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DA palay ratooning program set

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) will implement a ratooning program covering 100,000 hectares to produce more palay and offset losses due to back-to-back typhoons that hit Luzon recently.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the Quick Turnaround (QTA) program and ratooning, a technology in which the remaining stubble or rice stalks are allowed to regenerate tillers and grains through the application of fertilizers (one bag of urea or complete fertilizers per hectare), will start next month, with the harvest set in the first quarter of 2012.

Alcala has instructed DA Regional Field Units (RFUs) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to facilitate rice planting in as many areas as possible for the QTA. NIA Administrator Antonio Nangel said a minimum of 50,000 hectares in Luzon, served by the Pantabangan and Magat irrigation systems, are ready to implement the QTA program from November to February next year. (Marvyn N. Benaning)