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Bright Prospects for Corn Production in the Philippines
2007-09-10
The first year implementation of the project Modern corn cultivation technology transfer in Caraga region, Philippines has been a resounding success. A three-year collaboration between FFTC and the Department of Agriculture (DA), Philippines; the Northern Mindanao State Institute of Science and Technology (NORMISIST); and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), with funding support from the Rural Development Foundation (RDF) of Taiwan ROC, the project's overall goal is to improve the productivity and achieve sustainable production of quality corn in the Caraga region through the extension of modern cultivation techniques and introduction of hybrid corn varieties.

Year 1 focused on technology needs assessment and selection of suitable varieties. The local Project Team and the FFTC-Taiwan Technical Team worked together in the conduct of a varietal screening using two corn hybrids from Taiwan (Tainung No.1 and Tainan No. 20), one traditional open-pollinated variety (Tiniguib), one improved open-pollinated variety (OPV) (USM Var-12), and a commonly planted hybrid (GSI-40). A technology package for the cultural management of corn production used in this experiment was also developed.

The corn production technology trial was conducted in a 3-ha demonstration site at the NORMISIST farm. To further evaluate the corn production technologies in the area, a farmer-managed demonstration farm was also established at Tiniwisan, Butuan City (labeled as Tabelon Demofarm).

Based on the results of the technology trials in both farms, there lies ahead some bright prospects in improving corn yield in the area by planting hybrids. Hybrids PGH95-5 and TN-20 showed promising field performance in the area. Most hybrids yielded better than traditional OPVs. Significant interaction between cultivar yield and planting date indicated that timing of planting is an important factor in corn production, taking into consideration various environmental stresses (e.g. pests, climate and soil) that could hamper production. Therefore, further field evaluation is needed for introduced hybrids. The interplay between the introduced corn varieties' potentials and the environmental conditions prevailing in the area at any planting season needed careful assessment to serve as a basis in scheduling planting to maximize production. A critical study on the rainfall and temperature pattern is also necessary in relation to corn farming, since these factors have great influence on corn yields.

Based on the positive results of year 1 implemen-tation, it is hoped that this corn project could be sustained for another two years, to completely achieve the goal of improving corn productivity and increasing farmers' income in the Caraga region, Philippines.

Index of Images

Figure 1 FFTC Consultant, Dr. Tien-Joung Yiu, and local Project Team discuss corn harvest of first cropping season at the NORMISIST DemoFarm.

Figure 1 FFTC Consultant, Dr. Tien-Joung Yiu, and local Project Team discuss corn harvest of first cropping season at the NORMISIST DemoFarm.

Figure 2 Taiwan corn hybrids TNG-1 (above) and TN-20 (right) planted at the NORMISIST DemoFarm

Figure 2 Taiwan corn hybrids TNG-1 (above) and TN-20 (right) planted at the NORMISIST DemoFarm