TABUK CITY, Kalinga—The regional manager of the National Irrigation Administration is encouraging thousands of rice farmers in this city and nearby Quezon, Isabela being serviced by the multi-million Upper Chico River Irrigation System to plant before the end of the month.
This is to avoid the expected serious negative effects of the occurrence of drought by summer.
Engineer John Socalo, irrigation official of the Cordillera Administrative Region, added that planting early would allow farmers to hurdle the flowering and vegetative stages of the palay before extreme drought prevails. With this, they could recover their previous losses.
He said irrigation water from UCRIS was already supplied to its seven laterals. This signals the start of the planting season for dry cropping so the farmers can still have a good harvest even during the drought.
“Our farmers need to plant before the end of January so that they can harvest their rice produce by late March or early April. This would guarantee their income for the cropping season,” Socalo stressed.
He said NIA had conducted an experimental release of irrigation water on Dec. 28 and fully released irrigation water to all its seven laterals on Jan. 4.
This should be a go-signal for the farmers benefiting from the operation of the UCRIS to start planting their crops for them to harvest early before the onslaught of the projected drought.
It was learned that the rice production per hectare during the dry cropping season is from 5 to 8 tons of palay per hectare while during the wet cropping season, the production of farmers in the city and nearby Quezon, Isabela is between 4 to 5 tons only.