BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) – Cordillera Regional Soils Laboratory (RSL) together with the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division is currently creating a fertility map of the region to aid farmers with their fertilizer application.
A fertility map will be produced per nutrient element (nitrogen or organic matter, potassium, and phosphorus). Each map will indicate the nutrient range of each barangay per municipality as a basis to identify the nutrient deficiency and acidity of the soil.
The RSL is sampling soils in the different barangays of Tabuk, Kalinga and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao to create a fertility map for specific crops, rice for Tabuk and corn for Alfonso Lista, where each commodity are widely produced.
“With the fertility map, farmers are be guided to what element their soil is lacking and what specific fertilizer they can apply and how much amount. This will help the farmers avoid wasting fertilizers,” said Esther Andiso, DA agricultural technician.
Prior to the initial analysis of the RSL, it was found out that generally, Tabuk is high in phosphorus but low in nitrogen and potassium. While in Alfonso Lista, potassium is high but the nitrogen and phosphorous soil contents are low.
Twenty-five percent of the fertility map of Tabuk is already accomplished, while Alfonso Lista is already 75 percent. The completion of the fertility map for both municipalities will be finished by 2017. Andiso explains that the soil sampling is taking a lot of time due to the different planting seasons of rice and corn per barangay. She said that the best time to conduct soil sampling is after harvesting to identify the specific pH.
After its completion, the fertility map will be presented to the farmers per municipality for the recommendation of fertilizer application. But due to the diversity of rice classification in Tabuk, the recommendation of fertilizer will vary in amount. If the rice is traditional, the fertilizer will be minimum; inbred will be neutral; while hybrid will need the highest amount of fertilizer, said Andiso.