THE Philippine Rice Research Institute of the Department of Agriculture (DA-PhilRice) urged farmers to use a water management technique to help reduce irrigation water consumption.
Fredierick Saludez, DA-PhilRice agriculturist, said that the farmers can use the Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) technology, with the aid of an observation well.
Saludez disclosed that the technology can help reduce irrigation water consumption without lowering rice yield. Observation wells are used to monitor changes in groundwater levels.
“Rice plants don’t need continuous irrigation. There are stages that we can minimize it without affecting the plants’ growth and yield,” Saludez explained in a recent “Palaywakin ang Galing” session.
He explained that in implementing AWD, farmers can start irrigating the field based on the observation well 21-30 days or four weeks after planting. Before this, irrigate the field with 2-3cm water depth.
“Irrigation can be controlled after one month because the seedlings are already well established, and weeds can easily be managed,” he added.
Saludez further said that intermittent flooding allows the soil to have enough oxygen during the tillering period.
During flowering, 5cm depth of standing water must be maintained to avoid the development of unfilled grains because of insufficient water.
For uniform development of the grains, irrigation must be drained a week before harvest for light-textured soil and two weeks before harvest for heavy-textured soil.
“Palaywakin ang Galing: yunPALAYun” is a campaign that promotes the technologies and services of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP).
The RCEF-RESP is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law authored by Sen Cynthia A. Villar. The RTL allocates P1 billion every year to enhance the capacities of rice farmers to become competitive in rice production.