7 Tips on Profitable Farming with Good Records Keeping

Farming is a business and so farmers must treat it as such. This starts with proper planning and diligent execution of all on-farm and off-farm activities. If you intend to make farming your business then keeping records is a very important activity to note. Tracking your income and expenditure, weather trends, the efficacy of applications and treatments on the farm, efficiencies of various technologies, among others, can determine your success or otherwise in farming. You cannot ignore records keeping from your daily chores on the farm.

We have elaborated various tips that can help you in good records keeping on your farms for a very successful farming business.

1. Have a long-term vision

This is for those who have decided to be in farming for a long time. It is important to have a clear picture of where you want to be, as a farmer. A vision, as in any business, will be your long-term guide and motivation. Whenever you pause to ponder over your farms, your vision is what you weigh against progress to see if you are on the path to achieving what you envision. Altogether, your records will be a vital guide.

2. Set goals for your farms

Now, break long-term vision into short-term goals. Do not be too ambitious. Keeping records of various activities will help you track progress. Make sure the goals you set are in line with your vision and set up activities that can address the goals. Think of your resources and which farming enterprise to start with, in which season. Decide how to use your capital and how you intend to generate profit. With your knowledge of records keeping, you will steadily get to your vision.

3. Track money coming in and going out

It is very important for farmers to track their income and expenditure. Keep all your invoices, receipts and all documents on income and expenditure on your farm. Moreover, keep a journal to record all the monies spent especially on labour. Where there are more that one enterprise, you may keep records separately to be able to track progress on each enterprise. Do not forget to record dates of various transactions. Your records will tell you, which months have the highest demands for money.

4. Learn from your data

The records you have kept will be your greatest tool moving forward to achieving your goals and ultimately your vision. From the records, you can compare the cost of inputs and their efficacies. Moreover, you can know from the data if you are truly making a profit. The data should be able to give you all the vital information you need, to make all the necessary changes or improvements. If you do not find any information you want, that in itself is enough information to know what to add to your records the next time around. If you want to get your records keeping right at the first attempt, we are glad to help.

5. Cost your own labour time and where to use it

We are referring to your labour against hired labour. Most farmers think that their own labour used on the farms are worth no money. However, keeping records of your own labour will help you know how to distribute it to maximise profit. Costing your labour will give you the true picture of the real cost of production in a particular enterprise. Data on your labour will help you decide when or if you need to hire. Besides, it helps to take up other responsibilities in your farming enterprise.

6. Make use available resources

You do not need to be good at maths or an expert accountant to keep good records. In fact, there are lots of resources available that you can use. You can dwell on your personal experience or that of other farmers. Furthermore, you can seek the help of an Extension Agent from the nearest Department of Agriculture. Agrihome offers lots of information on its blog that can help you along the way. Best of all, Agrihome also offers free support all the way through your production on MyFarm Community. Just start your inquiry in any area of choice.

7. Develop successful habits

Keeping good farm records is obviously one of the key habits you need to develop, as well as a focus. With a focus on the set goals and vision, you are always bent on learning from the data and improving. Develop the habit of organising your records very well and making your plans for them. Set times to look at your books. Either weekly, monthly or quarterly. This will help you concentrate on other activities and evaluate your data at other times at specific intervals.

What The Future Of Farming Will Look Like Thanks To Technology

As the food industry continues to evolve, advanced technology is becoming a more prominent part of farming. In recent interviews, three experts shared their ideas about the future of farming and tech. Ofir Schlam, CEO and co-founder of Taranis, Jason Green, the CEO and co-founder of Edenworks, and Kevin Brown, CEO and co-founder of Innit, discussed the changes that will happen.

“In 2017, tech startups in the agriculture sphere raised $670 million to develop software management, big data analytics, automated equipment and other cutting-edge tools that help farmers grow crops with scientific precision. While companies face several challenges, such as imaging limitations and a lack of data management, farmers are still keen to introduce technologies to improve farm management. Between today’s labor shortages and the world’s rising demand for food, farmers must look to technology to predict and prevent threats to millions of acres of crops worldwide,” Schlam says.

