CPAR on SSNM for yellow corn foresees better income for farmers

            Occidental Mindoro thrives on two major crops: rice and corn. In MIMAROPA region, Occidental Mindoro supplies most of the region’s yellow corn, with 76,934 metric tons in 2014 (PSA, 2016). However, 80 percent of smallhold corn farmers suffer from low income due to the decreasing production with only five tons per hectare.

            One prevailing issue causing such concern, as shown in the results of the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) conducted, was that farmers do not follow the proper amount of fertilizers applied in the field. Project leader and proponent, Ms. Elenita Marasigan of the DA-MIMAROPA research division, said that most farmers do not have enough capital to supply proper fertilization for yellow corn production.

            “Farmers need to understand the effect of best management practices when it comes to corn production. This is why we introduced, through the Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) the Site Specific Nutrient Management (SSNM) technology that could help corn farmers in Sablayan particularly, to increase their production and income,” Marasigan said.

            SSNM is an approach that promotes the timely application of fertilizers at optimal rates to fill the deficit between the nutrient needs of a high-yielding crop and the nutrient supply from naturally occurring indigenous resources that includes soil, crop residues, manures, and irrigation water (IPNI, 2010).

            With the success of the SSNM technology in maize production across the country, Marasigan and her project team did not hesitate to introduce it to the farmers of Sablayan. During the inception meeting, Marasigan said that the farmers were enthusiastic to adopt the technology through CPAR.

            To determine the proper fertilizer requirement for both soil and crop, a soil sampling was conducted prior to planting of corn. The farmers were also trained on proper planting rates and distance to achieve ideal results. A rate of one seed per hill with a distance of 70 centimeters (cms) between furrows and 20 cms between hills were carried out.

            Using the published ‘Quick Guide for Yellow Corn’ (resulting from a collaborative project of the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and the Bureau of Agricultural Research), the CPAR farmer-cooperators made use of the fertilizer application based on the SSNM rates.

            Bio-N was applied at the rate of 6 packs per hectare, coated to corn seeds before planting. Ten bags of organic fertilizers were plowed prior to furrowing, and inorganic fertilizers were also applied following the SSNM rates indicated in the Quick Guide.

            Basal application was done with 30% Nitrogen (N), 100% Phosphorus (P), and 100% Potassium (K). The succeeding applications were done according to the determined SSNM rates. Based on the results of the SSNM trials in the project sites in Sablayan, a fertilizer requirement of 140-40-40 entails 9 bags of inorganic fertilizers, 10 bags of organic fertilizers, and 6 packs of Bio-N.

            As of project visit, positive results were already evident by the look of the corn crops in all of the farmers’ fields. Mr. Elmer Evangelista, one of the farmer-cooperators, proudly showed his crops which are set to be harvested in June. “Mas dumami ang kaalaman ko sa CPAR, gumanda rin ang tanim ko,” he shared.

            Marasigan, confident with the results of the SSNM intervention so far, said that if the farmers will continue to adhere to the SSNM approach, they will surely benefit from an increased produce, thus, income. ###

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Contact details:

Elenita L. Marasigan

Senior Science Research Specialist / Project Leader

DA-MIMAROPA

Naujan, Oriental Mindoro

Tel. No.: +63917-539-1259

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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