Farm Life: Trying Out the Upland Rice Variety

In our farm, we currently produce rice, corn and tobacco. The rising cost of producing corn convinced my father to shift to upland rice and maybe concentrate on it in the future.  His new found discovery has been a topic for in conversations he had with other farmers.

This breed of rice can thrive even on the lack of water supply. There are irrigation canals in our farm but we have never benefited from it. Irrigation water never reached our farms. The farmers’ solution to the absence of irrigation is deep well that requires gasoline or electricity to pump up water from an underground source. In times of drought, expenses goes higher and in the end there will be lower profit.

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Upland rice growing alongside the corn.

A farmer does not have to go through the process of sowing and replanting. Load the seeds to a mechanical seeder and it’s good to go. Planting rice can be done in a short period of time even by a single person.

Lesser expenditure is expected because of it’s low-maintenance characteristic. Expect no expenditure for molluscicide – pesticide against mollusks or kuhol. Dry soil is not a conducive breeding ground for these pests. Also, there’s no need to maintain dikes. Wetland variety requires dikes to lock in the water in the puddles.

The seeds is not widely available. My father and I have already checked the IRRI in San Mateo, Isabela. The IRRI storekeeper advised us that this kind of variety is still on the process of evaluation. Luckily, we are able to get some in Cagayan through the help of a relative from Apayao Province.

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This breed of rice can be harvested in four months time (120 days) a month longer than the wetland variety. It was our first cropping season and we are hoping that the outcome is what we have expected.

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