Canola field. Photo by Martin Schutt/picture alliance via Getty Images photo credit: picture alliance via Getty Images

Canola field. Photo by Martin Schutt/picture alliance via Getty Images photo credit: picture alliance via Getty Images GETTY

Brown believes that every step of the food journey, from farm to fork, will be influenced by technology. Smart supply chains will track and report where the food came from and how it was handled, down to the individual package. Blockchain tech will enhance trust as food information is captured and shared at every point of the journey. New sensors will allow people to rapidly scan food and measure it down to the molecular level, ensuring better quality and transparency.

Schlam agrees and sees artificial intelligence (AI) as an important component of the future. While current technology is far more advanced than the tools previous generations used, there needs to be a renewed focus on technology using AI capabilities to make massive amounts of data useful and actionable. The future of farming will be dependent on precision technology, the adoption of automated practices, indoor urbanized farming and more. All of these innovations will help to propagate the growth of farming crops. The ultimate goal is to create a synergy between farming and technology that works with the forces of nature to maximize production.

Working with nature and not against it is a crucial part, according to Green. “The basis of our technology is ecosystems. It is our belief that the more we can replicate the biodiversity of nature, and the microbial diversity that results, the faster and more healthy our plants and fish will grow. Future farms will have an increasing focus on microbial health. Generic sequencing of the microbiome will help us understand what microbial communities exist in our system at any given point enabling us to understand the health of our farm’s immune system before disease actually hits,” Green explains.

Green’s company is focused on making indoor farming cost competitive with field farming. He believes it is the only way to make the sustainability benefits of aquaponic farming truly widespread and impactful. As opposed to the Industrial Revolution, which created cheap products through brute force, synthetic chemicals and backbreaking labor, he thinks it is possible to fulfill this mission by looking to nature to do most of the work for people. “A mantra that we use internally is that by harnessing nature’s complexity, we share its abundance,” Green shares.

Brown looks at the big picture and sees tech innovations spreading from the farm to the table. Increasingly, food recommendations will be made by software based on personalized nutrition. Users will simply indicate their preferences, and the right items will show up. Machine learning advances in voice and vision will create more seamless assistance with shopping, managing food and cooking. New cooking technologies powered by automated cooking programs will enable vastly improved quality of home-cooked meals while reducing stress and time requirements.

Why is Organic Fertilizer Better for Crops and Soil Improvement?

What is Organic Fertilizer?

Any fertilizer that originates from an organic source, we consider it organic. Some examples include fish extracts, manure, and compost. (www.gardenmyths.com)

According to homeguides.sfgate.com, Organic fertilizers undergo little processing and include ingredients such as compost and manure.


Advantages of Organic Fertilizer
  1. Organic fertilizers, besides releasing nutrients for plant’s growth also improves soil structure. The continuous application of organic fertilizers will improve water and nutrients retention of the soil and improve activities or beneficial soil organisms.
  2. They release nutrients slowly and so it is difficult to over fertilize and harm your plants.
  3. You avoid the condition of the toxic build up of chemicals and salts. These chemicals and salts are not good for plants. Moreso, they can wash into nearby waters and underground waters, making them unhealthy for consumption by man or animals.
  4. Organic fertilizers are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Also, they are renewable and biodegradable.
  5. Organic fertilizers can be made from household biodegradable waste such as kitchen waste, plant leaves and other plant residues. .

Disadvantages of Organic Fertilizers
  1. Organic fertilizer takes some time to break down and so releases nutrients slowly. This does not help in the quick recovery of crops.
  2. It is bulky. Nutrient levels in organic fertilizers are relatively low and so requires relatively large quantities to reach plants requirements.
  3. Microorganisms require warm and moist conditions to break down release nutrients. During the dry and cold seasons, the activity of microorganisms is substantially reduced and so the effectiveness of fertilizer is limited.

08032019-2230. The Biodynamic System of Rice and Root Intensification (BioSRRI).

08032019-2230. The Biodynamic System of Rice and Root Intensification (BioSRRI).

This photo was taken on August 2, 3 days after transplanting on the Fruit day of August 29, 2019 ( it seems nothing is growing – the transplanted field indicator of SRI). It’s a full BioSRRI with BD 500 (from Biodynamic Agriculture Association India, BDAI) soil spray b4 transplanting. The living diverse weeds biomass on the left serve as forage for 3 cattles (2 still coming) and a refuge of beneficial insects.

Prior to harvest of this BioSRRI, the forage area will be prepared for the next planting- it’s harvesting manure and urine of cattle and the live biomass (roots and leaves) as principal source for Soil Organic Matter (SOM) to effectively regenerate soil health and carbon sequestration. After harvest, the field serves as the forage area of cattles. The area rotation cycle continuous with a cropping intensity of 2 times per year. In this way, application of solid bacterial fertilizer is an option but not necessary- the manure and plant/weed biomass sufficient to internally renegenerate soil health and/or fertility.

This is a 9,000 m2 or 0.9 hectare of 1.44 hectare alluvial ricescape dedicated to at least 3 Locally Adapted Varieties (LAVs) of black, white and red. The remaining 5,000 m2 or 0.5 hectare is for the built-in functional ecointensification microstructures to co-create climate-resilient family farm entrepreneurial school, eg. perimeter NFTs to buffer flooding and contamination from chemical pesticide drift, process protein and nitrogen source for livestock/poultry and soil health regeneration, respectively,

renewable energy from 4 CM biogas and 158 watts solar panel, combined piggery of cement floor and biomass bed for manure biogas feed cum low carbon and moderate carbon sources, respectively, for Bacterial and Fungal Biofertilizer production, harvested rain water and VAJ Transformative Education Hall (TEH) among others of the self finance Biodynamic Rice-based Ecointensification Agriecotour Diversified Learning Investment in Family Farm Entrepreneurial School (BREAD LIFE Family Farm Entrepreneurial School) of SAFEGCC INC ( Sustainable Agriculture Family-centrred Entrepreneurial Group of Co-Creators, Inc.

Organic Farming: Types, Principles, Methods and Importance

Organic farming is the method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. (food.ndtv. com)

In other words, it is referred to as, low input farming and uses natural sources of nutrients. These sources of nutrients include compost, crop residues and manure, and natural methods of crop and weed control, instead of using synthetic or inorganic agrochemicals.
OBJECTIVES OF ADOPTING ORGANIC FARMING

Organic farming may be adopted, to…;

  1. increase genetic diversity.
  2. promote more usage of natural pesticides.
  3. make sure the right soil cultivation at the right time.
  4. keep and build good soil structure and fertility.
  5. control pests, diseases and weeds.
TYPES OF ORGANIC FARMING.
1. Pure organic farming

It involves the use of organic manures and biopesticides with complete avoidance of inorganic chemicals and pesticides.

2. Integrated organic farming

It involves integrated nutrients management and integrated pest management. It is the type of farming where you grow crops from natural resources. Further, having the complete nutritive value and also manage to prevent the crop or plants from the pests.

In organic farming, we use the following techniques;
  • CROP ROTATION: It is the technique to grow various kind of crops in the same area, according to the different seasons, in a sequential way.
  • GREEN MANURE: It refers to the dying plants that are uprooted and turned into the soil to make them act as a nutrient for the soil to increase its quality
  • BIOLOGICAL PEST CONTROL: With this method, we use living organisms to control pests with or without the use of chemicals.
  • COMPOST: Highly rich in nutrients, it is a recycled organic matter used as a fertilizer in the agricultural farms.
METHODS OF ORGANIC FARMING
1. Soil management

After cultivation of crops, the soil loses its nutrients and its quality deplete. Organic agriculture initiates the use of natural ways to increase the fertility of the soil.  Hence, it focuses on the use of bacteria that is present in animal waste. The bacteria helps in making the soil nutrients more productive and fertile.

