PhilRice urges farmers to ensure sufficient nutrients in rice crops

\Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) encourages rice farmers to make sure crops get enough nutrients to attain good yields and income. 

It is important to ensure the element, amount, and timing of providing nutrients to the crop to properly implement the intervention in the farm and avoid duplication of costs.

PhilRice Nutrients Specialist Wilfredo Collado disclosed that among the nutrients that the plant needs are nitrogen which helps the rice grow quickly and potassium which improves root development.

Providing nutrients in the field also depends on the weather. During the dry cropping season, the rice plant needs more nutrients because of the sunlight it gets.

In addition, there are also nutrients coming from the soil, irrigation water, and microorganisms.

“Nutrients are sufficient if crop growth and panicle development are uniform leading to the attainment of the crop yield potential,” Collado pressed. 

Rice plant lacks nutrients when it has slow growth, fewer tillers and panicles, fewer seeds, and low grain weight while excess nutrients in plants often cause easy attacks by pests and soil pollution.

As such, PhilRice advises taking steps to know the nutrient adequacy of rice crops.

There should be no symptoms of nutrient deficiency or excess from tillering to early panicle initiation and flowering.

Familiarize with the nutrients needed by rice plants based on the physical appearance and results of diagnostic tools such as Minus-One Element Technique (MOET), Leaf Color Chart (LCC), Nutrient-Omission-Plot Technique (NOPT), and Rice Crop Manager (RCM).

MOET is a soil nutrient diagnostic technology that uses a pot experiment complemented by a mobile app to determine nutrients lacking in the soil and the amount of fertilizer needed in the field.

LCC, on the other hand, can be used to check the nitrogen status of rice plants using a four-color ruler for leaf color comparison or a mobile app that takes digital photos of leaves.

Meanwhile, NOPT can be used to assess nutrient supply and serve as a basis for fertilizer recommendations.

And lastly, RCM is a management commonly used by extension workers and rice specialists who assist farmers in determining recommendations for the use of nutrients and technology in rice farming management.

“By ensuring adequate plant nutrition, high yields and profits can be ensured, as well as damage or pollution to the environment can be reduced,” Collado added. 

For more information, contact the PhilRice text center hotline at 0917-111-7423, follow PhilRice TV or visit their official website: (CLJD/CCN-PIA 3)

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