• DA resorts to cloud seeding vs. drought

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    DIFFUN, Quirino: Amid continued dry spell in the Cagayan Valley region and lack of rains brought by the recent Typhoon Gorio, the Department of Agriculture is resorting to cloud seeding to save corn plants from wilting.

    “We will again conduct cloud seeding operation to induce rains as an alternative solution to the absence of rains to save the corn plants from wilting,” said Orlando Lorenzana, Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

    Lorenzana said he is “saddened by the situation of Northern Isabela and Southern Cagayan farmers who only experienced drizzles in the past few weeks.”

    Officials said the rains brought by Typhoon Gorio may have saved farmers in Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya provinces but not enough to save the corn plants from wilting in Isabela and Cagayan provinces.

    Lorenzana said a downpour is badly needed “to sustain the growth of corn plants in Region 2 that are already at the vegetative stage, the very reason we need to conduct cloud seeding very soon.”

    Lorenzana, however, said he is thankful that Typhoon Gorio has brought more blessings than damages to farmers in southern Cagayan Valley region.

    In his visit to Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya, Lorenzana said that the corn plants have already recovered from the mild drought.

    “The rains [in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino]brought by Typhoon Gorio saved the corn plants from wilting,” he said.

    “We are targeting 1.9 metric tons corn production this year. But with the two mild droughts in January and February, we are hoping that the region could maintain its 1.87 metric tons of corn production last year,” Lorenzana said.

    He said that the DA had conducted cloud seeding operation in January and February and were able to save 80,000 metric tons from the expected production of 100,000 metric tons of corn with only P6 million as expenses.

    Cloud seeding is the process of manually spreading either dry ice or salt into the upper part of the clouds to help stimulate the precipitation process and form rain.

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