2. Weed management

Weed is the unwanted plant that grows in agricultural fields.  Organic agriculture focuses on lowering weed and not removing it completely. The two most widely used weed management techniques are;

● Mulching: A process where we use plastic films or plant residue on the surface of the soil to block the growth of weed.

● Mowing or Cutting: Where there is a removal of weeds top growth.

3. Crop diversity

Monoculture is the practice used in the agricultural fields where we harvest and cultivate only one type of crop in a particular place. Recently, polyculture has come in existence, where we harvest and cultivate kinds of crops. To meet the increasing crop demand and produce the required soil microorganisms.

4. Controlling other organisms

There are both useful and harmful organisms in the agricultural farm which affect the field. So, we need to control the growth of such organisms to protect the soil and the crops. We can do this by the use of herbicides and pesticides that contain fewer chemicals or are natural.

IMPORTANCE OF ORGANIC FARMING
  1. The environment benefits because natural habitat sources are less threatened.
  2. It provides healthier food for people.
  3. The soil is in better condition because of the manure used.
ADVANTAGES OF ORGANIC FARMING
  1. Organic farming helps to prevent environmental degradation and can be used to regenerate degraded areas
  2. Organic manures produce an ideal condition in the soil for high yields and good quality of crops.
  3. They cut the need for purchased inputs.
  4. They improve the soil chemical properties such as supply and retention of soil nutrients and promote favourable chemical reactions.
  5. Organically grown plants are more resistant to diseases and insect and hence only a few chemical sprays or other protective treatment are required.
  6. Poison – free.
DISADVANTAGES OF ORGANIC FARMING
  1. Production costs are a high error because farmers need more workers.
  2. Food illness may happen more often.
  3. Organic food is more expensive because farmers do not get much out of their land as conventional farmers do.
  4. Organic farming cannot produce enough food that the world’s population needs to survive.

Organic Farming: Benefits and limitations

In recent years, organic farming has become a trend toward a healthier lifestyle.  The government formalized the adoption of this farming system when Congress passed Republic Act No. 10068 or the Organic Act of 2010.

Through the Act, the government has been mandated to “promote, propagate, develop further, and implement the practice of organic agriculture in the Philippines.”

Organic farming has many benefits, the Act said. This farming practice cumulatively conditions and enriches the fertility of the soil, increases farm productivity, reduces pollution and destruction of the environment, prevents depletion of natural resources, saves on imported farm inputs, and protects the health of farmers, consumers, and the general public.

The Act paved the way for people to be aware of the benefits of chemical-free agricultural products, especially among those who are healthy-conscious.

Still, there remains concrete limitations to the successful practice of organic farming in the country.

ORGANIC PRODUCTS

Benjamin R. Lao of Barangay Eman in Bansalan, Davao del Sur has completely transformed his farm into a haven for organic products.

Lao is one of the many farmers in the Davao region who follow the organic methods of farming.

Benjamin R. Lao

The farmer-scientist managed to produce coconut sugar and coconut syrup under the brand “Donnabelle,” a combination of her two daughters’ name.   Both are alternative sweeteners which are known for their lower glycemic index.

Today, Lao Integrated Farms, Inc. (LIFI) is one of the country’s biggest exporters of coconut syrup to the United States.

It likewise exports coco sugar and coco syrup to Japan and the Netherlands and ships coconut sap-based teriyaki sauce to Germany and Australia.

Aside from coconut-based products, LIFI has also come up with other saleable foodstuffs: ice cream with goat’s milk, flavored with malunggay, turmeric, durian and soursop; and tea from coco sugar, mixed with natural extracts from malunggay (moringa), turmeric, lemon grass and mangosteen.

