More than 80 farmers were impressed with the results of a dry season’s trial for an integrated crop management system for direct seeded rice in Sapang Cauayan, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.
"From its bearing alone, these plants can yield not less than 160 cavans per hectare," said Vic Mauro, a seasoned rice farmer in Nueva Ecija.
Known as PalayCheck, this rice integrated crop management system balances the most relevant technology and management options with farmers learning to improve productivity and profitability in an environment-friendly manner. It makes use of key checks, which is used as standard in evaluating rice production performance.
PhilRice started this year developing the keychecks for direct-seeded rice under the supervision of Dr. Constancio A. Asis Jr. of PhilRice’s Agronomy, Soils, and Plant Physiology Division. Since its implementation in 2004, PalayCheck focused only on transplanted rice.
PalayCheck is the local version of the Australian RiceCheck, which increased yields from 6 to 10 t/ha since its implementation in 1986. In the Philippines, it roughly doubled the yield of all farmer partners in the country in just one year. It even allowed 9.4 tons harvest in Sultan Kudarat.
"Trends show that the more checks farmers adopt, the higher yield they get," said Dr. Edilberto Redoña, PhilRice deputy executive director for R&D and the PalayCheck deputy national project director.
The project is considered one of the most promising systems in rice production nowadays. It is funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and implemented by PhilRice with the support of the local government units (LGUs).
"As the farmer implementers of PalayCheck increase from around one thousand to one million, the country will move towards productivity and efficiency faster," he concluded.