What is Rice Black Bug

By goGreen | February 27, 2012

The rice black bug (RBB), Scotinophara coarctata (Fabricus), is a sap-feeding insect and is one of the most difficult pests to manage.  Locally known as “itim na atangya,” this RBB attacks rice plants in the irrigated area at almost all stages of its growth, particularly from maximum tillering to ripening stage.  In rainfed areas, damage by this pest could result in severe to complete crop loss during heavy infestation.

RBB prefers marshy and wet land environment.  The main habitat of this pest is the base of the rice plant.  Also, RBB can live at the leaves of other plants like taro (gabi), corn, weeds, etc.  At daytime, RBB can be seen at the base of the plant and move up to the panicle at night.

Female RBB deposits its eggs usually on the decaying outermost leafsheaths on the basal part of the plants, although some are laid on the lower part of the leaves.  The eggs are laid in mass of 40-60 eggs, with one egg measuring to 1mm long.  A single female RBB can lay about 200 eggs during its lifetime.  The eggs hatched 5-7 days and become a full-grown  adult after six weeks.  Adult RBB is oval-shaped and about 8-9mm long.

Why should RBB be controlled in rainfed wetland areas? 

RBB nymphs (one week) and adults (six weeks) suck the sap of the plants’ base, stalk, leaves, and panicle that results in the plant’s desiccation or dryness.

What are the damages that RBB do to the rice plant?

How is RBB controlled?

During planting time

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Topics: Farming Methods, Miscellaneous | No Comments »

The ABCs of Free-Range Poultry Raising

By goGreen | February 27, 2012

Agri entrepreneur Tina Moradas Papillion talks about the basic things one ought to know in raising chicken the free-range way.

One of the most significant trends in agriculture in recent years is the growing demand for organic and naturally grown agricultural products. Compared to conventionally grown produce inorganic or natural products often enjoy a premium price and are increasingly becoming mainstream as more people ask for them.

Among the people who are capitalizing on this trend is Arestina “Tina” Moradas Papillon, owner of Pamora Farms, a free range poultry farm in Abra. Pamora Farms, is actually a combination of Tina and her Frensh husband’s last names. It started as a backyard operation in 2000, when Tina set it up for her parents. They started commercial operations in 2002 with a monthly capacity of 200 chickens. Today they have a monthly capacity of 10,000 chickens.

Tina says that when she started the business, setting up a farm was the farthest thing from her mind since no one in her family had a background in poultry raising. She says that the idea came to her when her husband accompanied her to a seminar on growing French chickens. The seminars, she says, left her husband puzzled as it was about Sasso chickens which are products of a French company, and not a legitimate breed. But the seminar did spur her interest in chicken farming.


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Do You Want to Raise a Geese?

By goGreen | February 27, 2012

What most Filipinos don’t know is that geese are cheap and easy to maintain and they provide animal protein as well as cash income.

Unknown to many Filipinos,goose is one of the oldest of man’s feathered friends. Their domestication probably took place in Egypt (where they were considered sacred) about 3,000 years ago; although some research suggests that it may have been even earlier.

The term “goose” (plural: geese) applies to the birds in general, and to a female in particular. The word “gander” is used for a male in particular. Young birds before fledging are called “goslings.” A group of geese on the ground is called a “gaggle”; when geese fly in formation they are called a “wedge” or a “skein”.

Geese became widespread in Europe during the early part of the Christian era. In those days, the goose was considered a luxury. Today, goose raising is carried on extensively in many European countries. In fact, goose is the popular bird during Christmas time in Germany and France.

In some Asian countries, goose meat is a regular commodity in the market. It is only in the Philippines that the raising of geese for meat has not been exploited commercially as much as chickens or ducks. Geese are raised more as pets and curiosities than for the production of meat and eggs.

What most Filipinos don’t know is that geese are cheap and easy to maintain and they provide animal protein as well as cash income.

