“Planting rice is never fun…Bending over till the set of sun”. That’s the opening lyric of the old planting rice song. Today, it is a different tune altogether, according to progressive smallholder farmers we interviewed during the “Piyestang Syngenta”, an event in Cabanatuan City attended by more than 150 men and women farmers on July 11, 2018. The new tune could as well be “Planting rice is now fun and very profitable too, with the new technologies.’
Rustico Guansing (left) and Zac B. Sarian at the Piyestang Syngenta in Cabanatuan City, July 11, 2018. Guansing does not have to perform back-breaking work to grow rice. Land preparation, planting and harvesting are now mechanized.
Syngenta’s S 6003 has potential yield of more than 10 tons per hectare.
Rustico Guansing, 60, of Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija confesses that he does not have to perform back-breaking chores to produce high yield of rice on his 2.5 hectares of irrigated land. He owns a handtractor and he just pays P800 to two hired operators to prepare his land for planting in one day.
Even in planting the seedlings, he does not have to bend till the set of sun. That is because he is a member a cooperative that received a rice transplanter from the Department of Agriculture. He just pays P1,000 for planting one hectare with the machine. If he had to hire workers to plant the seedlings, he would have to spend P5,000 to plant one hectare.
During the last dry season, Guansing was able to harvest 19,604 kilos from his 2.5 hectares planted to hybrid rice. He was able to sell his harvest at P21 per kilo so he was able to gross P411,684 from the 2.5 hectares. And his cost of production? The average total cost is P40,000 to P50,000 per hectare. So there is really a very good profit from growing hybrid rice using modern inputs like Armure, a fungicide from Syngenta that does not only provide protection to the rice plants from fungal infection. It provides much more benefits, according to Guansing. The plants develop extensive roots so they are better anchored in the field. It also induces heavy tillering which results in more panicles. And the panicles are fully filled so the harvest is heavier. Plants treated with Armure, he said, are very robust and hardy.
During the rainy season, Guansing plants NSIC 222, an inbred variety which is also high-yielding and the cost of seeds is much lower – just about P1,200 per hectare compared to the P4,800 to P5,000 per hectare in the case of hybrid varieties. His inbred variety yielded 180 cavans per hectare during the last rainy season.
Harvesting his rice crop is also no hassle for Rustico Guansing. He hires the services of a private operator who harvests the crops of other farmers. He just pays the harvester 10 cavans for every 100 cavans harvested.
That rice farming is no longer a back-breaking activity if you use the improved farming technologies are confirmed by two other farmers we interviewed at the Piyestang Syngenta. One fellow is Montano Ramos of Brgy. Mallorca, San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija. From his 2.7 hectares that he planted to hybrid rice last summer, he was able to harvest 29,532 kilos that he sold for more than P500,000. He said he spent only about P100,000 to produce the 29 tons.
Pastor Nieto, also of San Leonardo, has the same experience. Last dry season, he produced 27,900 kilos from his three-hectare farm. His total cost of production was P55,000 per hectare or P165,000 for the three hectares. It was also a very profitable crop for him. Like Guansing and Nieto, he said that Armure is really one input that increases rice harvests.
Nieto used to be a taxi driver in Manila for more than ten years before he went back to his native San Leonardo to do his brand of farming. That was after getting married.
By the way, Syngenta has three outstanding rice hybrids that are making rice farmers rich. These are NK 5017, S 6003 and RH 9000. They have potential yields of more than 10 tons per hectare.
Now you see, rice farming can be more fun and profitable with the right technologies.
SYNGENTA’S NK 5017