BACK TO BASICS

In 2011, the Department of Agriculture named him as Agri-Achiever on Organic Farming during the Gawad Saka Awards.

“Organic farming means going back to the basics,” said Roy C. Alimoane, director of the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC).

The center, a non-government organization based located in Barangay Kinuskusan in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, has been promoting organic farming since the 1970s.

“We want people who come to the center that once they return to their respective places,” Alimoane pointed out, “they have learned something which they could use in their own farms.”

Environment-friendly, natural, not using pesticides and other chemicals, sustainable, regenerative, and healthy—these are the words used to describe this method of farming which has recently captured the attention of many countries around the world.

“Organic agriculture is the answer,” stressed Jessica Reyes-Cantos of the Manila-based Rice Watch and Action Network.  “It won’t only retain soil productivity but it can make farming viable.  If farmers will have additional income from their land they will continue to plant rice.”

BENEFITS

Definitions vary, but according to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, organic agriculture is a production system that relies on ecological processes, such as waste recycling, rather than the use of synthetic inputs, such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

“Although organic agriculture often produces lower yields on land that has recently been farmed conventionally, it can outperform conventional practices—especially in times of drought—when the land has been farmed organically for a longer time,” said Laura Reynolds, co-author of the Worldwatch report, “Organic Agriculture Contributes to Sustainable Food Security.”

Reynolds, a researcher with Worldwatch’s Food and Agriculture Program, said that “conventional agricultural practices often degrade the environment over both the long and short term through soil erosion, excessive water extraction, and biodiversity loss.”

Organic farming, she pointed out, has the potential to contribute to sustainable food security by improving nutrition intake and sustaining livelihoods in rural areas, while simultaneously reducing vulnerability to climate change and enhancing biodiversity.

Another benefit of organic agriculture is that it uses up to 50% less fossil fuel energy than conventional farming, and common organic practices— including rotating crops, applying mulch to empty fields, and maintaining perennial shrubs and trees on farms—also stabilize soils and improve water retention, thus reducing vulnerability to harsh weather patterns.

“On average, organic farms have 30% higher biodiversity, including birds, insects, and plants, than conventional farms do,” said Catherine Ward, co-author of the Worldwatch report.

CORPORATE INTEREST

Aside from Lao, another organic farmer from Bansalan is the Espinosa family of Lower Mabuhay.  During the Regional Organic Agriculture Congress last year, they were recognized as the organic farming family.  On their farm, chemicals are abhorred.

Composting

“I have a one-hectare farmland and all that were planted are pure organic,” Janilo Espinosa, the head of the family, was quoted as saying.  “All our animals were fed using organic-based feeds.”

It was his parents who opened his eyes to organic farming.  “When I was a child, my family was into organic farming and I can still remember how we put up our garden,” he recalled.  “When I got married, I continued my family’s legacy and raised my children through organic farming.”

One good thing about organic farming is that it keeps the family healthy.  “Based on our own experience, compared to conventionally grown food, organic food is much richer in nutrients,” Espinosa said.  “It enhances the nutrients of the soil which is passed on to the plants and animals.”

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that in developed countries, yields were almost equal on organic and conventional farms.  And in developing countries, food production could double or triple using organic methods, according to Professor Ivette Perfecto in the university’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, and one the study’s principal investigators.

Perfecto said that those who believed the world will go hungry if farming went organic is “ridiculous.”  In an article which appeared in People and the Planet, she explained: “Corporate interest in agriculture and the way agriculture research has been conducted in land grant institutions, with a lot of influence by the chemical companies and pesticide companies as well as fertilizer companies—all have been playing an important role in convincing the public that you need to have these inputs to produce food.”

The outcomes of their study seemed to jibe with the earlier findings of a British team, which reported in 1999 that organic farming could produce enough food to feed large populations.  In fact, the said study concluded that it could be viable even in developing countries “if the political climate is favorable.”