In fact, raising geese is more advantageous. Mature geese are independent, larger than other poultry species and thus, less vulnerable to predators. When kept in small flocks and allowed to roam around the farmyard or field, they are adept scavengers, requiring less attention than any other domestic bird.


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Organic Egg Through Nanotechnology

By goGreen | February 26, 2012

This organic egg promotes growth, restores vitality and helps keeps us away from diseases.

Eggs are an essential and versatile ingredient for many baked goods, a key ingredient to so many delicious and nutritious dishes, and of course, great for breakfast.

But nowadays, people are now nary chicken eggs in the market open grass) like becoming conscious about the food they eat. Maybe this is why there were an increasing number of folks claiming to have organically grown eggs. They also believe that it is healthier to eat organic eggs than to have ordinary chicken eggs in the market because organic ones come from chickens that are treated with hormones (antibiotic free) and so our body should be safe from chemicals.

Organic egg, they said, is from free range chicken (raised on open grass) like native chicken.

They eat seed, grains, grass and other plants…unlike the commercial chickens fed with feeds made up of animal and fish byproducts which cause that fishy taste in their eggs. But these are not always true.

We met Engr. Walther B. Alvarez, one of the exhibitors in the INAHGEN 2010,  The Farmer’s Congress held recently. He is using his technology to produce organic eggs even from caged chickens that are fed with commercial feeds but are still low in cholesterol and high in protein. This Filipino Engineer owe this to his amazing feed powder mix which he developed to improve the immune system and enhance the performance of animals offering solution to various health problems of the country’s poultry and swine industries.

Called “Atovi,” this egg is a product of nanotechnology was applied by Engr. Alvarez, a management and industrial engineering graduate of the Mapua Institute of Technology.

Nanotechnology is a process that involves altering the molecular structure of any physical matter to come out with altered behavior. A nanotech product refers to any substance that is engineered at the scale of a nanometer (one billionth of a meter), such is about three to five atoms across. By messing with atom, an engineer can alter a substance so it does new functions.

Engr. Alvarez pointed out that the additive improves the reproductive capacity of animals and reduces ammonia from waste products, Their manure is converted already into an organic fertilizer which could be applied directly to plants. According to him, in subsequenttrials and actual demonstrations, Atovi has been proven to have improved the physiological condition of any livestock and providing immediate and optimal response, absorption, conversion, stability and efficacy of the nutritive value of feed inputs and medication program.

He said the feed additive has been tested by many poultry farm owners and managers to improve the general well-being of their chicken regardless of age. It promotes growth, restores vitality and helps keeps us away from diseases. That is why the chickens are antibiotic free.

“Our farmers ought to be given opportunities to be more productive and competitive so it’s about time our product reaches them for their own advantage. Rather than seen as competitor to conventional feeds and veterinary health products, Atovi actually serves as catalyst and their partner to effective prevention and treatment of disease and stimulation of appetite,” Alvarez explained.

We have visited his office at Tunasan, Muntinlupa where he constructed a simple demo cage of 96 layers. These chickens were ready to be culled (retired) when he bought to further show the wonder of his technology. You wouldn’t know they have a small poultry within the subdivision because there is no smell of foul odor from their waste products. And it was really amazing to see this chicken regain their reproductive capacity to produce an egg everyday.

Engr Alvarez showed us the difference between commercial eggs from organic eggs they produce. Commercial eggs we usually bought from the market has watery whites and anemic egg yolks white the organic ones have perky, dark yello or almost orange egg yolks that stand tall and two distinct parts of the egg whites, the more viscous part nearer the yolk and a less viscous outer layer. Flavor is better too because it has no fishy or ( malansa taste). When boiled, organic eggs tastes like our kesong puti (white cheese) taste because of its creaminess (linamnam).

They even showed us copies of taste results of their organic eggs that has been submitted for analysis of cholesterol content to Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) which is under the Department of Science and Technology or DOST. It said that organic eggs produced by them have low cholesterol content than that of commercial eggs. Therefore, their organic eggs are better, safer and healthier for us to take.

