculture officials in the region to try Tatag Hybrid TH82 for the wet season direct seeding and dry seeding in the summer months. Aguda was confident that TH82 is highly suited for direct seeding in the wet months and dry seeding in the dry months because of its hybrid vigor and a robust root system that enables the plants to take up nutrients more efficiently and are also more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses.