New cane varieties, technologies featured in Philsutech farm tour

The participants witnessed a demonstration on the use of a drone in spraying fertilizer and pesticides on a farm.*

New sugarcane varieties, productive farm practices and drone technology, among others, were featured during the PHILSUTECH Educational Farm Tour and Technology Updates conducted in Bacolod City and a cane farm in E. B. Magalona, March 7-8.

Sugar Regulatory Administrator Pablo Luis S. Azcona delivered a message at the opening of the activity. He shared his experiences with climate change and sugarcane varieties. He assured that SRA will give utmost priority to research to come up with better varieties and better El Niňo mitigation measures, a press released said.

On the first day, SRA Biotech Head Rimmon Armones and Dynah Fatima Viscaya presented new sugarcane varieties in SRA’s portfolio and chemical mutagenesis in sugarcane, respectively.

Sugarcane farmer Ferdinand Emmanuel Y. Gayoles discussed the application of beneficial micro-organisms (BMO) without chemical fertilizers and with inter-cropping of mung bean, while SRA Deputy Administrator Atty. Ignacio Santillana presented measures for cost effectiveness in sugarcane farming and El Niňo mitigation.

The afternoon of the first day was spent in an alternative discussion and workshop with live sugarcane specimen facilitated by the Philippine Sugar Research Institute (PHILSURIN). The exchange of ideas focused on the importance of a seed farm, getting the most out of suitable varieties, achieving stable sugar yield per hectare with high yielding varieties of sugarcane, and identifying and properly tagging different varieties.

On the second day, the participants visited Hda. Sta. Theresa, a farm owned by Arturo Ledesma in Brgy. Alicante, E. B. Magalona. Renato Poniado, the farm manager, shared with the participants the characteristics, such as production tonnage, tillering and ratooning capabilities, of different sugarcane varieties planted in their farm.

PHILSUTECH officials with SRA Administrator Paul Azcona are president Noli Segovia, corporate secretary Haydee V. Rivera, Agriculture and Farm Engineering Division Vice-President, Director Helen Lobaton and Director Renato Maestre (l-r)*

The participants also witnessed a demonstration on the use of a drone in spraying fertilizer and pesticides on a farm. With the use of GPS technology, the 40-liter capacity drone can apply its load evenly in a hectare of farm land in five to eight minutes.

“This is already the third of a series of seminars which Philsutech has programmed for this year. Philsutech provides venues for discussions leading to improvements in the local sugarcane industry,” said PHILSUTECH President Engr. Noli Segovia.

“It is imperative that our ways of doing things in the sugarcane industry should be effective and efficient, because we are facing stiff competition from other sugar industries abroad. We need to exert all efforts to make our sugar industry competitive, because it is do or die for us,” he stressed.

More than one hundred participants, some coming from as far as Bukidnon, joined the activity. Planters from the Bukidnon Integrated Planters Association (BIPA) headed by Rodolfo Celestial registered the most number of attendees at 16 participants, followed by the combined 10 participants from United Sugarcane Planters of Bukidnon Association (USPBA) and United Sugarcane Farmers Agricultural Cooperative (USFACO).*

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