He said we don’t have t take eggs of native chickens to have organic eggs. Ordinary chicken’ fed with Atovi treated feeds or water, could also produce organic eggs. Besides nowadays, we can never be sure of the food this free ranged chicken and native chicken gets from the backyard. So be sure, always give them “Atovi,” he said.


SOURCE: Agri Business Week

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How To Make Rice Wine

By goGreen | February 26, 2012

You will need:

      Glutinous rice
Fermentation jar

1. Weigh glutinous rice (e.g. Improved Malagkit Sungsong, Buenkitan or similar varieties) and wash with water three times.

2. Cook in rice cooker or saucepan until well done.

3. Spread the cooked rice on a tray or similar container. Cover the tray with Manila paper and cool at room temperature.

4. Inoculate rice with powdered bubod.

5. Cover the tray with Manila paper and let it stand at room temperature for 2 days.

6. Transfer the pre-fermented rice into a fermentation jar and cover with cheesecloth. Allow to ferment for at least 2 weeks.

7. Before harvesting, place gubo inside the jar to facilitate collection of wine.

8. Collect the wine. Filter through cheesecloth.

9. Press out the remaining juice using cheesecloth.

10. Transfer the wine to a colored bottle and pasteurize.

11. Allow to stand for at least a month in a dark, cool place.

12. Siphon the clear wine.

13. Clarify the wine with activated carbon and filter.

14. Bottle the wine and pasteurize (approximately 1 liter of clear wine can be produced from 1 kg glutinous rice).

15. Let it cool. Package the wine.


Source: Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture

Topics: Food Processing | No Comments »

Hot Pepper Production

By goGreen | February 26, 2012

Hot Pepper (Capsicum frutescens L.) or siling labuyo, is a perennial plant with small, tapering fruits, often 2-3, at a node. The fruits of most varieties are red, some are yellow, purple or black. The fruist are very pungent. The flowers are greenish white or yellowish white.


Hot pepper is used generally as a condiment. Its extracts ae also used to control borers and othe larval insects. Each 100 g edible portion contains, as follows:





86.0 g

1.9 g

1.9 g

9.2 g

1.2 mg

14.4 mg
 Vitamin A 

700-21600 IU
 Vitamin C 

242.0 mg
Energy Value 

257.0 kJ



 Matikaslong, tapering, smooth, dark green fruits, with mild pungency; cooking type
 C-1550smooth, light green fruits, with mild pungency, cooking type
Inokralong, tapering, slightly wrinkled, light green fruits, not pungent; cooking type
2-3 cm long, dark green to deep red, shiny fruits, extremely pungent



Hot pepper can be grown from low to wind elevation throughout the year. Production is best, however, during the cool, dry months of October to March in sandy loam soil.


Line sow 200 – 250 g of seeds in a seedbed prepared from a mixture of equal parts of animal manure, rice hull, charcoal, and soil. Makes shallow lines spaced at 10 – 15 cm apart and water before and after sowing. Mulch with rice hull and straw. Provide partial shade and water regularly. Harden the seedling one week before transplanting.


Prepare the area thoroughly. For small areas, make plots 0.75 – 1.0 m wide for two-row/plot planting. In bigger areas, make furrows 0.5 – 0.75 m apart for single row planting. Apply basal fertilizer at 5 -7 bags/ha 14-14-14 and 5 – 10 t/ha manure. Transplant at a spacing of 0.3 – 0.5 m between hills.


Hot pepper grows best under full sunlight although it can also tolerate partial shade. Transplant four to five week old, sturdy seedlings. Prepare raised beds one meter wide and about 20 – 30 cm high. The spacing between hills and rows should be 30 – 50 cm with two rows in each bed. Make holes in the beds and place a handful of compost or animal manure. Place 1-2 seedlings in the hole and cover with soil, pressing lightly near the stem for maximum contact between roots and soil. Water immediately after transplanting.

