In collaboration with participating biofertilizer companies and Longping seed company, the Department of Agriculture – Ilocos Region, through the Rice Banner Program, conducted a Balance Fertilization Strategy Challenge Field day in Brgy. Namboongan, Sto. Tomas, La Union on October 11.According to Mr. Rodolfo Estrada Jr, Regional Techno Demo Coordinator, this challenge, only one rice variety was used for the wet and dry season all throughout Region 1, which is the Longping 937 (NSIC Rc 456H). “Ang main objective ng challenge na ito ay para malaman kung anong balance fertilization strategy ang effective sa Region 1. Kaya each province may site. All management practices are the same. The only difference is yung pag-abono” he said.Meanwhile, Science Research Specialist II Mr. Melvin Agngarayngay, reported the results of the challenge. “May potential ang paggamit ng Biofertilizer. Not only na nakapagreduce tayo sa paggamit ng synthetic, but also napaganda pa niya yung ani ng palay natin.” Mr. Agngarayngay said. Based on the results, 6 to 8.8 tons can be harvested per hectare, with product costs ranging from 54,000 to 78,000 pesos per hectare if treatments are applied. “Nakita naman natin na competitive ang mga biofertilizers, kasi base sa na-compute na cost of produce, mas mura ang mga biofertilizers kumpara sa controlled (DA-RFO1 managed recommendation).” He added.The cost to produce of the biofertilizers ranges from 8.01 to 11.15 pesos while the controlled treatment is at 11.21 pesos. In conclusion, this challenge is beneficial since it has determined which balance fertilization approach is effective in Region 1.Seven bio-fertilizer companies, including LM Arenas Agri-Products Corporation, St. Ruiz, UAL, Bio Prime, Global Green, JJEA Agriventures Co., and Sagrex Corporation were also able to promote their own products during the event.The activity was also attended by LeMMCAP Region 1 Lead Ms. Rizalina Quiros, Provincial Rice Coordinator Ms. Myrna Gacutan, representative of Governor Raphaelle Veronica “Rafy” Ortega-David, OIC – Municipal Agriculturist of Sto. Tomas Mr. Rodolito Estrada, SB Member STLU – Committee in Agriculture Ms. Celia Flor Bejar, Brgy Captain Bienvinido Carbonell, other 2nd district Municipal Agriculturists, La Union farmers, AEWs, OPAG staff, and DA-RFO1 Rice Banner Program staff.