Agriculture Mag off the press

Make sure to get a copy of the April issue of Agriculture Magazine published by the Manila Bulletin and edited by yours truly. It is now off the press and is available in bookstores, convenience stores and outlets of the Bulletin nationwide.

The cover story features our special report on the International Field Day conducted last February at the Simon Groot Research Center in Sansai, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

You will read about the new high-value crops that were showcased at the International Field Day. These include new varieties of tomatoes, different peppers, eggplant, papaya and many more.

Of course there are many other interesting stories that are featured in the April issue. There is an update on the tremendous area planted to BT corn. The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) provided the update.

ISAAA reported that stacked trait corn occupied 90% or 675,000 hectares of the 750,000 hectares total biotech corn hectarage in the Philippines in 2012.

From 2003 to 2011, the farm level economic gains from biotech corn in the country are estimated at US$264.5 million and for 2011 alone, at US$ 93.6 million. The Philippines, which grows approximately 2.5 million hectares of corn, is still the only country in Asia to approve and grow a major biotech feed crop.

You will also read about the success story of Juanito Rama of San Manuel Tarlac, who started a modest cooperative capitalized at only P36,000 five years ago. Now the co-op has a multi-million peso asset.

Rama has a well focused advocacy - the production of corn the zero tillage way. This technique has enabled the corn farmers to produce as much as 16 tons per hectare. Read more about the very successful management of Juanito Rama of the small co-op that he started only about five years ago in the April issue of Agriculture Magazine.

You will also read about the amazing growth of Frederick Pinpinio's burley tobacco in Balungao, Pangasinan. His plants became virtual giants by spraying the young plants only two times with Power Grower Combo, a plant growth accelerator developed by Alfonso G. Puyat.

Dr. Pablito P. Pamplona also continues with the second part of his practical guide to rubber establishment, maintenance, and latex harvesting.

CACTUS MEETING - Members of the Cactus and Succulent Society of the Philippines headed by Dorie S. Bernabe will meet at 2 o'clock this Saturday, April 6, at the Gancayco Hall, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City.

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