Hot pepper can also be grown in clay pots, cans and plastic bags. It can be treated as an ornamental if maintained properly.


Hot pepper responds well to inorganic fertilizer. However, animal manure and compost are better sources of nutrients. Another alternative is to grow hot pepper around basket composts.


Apply water once a week or as needed, however, water is much more needed in container-grown plants. Mulching in both plots and containers can cut watering by at least 50%. Grasses, paper, sawdust, manure, and plastic sheets can be used for mulching.


The main diseases of hot pepper are bacterial wilt and viruses. Bacterial wilt is soil borne and difficult to control so that wilting in fully-grown plants is usually due to bacterial wilt. It is best to grow hot pepper in containers with sterilized soil instead. Viruses are systematic, so it is good practice to pull out and burry infected plants (mosaic, leaf curling, fernlike leaves) to prevent the spread of diseases through insect vectors.

The major insect pests of pepper are thrips, mites, army worm, fruit fly, and shoot borers. Thrips is a problem during the dry season and can be managed by overhead irrigation. Shoot and fruit borer can be managed by removing damaged fruits and shoots.


Harvest mature green or fully ripened red fruits. Pack in plastic crates, cartons, or bamboo crates lined with banana leaves.

Seeds can also be extracted from the red fruits. Air-dry or sun dry seeds for 3 – 5 days. Place in plastic bags or clear bottles, seal and store in a cool, dry place or inside the refrigerator. Label properly to indicate variety and date of harvest.


Topics: Crops & Vegetables, Farming Methods | No Comments »

Ostrich : The Bird That Lays The Golden Egg

By goGreen | February 26, 2012

The ostrich is the largest living bird in the world. An adult male ostrich is usually 2.4 meters tall with weight of over 100 Kg. The female adult ostrich is only a little bit smaller. Because of their huge body and small wing size, ostriches cannot fly. However, the speed of their legs can very well make up for being flightless. Ostriches can run as fast as 70Km, each stride as big as 8 meters.

Ostriches have been hunted for their flesh and plumes since ancient times. Today, the Department of Agriculture encourages ostrich farming as an alternative to poultry business to prevent food crisis in the country and to boost the country’s economic development.

Commercial ostrich farming
Startup capital for ostrich farming is much more than an ordinary poultry farm. Each breeder bird may cost approximately P40,000 and requires 200 square meter pen space. However, long term return on investment in this venture is lucrative.

A hen can produce up to too eggs and at least 40 chicks annually that reach marketing age after only 407 days from conception (42 days incubation + 365 days of age). Each bird yields 1800 kg of meat, 50 m2 of leather and 36 kg of feathers each year. The female ostrich can continue this annual production for as long as 40 years. With proper management and utilization of husbandry technology, the overall production of one female ostrich during her “economic life” can reach 72 tonnes of meat, 2000 square meter of leather and 1450 kg of feathers.

Ostrich requires relatively low maintenance. They can be nourished with low-cost feeds such as regular chicken feed and kangkong. These birds can thrive even in very poorly vegetated areas. They are also very adaptable and they thrive in extreme conditions.

Ostriches can regulate their body temperature in cold and hot weather. Their feathers are good insulators which can protect them from the heat, as well as protect them from heat loss during cold weather. The meat of an adult bird commands a price of about P400 to P800 per Kg.

Ostrich products

Typically, ostriches are raised commercially for their meat, hide and feathers. Ostrich farming is considered to be among the world’s most profitable agricultural ventures. There is a large variety of possible products from this endeavor, and consequently have a high profit potential.

The largest living bird in the world lays the largest egg. The ostrich egg can measure up to 19cm long and 15cm wide. The egg can weigh up to 1.9 Kg. An egg can command a price of up to P800 in the end user’s market.

