Farmers warned against low yielding rice variety

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SAN MATEO, Isabela: The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) on Wednesday warned Cagayan Valley farmers against popular rice varieties that are incompatible to their fields and would lower production.

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PhilRice Isabela senior science research speacialist Anna Theresa Isabel Rebong reminded farmers that “not all commercially popular rice varieties are appropriate to their own field.”

“Thus it is important for the farmers to know the characteristics of [rice]varieties,” she stressed.

Rebong said that because of the commercialization of rice varieties that promises good yield, farmers are enticed to try new rice varieties with the hope of hitting high yield at the end of the cropping season.

“Farmers often prefer these new rice varieties, believing that they yield better,” Rebong said.

PhilRice is instead pushing for the use of “high quality seeds” of a recommended variety which can increase 5 percent to 10 percent grain production.

Rebong said high quality seeds have fewer seeds from weeds and other varieties; free from seed-borne pests and diseases and it is viable for at least 85 percent germination rate.

She also explained that a variety is being released not only because of high yield but because of its better grain quality or its resistance to pests.

PhilRice officials said farmers need therefore to “choose a variety that suits the environment, addresses a prevailing local field problem and performs well in at least two seasons of adaptability trial.”

Rebong said that by using a variety adapted and recommended to local conditions, “farmers can be assured of a higher rice production.”

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