Farms could be economically viable on a much larger scale, even in developing countries with large populations, said Dr. Liz Stockdale, of the Institute of Arable Crop Research in England.

“In less developed countries, countries where the conventional agricultural systems aren’t that intensive to start with, we can see that conventional systems and organic systems actually can match yields very closely,” she added.

LIMITING FACTORS

Despite the benefits derived from organic agriculture, Filipino farmers are still not agog about it.  To find out, Lucille Elna Parreno-de Guzman conducted a study in selected towns in Laguna and in La Trinidad, Benguet, where farmers are adopting organic agriculture.

The researcher found four reasons:

For one, organic agriculture is “knowledge-intensive.”  There are so many options available and it’s up to the farmers to select which suit best to their farms.  After training, “constant monitoring and assistance are still needed to ensure farmers’ continuous practice and compliance to organic agriculture standards,” Parreno-de Guzman wrote.

Another reason: too much labor in the production of organic fertilizers and concoctions.  Most farmers are used to having quick fixes by simply buying chemical inputs.  “Gathering raw materials and preparing these into organic fertilizers and other concoctions is considered laborious and time-consuming,” wrote Parreno-de Guzman.

Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting—the process of using earthworms to turn organic waste into vermicompost—is the main fertilizer production technology promoted in organic agriculture.

But doing so entails high capital as it requires construction of vermi beds and the use of a shredder to cut the materials for composting.  “These expenses are beyond the reach of small farmers,” Parreno-de Guzman wrote.

But the real reason why most farmers won’t adopt the technology is the low production during the conversion period.  The low harvest is due to the use of organic fertilizer.  “The NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) in chemical fertilizers is easily available for plant uptake unlike organic fertilizers which are slow in releasing nutrients,” wrote Parreno-de Guzman.

Aside from those four reasons, the high cost of organic certification has also been cited as a stumbling block.  Section 17 of RA 10068 stated: “Only third-party certification is allowed (for agriculture produce) to be labeled as organically produced.”

The researcher considered that statement as limiting factor in organic agriculture implementation.  Another limiting factor cited is the cost of certification, which can range from P42,000 to as much as P150,000.

Home gardening tips for preppers: Don’t plant these 18 flowers, fruits and vegetables together

Before you plant anything in your home garden, you need to plan where you’re going to place your crops to ensure that they grow well. This is crucial since certain fruit-bearing plants and vegetables shouldn’t be planted together.

Plant incompatibility basics

Sometimes, plants with different heights don’t grow well together, like tomatoes and other smaller plants.

Other plants require different levels of moisture, while some plants are more susceptible to diseases. Keeping these disease-prone crops from other plants helps restrict possible infections to a small patch of land.

There are plants that chemically damage other plants or even prevent their growth. These allelopathic plants leave behind chemicals that harm or kill other crops.

Most of the plants mentioned in this article are allelopathic, so pay attention and don’t plant them together. Allelopathic plants can make planning your garden more difficult, but doing your research can prevent crop failures.

Below is a list of 18 flowers, fruits, and vegetables that don’t grow well when planted together.

Asparagus

Asparagus requires some space, so don’t let other plants grow too close. It is particularly susceptible to poor growth when planted next to garlic, onions, and potatoes.

Beans and peas

Beans and peas both have negative effects on certain plants, especially all kinds of sweet and hot peppers. Beets are also affected by all kinds of pole beans.

Beets

Beets won’t grow well near mustard plants or members of the bean or pea family.

Broccoli and cauliflower

Both broccoli and cauliflower won’t grow well near peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, and squash of all types.

Brussels sprouts

This cruciferous vegetable don’t grow well next to strawberries or tomatoes.

Cabbage and cauliflower

Planting cabbage and cauliflower together makes them susceptible to Plasmodiophora brassicae (club root). Club root makes the plant’s roots swell and unable to take up water, which then kills the plant.