Ostriches generate red meat that is comparable in taste and texture to veal and beef, depending on the age when they are slaughtered. The health-conscious market prefers ostrich meat, as its red meat has fewer calories than pork and is also competitive in taste. Ostrich meat is high in protein yet low in fat. Ostrich meat contains far less fat compared to pork, beef, and even chicken, particularly less cholesterol. With the continuous health trend in agricultural markets, demand for ostrich meat in the international markets constantly increases. The meat may be marketed in a variety of ways, such as cold cuts, frankfurters, pate, fillet steaks and jerky, in addition to fresh meat.

The use of ostrich feathers are far reaching, ranging from implements for cleaning fine machinery and equipment to decorations to accents the fashion industry.

Ostrich skin is considered to be one of the most luxurious leathers in the world. It is comparable to crocodile and snake skin. The leather is thick, durable and exceptionally soft. It can be manufactured into a variety of leather products like shoes, bags, purses and jackets.


SOURCE: Agri Business Week

Topics: Livestock, Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »

Soil Erosion : A Different Kind of War

By goGreen | February 25, 2012

The world is losing an equivalent of five to seven million hectares of farmland through erosion each year.

There are wars and there are wars. In Mindanao, there is a battle between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the government’s military troops. But there is a kind of war that has been here since time immemorial and yet no one notices the conflict. It is called soil erosion.

“Soil erosion is an enemy to any nation – far worse than any outside enemy coming into a country a conquering it because it is an enemy you cannot see vividly,” declares Harold R. Watson, recipient of the 1985 Ramon Magsaysay Award for peace and international understanding. “It’s a slow creeping enemy that soon possesses the land.”

Watson knows. He was the former director of the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC), a non-government organization based in Kinuskusan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. When he came to the Philippines in the 1960s, he was already sounding the alarm of deforestation and soil erosion.

But people only laughed at him. They told him, “We’re never going to run out of trees!” That was before several presidents, other Asian governments, the United Nations – and countless farmers – recognized the value of his insights. A few hundred years ago, at least 95%of the Philippines was covered by tropical rainforest. However, the country lost one third of its forest cover between 1990 and 2005. Although the current deforestation rate is around 2% per year, a 20% drop from the rate of the 199os, deforestation continues unabated.

In 1971, Watson opened to the public the MBRLC, a research and demonstration farm. In the beginning, they floundered. “When I got here, I had no idea what the problems were up in the hills,” said the American agriculturist who grew up in Mississippi. “Farming looked pretty good on the surface.”

Soon, Watson discovered that the problem was the surface: It was washing away. Loggers – both legal and illegal – were hauling trees out of the once-lush mountains, leaving behind denuded hillsides. Tribal people and migrants were using “slash and burn” methods (kaingin) to clear and farm the uplands, and topsoil was disappearing faster than what can be replenished. The result: low production, hunger, and hopelessness.

“Most of these farmers don’t have a vision to see five or 10 years down the line,” Watson said. “Most live for one more day, and don’t lift their head up. They’re not thinking about erosion. It’s `What can I get out of the land today, right now?”‘

Soil is the single most important resource on a farmland, which is built up over time. It takes 200 to 1,000 years to form 2.5 centimeters of rich topsoil. But on the average, farmlands are losing 2.5 cm of topsoil every 16 years, or 17 times, faster than it can be replaced. “Soil is related to the earth much as the rind is related to an orange,” explains an American geologist. “It is the link between the rock core of the earth and the living things on its surface. It is the foothold for the plants we grow. Therein lies the main reason for our interest in soil.”

Soil erosion is the most common natural landscape forming process. Over thousands of years, erosion wears down mountains and deposits soil elsewhere to form plains, plateaus, valleys, river flats, and deltas. This type of erosion is known as natural erosion.

Erosion occurring at a rate that exceeds the rate of natural erosion is called accelerated erosion. Accelerated erosion can result from certain human land use practices. For soil to erode requires a combination of two factors – loose soil and a physical force that can transport the soil to a new location.

