PRO­DUC­ING MORE WITH LESS FER­TIL­IZER

Agriculture - - Proof - BY BERT CAM­PO­MANES

AS A GRAD­U­ATE of BS Agri­cul­ture, ma­jor in Agri­cul­tural Eco­nom­ics, I am fa­mil­iar with the pro­duc­tion func­tion. First, the level of in­put de­ter­mines the level of out­put in the pro­duc­tion of any crop. Sec­ond, there is an op­ti­mum level of in­put to achieve op­ti­mum lev­els of out­put. No mat­ter how vast your land area for farm­ing is, if your cost to pro­duce is too high, it can­not be con­sid­ered ‘pro­duc­tive farm­ing’. Even if you have tons of harvest from your farm, if your ex­penses are too high, your oper­a­tions can­not be con­sid­ered prof­itable.

We still need to be very mind­ful of the re­turn on in­vest­ment, just like with any other busi­ness, be­cause know­ing the op­ti­mum level of in­puts needed to achieve op­ti­mum out­put in pro­duc­tion is very im­por­tant for farm­ing to suc­ceed and be sus­tain­able.

Al­fredo Yao, a farmer in Wao, Lanao Del Sur, is an or­ganic farm­ing ad­vo­cate. He be­lieves that in farm­ing, we need to find ways to lessen in­put ex­penses with­out sac­ri­fic­ing pro­duc­tion. When his ra­dio com­men­ta­tor friends Rene Cen­til­las and Ronie de Asis men­tioned that they were en­dors­ing an or­ganic fer­til­izer made from fish hy­drolysate called “Amino Plus Foliar Fer­til­izer,” Yao, an or­ganic farm­ing ad­vo­cate, tried it the prod­uct.

In Wao, most farm­ers use at least 12 bags of in­or­ganic fer­til­iz­ers per hectare. Yao has been us­ing soil con­di­tion­ers and or­ganic fer­til­iz­ers for his pre­vi­ous crop­pings. Last crop­ping sea­son, he used 50 sacks of in­or­ganic fer­til­izer plus a soil con­di­tioner for his 7.5 hectare corn farm (about 6.67 sacks of in­or­ganic fer­til­izer per hectare). Still, he was able to harvest the same amount of pro­duce as those who used 12 sacks of in­or­ganic fer­til­iz­ers.

As a pro­moter of Amino Plus Foliar fer­til­izer, I was a lit­tle bit wor­ried at first that the corn plants might not bear good ears or that it might only re­sult in poor grain fill­ing or at worst, bar­ren ears be­cause the level of re­duc­tion in the amount of fer­til­izer used was too huge, con­sid­er­ing that most of the farm­ers were us­ing 12 to 14 sacks of in­or­ganic fer­til­iz­ers. How­ever, when I looked at the leaf color, based on the Leaf Color Chart (LCC), there were no symp­toms of nu­tri­ent de­fi­ciency what­so­ever. But still, I was a lit­tle bit con­cerned about it.

I told Ricky Sun, in­ven­tor of Amino Plus Foliar fer­til­izer, about my ap­pre­hen­sions, and he had the same wor­ries. Even the other field tech­ni­cians in the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try could hardly be­lieve that Yao only used low lev­els of in­put.

There­after, Yao used Amino Plus Foliar Fer­til­izer with his newly planted corn at 2-3 leaves at 150 milliliters (mL)

Al­fredo Yao proudly show­ing his corn pro­duce – big­ger corn cobs, big­ger ker­nels, filled to the tip.

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