Radish and tomato also don’t grow well near cabbage and cauliflower.

Carrots

Carrots won’t grow well if you plant them near dill. Additionally, carrots don’t like to share space with parsnips.

Celery

Celery can be a bit difficult to grow under normal circumstances. To ensure optimal growth, keep celery away from parsnips or potatoes.

Corn and tomatoes

Separate corn and tomatoes because both are vulnerable to a common fungal infection. If tomatoes are infected, they will infect the corn if both plants were planted too close together.

Corn and tomatoes are susceptible to cotton bollworm (also called corn earworm and tomato fruit worm).

Cucumbers

Novice gardeners find it easy to grow cucumbers, but note that these vegetables don’t like being planted near cauliflower, potatoes, or tomatoes, or any strong aromatic herbs like basil, cilantro, lavender, rosemary, and thyme.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi, a cruciferous vegetable in the cabbage family, doesn’t grow well when planted near pole beans, strawberries, or tomatoes.

Lettuce

It’s easy to cultivate lettuce, as long as you plant them away from beans, beets, and parsley.

Marigolds

Marigolds are often included in vegetable gardens because they keep away many pests. However, these brightly colored flowers can stunt the growth of peas and pole beans.

Melons

Melons are susceptible to fungi caught from squashes. They should also be kept away from cucumbers and potatoes.

Onions and the allium family

Alliums like onions, garlic, leeks, and shallots will stunt the growth of beans and peas.

Potatoes

Potatoes aren’t compatible with a lot of other plants. To remedy this, grow potatoes in a far corner of your garden.

Even though potatoes and tomatoes belong to the same family, they don’t grow well when planted together. Potatoes slow the growth of tomatoes and the former becomes more susceptible to Phytophthora (potato blight) when the plants are together.

When rotating crops, don’t plant potatoes or tomatoes where the other grew the previous year. Plant potatoes away from cucumbers, melons, squash, sunflowers, tomatoes, and turnips.

Potatoes will grow well when planted near coriander, nasturtium, or sage.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers emit a chemical from their roots that prevents nearby plants from growing. This chemical will affect an area of about 12 inches around the plants, so keep other crops away.

Take note that sunflower seed shells also contain toxic chemicals that will kill grass and other plants. Always harvest the seed heads before the seeds start to fall. Since sunflowers grow tall, they may shade out other sun-loving plants.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes won’t grow well when planted near cilantro and cucumbers.

If you want to start a home garden, decide what kinds of plants you want to grow and plan where you will plant each flower, fruit, herb, and vegetable to maximize crop yield.

DA Caraga empowers barangay officials as partners in agri-development

BUTUAN CITY, July 11 — To promote agricultural development in the region, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga continues to build a partnership with the local government units to support farming endeavors.

The Department recognized that barangays served as the primary unit of government where basic services are being delivered to constituents.

As such, DA highlights the need to empower barangay officials of its programs, projects, and services and inform them how to avail of the agri- interventions.

A total of 306 punong barangays and barangay kagawads handling Committee on Agriculture participated in the recently conducted Information Awareness Caravan dubbed agri-barangayan – a dialogue with barangay officials from Butuan City and Agusan del Norte.

“DA’s desire is to empower the barangay officials with information for them to become active partners in agricultural development in their respective areas of responsibility,” said Regional Information Officer Emmylou T. Presilda.

During the forum, topics on how to avail of DA services and interventions were thoroughly discussed. Information on training and E-Learning from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) was also shared while Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation gave inputs on Crop and Livestock Insurance. Philippine Coconut Authority also gave their share of topics to shed light on the programs for coconut farmers. 

From the information he acquired, Barangay Kagawad Mateo P. Diango is now interested to attend agri-related seminars.

“As a Kagawad handling Committee on Agriculture, it is important for me to be aware of the programs of the DA and its attached agencies so that I can guide the farmers in our barangay,” he said.