“Soil particles are loosened in several ways,” says Jim Chamberlain, a specialist in tropical forestry who has experience in the Philippines and other parts of East Asia. “The impact of raindrops on exposed soil can detach soil particles as can soil freezing and thawing.”

Soil particles may be detached from a stream bank during high water. Detached soil particles are then transported to a new location by some physical force, including water, wind, ice, or gravity. On forested lands, this force is flowing water. Wind is also an important force for soil transport on agricultural lands as in the 1930s Dust Bowl in the United States.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the world is losing an equivalent of five to seven million hectares of farmland through erosion each year. This is equivalent to the land area of Belgium and the Netherlands combined. In the Philippines, “soil erosion is now the most serious environmental problem,” to quote the words of Dr. Eduardo Paningbatan, of the University of the Philippines at Los Banos.

Soil erosion makes farmlands infertile every year. Studies have shown that loss of a few centimeters of topsoil can reduce the productivity of good soils by 40% and poor soils by 60%. “No other soil phenomenon is more destructive worldwide than soil erosion,” wrote Nyle C. Brady in his book, The Nature and Properties of Soils. “It involves losing water and plant nutrients at rates far higher than those occurring through leaching.

“More tragically, however, (soil erosion) can result in the loss of the entire soil,” Brady continued. “Furthermore, the soil that is removed find its way into streams, rivers, and lakes and becomes a pollution problem there.” This is where sedimentation and siltation occur.

In Luzon, the four major basins – Bicol, Magat, Pampanga, and Agno – are in critical condition due to acute soil erosion and sedimentation. The Ambuklao Dam reservoir had its life halved from 60 to 32 years as a result of siltation.

Lester R. Brown and Edward C. Wolf, authors of Soil Erosion: Quiet Crisis in the World Economy, argued that erosion affects crop production in two ways. “The loss of topsoil reduces the inherent productivity of land, both through the loss of nutrients and degradation of the physical structure,” they explained.

“It also increases the costs of food production. When farmers lose topsoil, they may increase land productivity by substituting energy in the form of fertilizer. Hence, farmers losing topsoil may experience either a loss in land productivity or a rise in costs of agricultural inputs. And if productivity drops too low or agricultural costs rise too high, farmers are forced to abandon their land.”

According to Brown, the immediate effects of soil erosion are economic but in the long run, its ultimate effects are social. “When soils are depleted and crops are poorly nourished, people are often undernourished as well. Failure to respond to the erosion threat will lead not only to the degradation of land, but to the degradation of life itself.”

Although more than 99% of the world’s food comes from the soil, experts estimate that each year more than 10 million hectares of crop land are degraded or lost as rain and wind sweep away topsoil. An area big enough to feed Europe has been so severely degraded it cannot produce food, UN figures show.


SOURCE: Agri Business Week

Topics: Miscellaneous | No Comments »

Some Questions Regarding Carabao Mango Growing in the Philippines

By goGreen | February 25, 2012

Which microclimate in Mindanao is suited for mango production?

Mindanao is ideal for mango production primarily because many areas there are spared from typhoons, which is the single most important constraint in year-round mango production.

The Mindanao area can be classified as the best producing area in the country in terms of yield but in terms of quality, the best areas are those produced during dry season.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

Does soil have an effect on quality of the fruit (example, taste)?

Soil has an effect on the quality of the fruit. In order to ensure acceptable fruit quality, there must be proper balance of the essential nutrients. Correct fertilization practices, should therefore, be followed.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

Is it possible to grow mango trees in colder or elevated areas?

There is a possibility of growing mango trees in elevated areas but the limit is 600 meters above sea level.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

How are we going to fertilize mango trees?

Dig holes or a circular canal 20 cm to 2 m away from the trunk depending on the age of the plant. One to three years old, 20-45 cm; 4-15 years old, 1-2 meters; >15 years, 2 meters. Apply the fertilizer on the holes or the canals and cover with soil.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

When is the best time to fertilize mango seedlings?

