The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office I (DA-RFO I) through the Corn Banner Program, in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Laoag and the Syngenta-Philippines, a private corn seed company successfully conducted the 50-hectare Corn Model Farm Field Day at Brgy. Sta. Rosa, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte on March 13, 2020.

Using NK8840 corn seed variety, a preferred variety of the farmers in the area, the techno-demo project aims to showcase new corn production technologies like the use of fertilizer and nutrient management technology including the promotion on the use of full farm machineries and equipment from land preparation, planting, harrowing, harvesting up to drying and storage.

Established in a 50-hectare farm lot, the project was managed and cultivated by the members of the Sta. Rosa and Apaya Farmers Association, supervised by the assigned Agricultural Technologists in the area and in collaboration with the Provincial and Regional Corn Programs.

In the result of the crop cut activity presented during the Field Day, of the 50 plants cutted with 10 representative ears, an 8.92 metric tons/ha. is projected as yield of the techno-demo at 14% moisture content, way beyond higher than the 7 tons/ha. target yield of the techno-demo.

As revealed in the cost and return analysis of the techno-demo, there was a comparative advantage of mechanized farming on that of a manual farming system especially on the cost of production. Ms. Shiela Opelac, the Corn Coordinator of Laoag City in her report showed that a farmer could use around P59,000 for every hectare of corn production when using mechanized farming much lower than that of manual farming where he/she could invest more than P62,000.

The report also revealed that a farmer could gain higher when his farm is fully mechanized as he could be able to profit at least P62,000 much higher than he/she uses the manual farming system where he/she could only gain a net income of more than P57,000.

Meanwhile, Ms. Josefina Bueno, representing DA-RFO I Regional Executive Director Lucrecio Alviar, Jr. in her message lauded the convergence efforts of the Corn Banner Programs, the Provincial and City Local Government Units for making realize the goals and objectives of the DA for higher production and incomes of the farmers through the farming technologies showcased in the techno-demo such as farm mechanization and the strategy of a farm consolidation.

She likewise encouraged the farmers present in the field day to adopt in their own farms whatever learnings they acquired during the field day to sustain the DA’s efforts of making Ilocos Region as a consistent highest corn yielder in the country, as she vowed to remain steadfast in all the needed support of the farmers for better production and higher incomes in the farming sector.

“Patuloy na tutulong ang DA sa inyo. Samantalahin ninyo ang mga ganitong pagkakataon na nagbibigay ang gobyerno ng mga suporta sa inyo para mas lalo pang maiangat ang inyong produksyon at kita para sa ikauunlad ng bawat isa,” Ms. Bueno added.

The field day was also attended by the farmers from Batac City, Dingras, San Nicolas, Badoc and Solsona, where among the corn producing municipalities in Ilocos Norte.