Tigaon, Camarines Sur –– With the goal of showcasing the diverse cultural practices associated with 14 different varieties of corn from seven (7) seed companies, as well as the innovative technologies geared towards enhancing corn industry production, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 5 recently hosted the Regional Corn Derby in Huyon-Huyon, Tigaon, Camarines Sur.

Advanta Seeds Philippines, Asian Hybrid Seed Technologies, Inc., Bayer Crop Science, BioSeed Research Philippines, Inc., Corn World, Corteva Agriscience, and Syngenta Philippines, Inc competed for three categories such as the best varieties in terms of return on investment, shelling recovery, and yielding performance. Moreover, BioPrime and Gemini also participated and shared their technology in the corn derby.

Close to 300 farmers from the different municipalities of Camarines Sur were invited for the festival. They were accompanied by their Municipal Agriculturists. For the host municipality of Tigaon, Municipal Agriculturist Lea M. Beltran led the contingents.

Luz R. Marcelino, Regional Technical Director for Operations applauded the very good complementation of the Field Operations Division and Research Division for this activity. She also mentioned that this is the first time having a uniform fertilizer recommendation which showed what varieties performed well since it is based on the soil analysis. Further, the season-long corn derby experienced drought in its first month, however, all varieties still performed well. The yields ranged from 4.2 metric tons for the lowest and up to 7.6 metric tons for the highest yield.

Marcial T. Bustarga, APCO CamSur highlighted the importance of implementing proper management of corn fields. He said that even if the corn field were bombarded with interventions, and with proper fertilizer application if the care and management is weak, the harvest will also be decreased,” he elaborated.

Engr. Amabel N. Bombase, Regional Corn and Cassava Program Coordinator underscored the importance of the corn derby. She added that its objective goes beyond the introduction of suitable farming technologies as it also serves to identify farmers’ preferences when selecting seeds, thereby averting problems like poor germination and low-yield.

Engr. Raul Carreras, Vice Chair of RAFC, and farmer-cooperator of the derby shared his success story to motivate the corn farmers present and encourage more farmers to engage in the corn industry. “For 38 years, ginibo akong outstanding kan DA. Twice akong naging Regional awardee, nag- national outstanding Sugarcane farmer man ako, asin in-awardan din ako nin DA and DOST as a farmer scientist kaya may mga innovations talaga akong ginibo.”

He also advised the farmers on the proper management of corn; proper land preparation, good seeds, soil analysis, the right time of fertilizing, and spraying of herbicides are some of the secrets to high-yielding corn.

The harvest festival started with a farm walk where the participants listened to the short briefings from each seed company on the qualities of the corn varieties being showcased.

Engr. Henry Espinar of the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division showcased various agricultural machinery for corn production during the activity.

The results of the derby revealed that NK 6130 of Syngenta Philippines secured 1st place in the Agronomic and Yield Performance of Hybrid Yellow Corn Varieties. In shelling recovery, PAC 339 of Advanta Seeds Philippines claimed the top position. NK 6130 of Syngenta dominated the Return on Investment (ROI) category for both fresh and dry grains. (Ma. Edelyn Bongalos)