The best time to apply fertilizer is when there is sufficient moisture in the soil. In areas with distinct dry seasons, application is done at the onset and before the end of the rainy season. In areas where soil is almost always moist or irrigation facilities are available, fertilizers are applied at flower induction shortly after harvest, and the period between harvesting and the next flower induction.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

What is the safe level of NPK Application for 10-30 year old mango trees?

The safe level of NPK needed for 10-30 year old trees depends on several factors. The NPK level of the soil has to be tested in order to determine how much is lacking and thus be able to compute for the required amount.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

Is it alright to use urea in combination with NPK?

Yes. NPK supplies nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium while urea supplies more nitrogen. So it really depends on the nitrogen requirement of the plant.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

What can you say about double or triple grafting?

This method of maintaining plants can have advantages or disadvantages depending on the particular crop or situation. Mango with double or triple root stock would become more vigorous, resulting to overcrowding of trees within a short period of time. However, one advantage of double or triple grafting of mango is better anchorage of the tree to the soil.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

I am a neophyte farmer. I recently bought a 6,250 sq. m. lot in Guagua, Pampanga with dimensions of 25 m wide by 250 m long. It has 18 fruit-bearing mango trees planted on a straight line with a 10 m distance between trees. What crops would you recommend to be planted along with these mango trees? And how does one go about doing it?

You can choose among 10 crops to plant in between mango trees, but it would depend on the age of the trees. If the trees are newly planted and are still small, plant short season crops like vegetables. Crops that require higher light intensity can also be planted while the mango trees are still small. However, if the trees are already fully grown, choose crops that can tolerate reduced amounts of sunlight such as ‘gabi’. The best thing to do is to determine the extent of sunlight exposure and choose your crop accordingly. Prepare soil the usual way – by shallow plowing and harrowing.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

We recently inherited some properties in Batangas City, and would like to venture into mango production and raise other crops while the mangoes are not producing yet. We are thinking of planting calamansi in between mango trees. Where can I get materials of mangoes and calamansi?

That is a very good idea. Calamansi can be grown productively in between mango trees especially while they are still young, because competition is very minimal and there is enough sunlight for the intercrops. You can grow calamansi during the first ten years, as it thrives under high light intensity. After this period though, the calamansi will have to be replaced with crops that are tolerant to shade such as ‘gabi’. Reliable sources of planting materials of mango and calamansi include the Bureau of Plant Industry and UP Los Baños.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

Is there a need to bag mango fruits? Method of bagging?

Bagging of fruits is not a requirement in mango production, but it is an effective way of protecting mango fruits from mechanical damage and damages due to pests such as the fruit fly.

Before you start bagging, you need the following materials: bamboo ladder, stapler and wire, newspaper print, coconut midrib, and rope. Using stapler, form the bag 15 x 22 cm made out of newspaper print. You can start bagging when the fruits are about the size of a chicken’s egg, or 55 to 60 days after flower induction. Here are the steps in bagging:

a) For small trees, simply set the ladder on the ground and climb to reach each fruit.

b) For big and tall trees, bring the ladder up the tree and secure it on a strong branch by trying it. The position of the ladder should allow the bagger to reach each fruit and bag as many fruits as possible.

c) Insert one fruit per bag then close the bag using coconut midrib.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

How many times do I spray? What causes fruit fall? And when do I need to bag?

The number of pesticide spraying required to effectively protect flowers and fruits from insect pests and diseases varies with the prevailing weather conditions during the flowering and fruiting period. Regular pruning and bagging of fruits may also reduce the required number of pesticide applications. In general, early flower induction would require six sprays of fungicides and three sprays of insecticides since prevailing rainfall and relative humidity during this time is favorable to the development of fungal diseases. On the other hand, more sprays (6 times) of insecticides are needed during the late induction period since insects are expected to become a major problem during this period. These sprays of fungicides may be sufficient during late induction period.