The Agri-Barangayan part of the campaign aims to bring the government closer to the people.

With the positive feedbacks gathered from the first leg, DA’s Agri-Barangayan will soon cover other provinces in the region. (Rhea Abao, DA Caraga/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Mechanization transforms Caraga farms

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 — Agricultural modernization is one of the key interventions of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to support the farmers and make them more competitive in an open rice market.

The DA-Caraga through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) turned over the 110 units of mechanical rice transplanters to 110 eligible farmer associations and cooperatives from the different provinces in the region with a total worth of ₱30.4 million last July 12 at the DA-Integrated Laboratories Compound, Brgy. Taguibo, Butuan City.

RCEF is a safeguard mechanism of the Rice Liberalization Law wherein ₱10 Billion annual appropriations for the next six years, will be allocated to rice farm machinery and equipment, rice seed development, propagation, and promotion and expanded rice credit.

Just in time for the year’s first cropping season, DA responds to the call of the rice farmers to make their farming more productive and less laborious by granting them with modern farm facilities. Mechanizing rice farms maximizes land and labor productivity thereby increasing the economic returns to rice farmers.

“DA is distributing first the mechanical rice transplanters so that our farmers will now take charge of their planting schedule and not be dependent on seasonal labors,” said DA-Caraga Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Operations Alberto D. Ocampo, Jr.

“Aside from it, we wanted to reduce their workload through the use of the machine. This intervention is for free for eligible farmer groups. Mechanizing our rice farms in the region is our way to reduce their production cost at the same time increase their yield,” he added.

According to the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), the average cost of production of rice in the country is ₱12.00 per kilogram. With this, DA and its partner agencies aim to bring it down to ₱8 per kilogram through agricultural modernization.

“The labor cost during planting season is becoming more expensive it costs us ₱6,000-₱7,000 excluding the pulling of seedlings, aside from the planting contract, laborers also demand free meals,” said Felisa C. Hambala, Chairperson, Bayugan 3 Irrigators Association one of the recipients from Rosario, Agusan del Sur.

“We are very thankful to the government that they give attention to our needs because through their assistance labor cost in our farming will reduce,” added Hambala.

The PhilMech study revealed with the use of the machine, it can give a yield of 4.71MT/ha compared to the 4.24MT/ha using the direct seeding method and 3.90MT/ha for manual transplanting.

“We are encouraging our farmers to make use of the interventions that they receive from the DA.  The recipients should ensure the safety of the equipment while in their custody and optimize its utilization,” said RTD Ocampo.

Necessary operations and management training were also conducted to the beneficiaries to ensure proper and efficient use of the equipment which also includes seedling preparation.

Ultimately, it is the Department’s commitment to transform Caraga farmers to become more productive and competitive through strengthened access and use of efficient mechanized rice farming technologies. (Rhea Abao, DA Caraga/PIA Caraga)

Lanao del Norte farmers get P240M aid, loans

TUBOD, Lanao del Norte, Jul. 1 (PIA)–The Department of Agriculture (DA) completed the delivery, June 28, of P200 million worth of farm machinery and production assistance, including a P40 million easy access credit fund, as promised by President Rodrigo Duterte in the aftermath of Typhoon Vinta which ravaged Northern Mindanao in December 2017.

DA Region X Director Carlene Collado said the last batch of farm implements turned over to Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Q. Dimaporo during the 60th Founding Anniversary of the province completed the presidential commitment.

DA started delivering the interventions right after the president  visited Lanao del Norte in December 2017. 

The interventions included livestock, seeds and production support.

The procurement of the farm implements had to go through the process of bidding which usually takes a long process and the equipment had to be delivered in batches.

On Friday, tractors, transplanters and mini-rice mills were delivered by DA including a Solar Powered Irrigation System in Lala town.

The DA Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) also increased the allocation for the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) for Lanao del Norte farmers and fishermen from P4 million to P40 million. (DA10/PIA10)