By Zac B. Sarian

Larry Consebido, 39, is one farmer who really loves radish for a number of good reasons. No.1 reason: In early August 2018, he planted half a hectare to the newly introduced Mt. Data radish variety distributed by Ramgo Seeds. To his great surprise and amazement, he harvested 25,000 kilos of very good roots that a trader paid P40 per kilo.

That means a gross of P1 million from half a hectare in a growing period of just 40 to 45 days. The timing was perfect, according to Larry, because he was the only farmer who had radish for sale at that time. The right variety and right timing were the reasons for Larry’s good fortune.

Compared to other crops, say tomato, radish has its own advantages. The cost of seeds and other inputs are minimal compared to tomato production. Although tomato can be highly profitable at the right timing, it requires big investment in bamboo poles and trellis materials, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.

The roots of Mt. Data are very straight and of high quality.

In the case of Larry’s Mt. Data radish, his cost of seeds was only P5,100 for the half hectare. He used 30 cans of 100-gram seeds at a cost of P170 per can. There was no need for trellis. And the seeds were simply broadcast over the well-prepared field. An expert in broadcasting seeds can make the distribution of the seeds more or less uniform.

The field is thoroughly plowed and harrowed. Larry applied 60 sacks of well-decomposed chicken manure over the field. Two days before broadcasting, the field was sprayed with herbicide to control weed growth. Several days later, before roots were formed, the plants were fertilized with urea. Larry explained that fertilizing the radish when the roots are already developing is  unadvisable.

Mt. Data produces relatively big roots that are snow-white and straight. Four to five roots make one kilo.

How can a half hectare yield 25,000 kilos? Well, with the variety like Mt. Data, one square meter can easily yield five kilos. Multiply that by 5,000 square meters and you get 25,000 kilos.

Of course, Larry admits that there are times when the supply of radish in the market is plentiful and the price can go down to as low as P8 to P10 per kilo. There is still some profit at that price level, according to Larry.

By the way, seeds of Mt. Data radish are available at the Edsel Agri Supply in Dolores, Quezon, and at the AGC Greenfarm Supply in Liliw, Laguna.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s March 2019 issue.