Falling of fruits could be caused by several factors such as lack of nutrients, water, insect pest and disease damage, strong wind, hormonal imbalance, and many more.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

What is the recommended distance of planting?

The usual recommended distance of planting for mango trees ranges from 10 to 14 meters and therefore, using this recommendation, you would need a maximum of 100 trees to a hectare.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

Please give us information on high density planting of mango orchards!

High density planting has not yet been thoroughly studied for ‘Carabao’ mango in the Philippines. It could have the potential of generating more income during the early productive period of the orchard, but then overcrowding of canopies could become a serious problem very soon since ‘Carabao’ mango is a fast growing variety. Corporate farms who have tried high density planting, have not been successful with the system.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

What are the advantages of using seedlings or grafted materials in the field?

An important advantage in using grafted material is that the waiting period from planting to fruiting is shorter than if seedlings are used. With grafted materials, you can expect the plants to bear fruit on the third or fourth year as opposed to a minimum of seven years if seedlings are used. Another advantage would be having more trees per hectare, since grafted trees tend to remain smaller compared to seedling trees.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

Where can we source good and reliable planting materials?

The best sources of planting materials include government agencies like the Bureau of Plant Industry and universities and colleges like UP Los Baños. Nurseries accredited by BPI could also supply recommended planting materials.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

What is more advantageous – a small or a big mango tree?

On a management point of view, a small tree is easier to manage than a bigger one. With small trees, one advantage is that you would be able to accommodate more trees within a specific area. It is also much easier to apply the cultural management practices with small trees. If the trees are to be climbed, accident risks are also minimized.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

What are we going to do with fallen mango trees due to typhoon?

The mango trees will eventually recover after sometime without the need of propping since the roots will eventually resume its normal growth and hold the tree on its own. However, the trees will not regain its normal posture. But this should not worry you as it has been observed that fallen trees, which have recovered, are more responsive to flower induction. Moreover, these trees will be more resistant against wind damage aside from the additional bonus of ease in harvesting the fruits. As to pruning operations, prune only the inner smaller branches of the tree. However, pruning needs will differ slightly as the tree grow older.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

Have we tried to improve other local varieties like ‘Pico’?

Nothing has been done to improve this variety. The ‘Pico’ has a very limited market and therefore has not been given as much research attention as the ‘Carabao’.

Source: Dr. Leon O. Namuco

Source: http://www.pcarrd.dost.gov.ph, Dr. Leon Namuco (UPLB PROFESSOR)

Topics: Crops & Vegetables | No Comments »

Spawnless Mushroom Production Using Munggo Hull

By goGreen | February 25, 2012


    1. Collect munggo hull after threshing. Place them in sacks.
    2. Construct mushroom beds (1×1 sq. m) by using four banana trunks joined together as base. The height can be increased to hold the munggo hull and prevent them from scattering.
    3. Pound the hull. Pulverize if possible until white dust from the pods is produced.
    4. Place 5 bags of munggo hull in the bed. You can mix corn husks and cobbs if available. If not, you can use dry banana leaves and trunks of banana in combination with the munggo hull or you can use plain munggo hull.
    5. Instead of throwing rice wash away, use it to moisten the bed in addition to the rain water. (June and July are rainy months in San Mateo, Isabela).
    6. Harvest mushroom at their button stage when mushroom cease to sprout and the bed go down, repeat procedure 3 to 5.
    7. Repeat this process for one or more time (up to 3 times) from the date of establishment for 2 mos.


This procedure needs about 15 big sacks of munggo hull and does not require the use of mushroom spawn.

For more information and questions, visit or contact:

FITS Manager
San Mateo FITS Center Isabela
CP No. 0920 903 0045


Source: EntrePinoys Atbp.

Topics: Farming Methods | No Comments »

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