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Practice rice seeding rate to reduce cost and improve yield

The Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) recommended to farmers to follow the seeding rate in rice production for better yields and reduced production cost.
The recommended rice seeds per hectare is 40 kg for transplanted rice, while for direct-seeded rice is 60 to 80 kg per hectare.
“When this is followed, rice plants grow healthier because they can receive sufficient sunlight and evenly absorb nutrients from the soil. It can also help produce productive tillers, which would mean higher yields,” Rizal Corales, chief science research specialist at DA-PhilRice, explained.
Corales noted that planting beyond the recommended rate makes farmers spend more and yields low harvest because the plants may produce fewer tillers owing to close spacing, which affect the plants’ ability to receive sunlight and nutrients.
“If we compute it, there are at least 1.6 million seeds in 40kg. A one-hectare farm needs 750,000 seedlings, at 3 seedlings per hill. If high-quality seeds have a germination rate of at least 85%, then 40kg seeds can produce 1.3 million seedlings. There could be around 600,000 extra seedlings that farmers can use for replanting in cases when pests cause damage,” Corales stressed.
“High-quality seeds have high germination rate. Farmers are assured that 40kg is enough because most seeds will germinate. Farmers used to struggle in following the recommendation because they do not have access to high-quality seeds. They source planting materials from their own harvests or from fellow farmers, so seeds did not undergo quality control. Now, access to high-quality is easier with the RCEF-Seed Program,” Corales said.
Dr. Flordeliza Bordey, DA-PhilRice RCEF Program Management Office head, noted that following the recommended seeding rate also proves to be advantageous on a macro scale.
The RCEF-Seed Program is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, which allots P10 billion funds every year for the rice farmers from the rice tariff earnings of the country. The program is a six-year government initiative to help farmers compete in the international rice market. The local government units and lawmakers assist in its implementation. DA-PhilRice leads the RCEF-Seed Program and is the government’s lead agency on rice research and development mandated to help ensure a rice-secure Philippines.

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