Magtanim Pala Ay Di Biro...
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Last May 20, 2011. PPI employees were able to experience "PlanterVville" (modification of facebook's FarmVille). PlantersVille is a company's activity aiming for the employees to experience not only the virtual farming but the actual farming/planting of rice and for them to be fully equipped with the company's real nature of work. With this activity, PPI employees realized that being a farmer is not as easy as their FarmVille characters. Their virtual farming is just a click away for them to be able to plow their land, plant rice, wait for few hours, then rice is ready to harvest.

But PlantersVille, actual farming is far more different and harder than farmville. This activity has a wide scope, from land preparation to crop establishment, to nutrient, water and pest management until harvest. In order to monitor the progress of the activity, weekly visits has been done. Each team has its representatives weekly to check if the fertilizers or the pesticides has been applied and what were the effects of it. They were also checking the stages of the rice plants.

In the whole field, PPI plantersVille area is the only area with standing crop, therefore, insects and pests thrive and infected the rice plants. During visits, there were problems being encountered. For the first 4 plots (3,780 sq. m) planted by PPI employees, fertilizer application has been delayed from the schedule. But this was compensated with the PPI fertilization protocol using our fertilizer "Flourish" and other synthetic fertilizer to correct the deficiency in the soil. The application rate of the said fertilizer is based on the result of the MOET (Minus One Element Technique). Insects such as stemborers and leaffolders also infested our rice plots but they were controlled by our product "Brodan". During the last visit, minor damage caused by rats were also observed, however, this is immediately controlled using "ratoxin". As of the moment, rice plants are now on its 90% panicle initiation. This will still take a month to be fully mature or if rice grains are 80-85% golden yellow. During this stage, birds are the primary pest and human scare crow or commonly termed as "bird boys" is the field workers' way to control it.

For the plots (5,230 sq.m) remaining, planted by Philrice laborers, the schedule of the fertilization has been followed. Brodan were also sprayed for the control of stem borers. Ratoxin was also used when rat damage in rice crop was observed.

Last July 8, 2011, AESA or AgroEcosystem Analysis was conducted by selected PPI employees. They collected data such as presence of insects and natural enemies, weed incidence, diseases, and agronomic data such as number of tillers, plant height, etc. AESA is a method used to analyze the interaction of pests, natural enemies, weather conditions, water depth and its effects to the agronomic attributes of the rice plants. Two plots (team Bushwhack and Team Brodan) were used for the AESA. Rice plants during this time are in its maximum-tillering stage. Based on the results, both plots have almost the same observations. Insects present are leaffolders, stemborers, planthoppers, and rice black bug. Rice plants were infected with leaf streak, bacterial leaf blight and tungro. Weed population is not significant. There were also egg masses observed of the golden apple snail. However, there were still natural enemies that were spotted such as spiders, lady beetles, dragonfly and frogs. The water depth of the plots are 3-5 cm which is enough for the stages of the crop, therefore, water should be maintained at this level. In general, the crop stand or the purity of the rice area is not uniform in size and in color. The presence of the pests is very dominant since the plantersville area is the only area with standing crop during that time.

Weekly visits would still be done until time of harvest. Plantersville will commence on September or after harvest through "Harvest Festival". PPI employees are now looking forward to the time when they will now harvest the fruits of their labor. And by that time, farming is not only planting and harvesting, but lots of management should be considered.. They will surely appreciate that being a farmer is such a noble profession. (Photo by GPD)