RELAY CROPPING: A Practical Idea At Jose Madriaga’s Farm In Tay-ac, Bantay, Ilocos Sur

RELAY CROPPING: A Practical Idea At Jose Madriaga's Farm In Tay-ac, Bantay, Ilocos Sur

JOSE P.MADRIAGA, 53, is a multi-awarded diversified farmer with practical ideas in maximizing production in his 8.5-hectare farm in Tay-ac, Bantay, Ilocos Sur. One such practice is called relay cropping. This is done by planting a new crop in a field with standing crop so that when the first crop has been harvested, the intercropped variety will already be yielding new harvest.

RELAY CROPPING: A Practical Idea At Jose Madriaga's Farm In Tay-ac, Bantay, Ilocos Sur
Jose Madriaga has planted tomato as relay crop in his onion field. Aside from the fruits he will harvest, the tomatoes help repel attacking insects, thus protecting the onion plants from pests.

One example is what he has done on his field planted to Red Dragon onion. When the onions were 50 days old, he planted tomato seedlings in appropriate distances in the onion plantation. When the onions are harvested about 50 or 55 days later, the tomatoes will already be starting to produce ripe fruits. Harvesting could last for 15 to 20 harvests. He has planted a very high-yielding tomato so that even if the price per kilo ex-farm is only P8, it is still profitable for him.

In his previous tomato planting, Madriaga said that harvesting can be done every day in a one-hectare tomato plantation, harvesting from just a portion at a time.In that previous crop, he was able to harvest 2,000 to 4,600 kilos every day. Even at P8 per kilo, the daily gross was substantial. For harvesting 2,000 kilos, he usually spent P1,500 for the harvesters. Aside from the harvest from the tomatoes, Madriaga says that by planting tomatoes between his onion plants, destructive insects are repelled.

RELAY CROPPING: A Practical Idea At Jose Madriaga's Farm In Tay-ac, Bantay, Ilocos Sur
Jose Madriaga pointing to the corn plant he used as relay crop as of March 1, 2018. By May he will be harvesting his corn for livestock feed.
RELAY CROPPING: A Practical Idea At Jose Madriaga's Farm In Tay-ac, Bantay, Ilocos Sur
Photo shows the beautiful bulb of Maserati at 65 days after transplanting. After 20 days, the shallot will be harvested and the corn plants will continue growing, using the unused fertilizer left by the shallot.

In his standing crop of Maserati shallot, Madriaga intercropped yellow corn for livestock feed. At the time of our visit (March 1, 2018), when the onions were 65 days old, the corn plants were already 1 foot tall. Next May, they will already be ready for harvesting.

What is important in order to be able to practice relay cropping is that you have a way to irrigate your plants. Madriaga irrigates his onions every 9 days using a pump either run by electricity or by diesel engine.

Now you see, you can maximize productivity in your farm by practicing relay cropping. Aside from tomato and corn, you can use many other varieties for relay-cropping. You can consult Ramgo regarding seeds of Maserati and other seeds of high-value crops at 0928-501-1888 (Pamela Chan) or 0906-744-6543 (Arielina Arevalo)

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