Twenty-three local government units in Negros Occidental received a total of 2,201 bags of urea fertilizer, as of yesterday for the implementation of the rice ratooning program of the Department of Agriculture, Edna Garde, manager of the Farmers’ Information and Technology Services Center, said.
Garde said rice ratooning is one of the potential and attractive alternative technologies that will help increase rice production with minimal cost.
The bags of urea received are sufficient for 2,201 hectares of land readied for rice ratooning since the DA is subsidizing one bag of urea per hectare, she said.
Ratooning requires 50 to 60 percent less labor due to savings in land preparation, transplanting or direct seeding, and crop maintenance during early growth, Garde also said.
Rice ratooning also requires less water inputs, increases cropping intensity per unit area, does not easily lodge due to stronger root system, and it helps the soil to recover and regain its nutrients for the next cropping season, she added.
“The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist encourage all local government units that have the capacity to ratoon to practice the technology instead of going for third cropping,” Garde said.
She also said that they need to promote the technology with the farmers because they are used in practicing the Masagana99 project of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s that pushes for third cropping period. *LTG