The activity also served as the culmination of the hybrid rice challenge for the dry season wherein various hybrid seed varieties were showcased for observation and evaluation by the farmers.

During the field day, farmers assessed each variety based on three specific criteria: the crop stand, panicle formation, and response to pests and diseases.

The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1, in collaboration with the provincial and local government, as well as several private seed companies organized and facilitated this joint effort.

Eleven private seed companies actively participated in the event, showcasing 29 different hybrid rice varieties. The primary objective was to identify the best-performing and most suitable hybrid rice varieties for the dry season in La Union province and to encourage farmers to use high-yielding rice varieties.

To ensure fair evaluations, each variety was treated with the same package of technology, particularly the nutrient management option, applying the recommended rate of 130-40-50.

The results from the wet season hybrid rice challenge conducted last year in Sto. Tomas was also presented during the activity. Among the varieties grown, BioSeed’s Biorice650 ranks first, achieving a computed average yield of 8.75 MT. This was followed by Syngenta’s NK5017, SL Agritech’s SL-19H, Bayer CropScience’s Arize Bigante Classic, and PASCo’s LP937.

Ms. Sharon Viloria, OIC of the Provincial Agriculture Office, Mr. Juanito Malazo, Jr., APCO for La Union, and Ms. Leah Coloma, DA-RFO 1 Rice Focal Person were in attendance during the activity.