Would you believe that a new foliar fertilizer formulation can accelerate the growth of Pakchong 1, also popularly called Super Napier, up to 15 feet tall in just 70 days from planting? And the amazing part is that the yield can be more than a thousand tons of herbage per hectare in just one cutting.
The new liquid foliar fertilizer, called VB Tall, is a formulation of Alfonso G. Puyat who has been doing a lot of research on plant growth accelerators. Earlier, he invented the Power Grower Combo and the Heavy Weight Tandem which have become popular with farmers because of their efficacy in accelerating the growth of various crops that also results in much higher yields.
Rodrigo B. España, an accredited researcher of the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), conducted the research on the efficacy of VB Tall on Super Napier in his research station in Brgy. San Jose, General Santos City. The study was conducted from January 12 to March 21, 2016.
Three-node cuttings were planted for the trial. One treatment did not receive any fertilization. Another treatment received only the recommended rate of chemical (inorganic) fertilizer. The third treatment received only the recommended rate of organic fertilizer. The fourth treatment was fertilized half the recommended rate of chemical fertilizer and half the recommended rate of VB Tall. The 5th treatment received the full recommended rate of VB Tall only while the 6th treatment received the full rate of chemical fertilizer and full rate of VB Tall (250 ml) mixed with 200 liters of water. In all the three treatments with VB Tall, the liquid fertilizer was sprayed only once on January 28 when the leaves were about 10 inches long.
The six treatments were replicated three times. These are the results. The plants given the full rate of VB Tall and chemical fertilizer gave a computed average herbage of 1,288 tons per hectare. In contrast, the plants with no fertilization produced only 264.36 tons. Even the plants that were only sprayed with the full rate of VB Tall gave a computed yield of 1,212 tons per hectare while the plants sprayed with half dose of chemical fertilizer and half rate of VB Tall produced 1,101.88 tons per hectare.
Aside from growing fast, the plants treated with VB Tall produced many more tillers than those that were not sprayed. The plants that received the full recommended rate of VB Tall and chemical fertilizer produced 845,547.10 tillers compared to only 155,554 for the unfertilized treatment.
SIGNIFICANCE: Pakchong 1 is a very nutritious forage crop which could be fed to cattle, carabaos and other livestock. It means that even a few hectares of growing area can already support a big number of cattle for fattening or for breeding, raised in confinement and supplied with forage on a cut-and-carry system. The leaves and stalks can be chopped before feeding. The grass can also be made into silage to be stored for future feeding.
AS INDUSTRIAL FUEL – Pakchong can also be harvested and dried for use as industrial fuel. Cement factories as well as other companies that require big volumes of fuel can make use of Pakchong 1. In fact, we know of someone who is looking for a big area for growing the fast growing grass which he intends to sell to cement factories.
ANOTHER POSSIBILITY – The research trial was conducted for two reasons. The first one is to test the efficacy of the product. The research was also commissioned for the purpose of eventually licensing the commercial production of the same. Another big possibility is that VB Tall could also be effective in accelerating the growth of sugarcane. If it does, then the sugar industry can benefit a lot from the new product.