Most hybrid rice in the market mature in 120 days after transplanting. On the other hand, Quadro Alas, which is distributed by SeedWorks Philippines, matures in just 104 days which excites farmer Rogel Sorel of Maragondon, Cavite. It means that in one year, he can plant the variety as many as three times, something not possible with the late maturing hybrids. That is, of course, if there’s source of irrigation water during the summer months.

In 2018, Sorel was enrolled under the Model Hybrid Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture and planted Quadro Alas on his two-hectare farm in Brgy. San Miguel A on October 3, 2018. On January 15, 2019, he harvested his Quadro Alas after just 104 days from transplanting, The result? He got a higher yield than what he had experienced from growing inbred and hybrid rice that are late maturing. He got 37 percent higher than the usual yield he got from previous crops of the other varieties.

Sorel also got high quality long grains from Quadro Alas. This means that the palay has higher milling recovery. Being early maturing has other advantages. For one, the rice plants are exposed for shorter periods to different abiotic and biotic stresses like lack of water, flooding, natural calamities like typhoons, and the like.

Regional Executive Director Arnel de Mesa says that Quadro Alas is also highly suitable for planting in the Ilocos, Samar, Leyte, and Negros. It has been observed that Quadro Alas has excellent tolerance to Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB) and Bacterial Leaf Streak (BLS) which are serious diseases attacking rice plants.

Among those who kept watchful eyes on the hybrid rice program in Cavite were Municipal Agriculturist Teresita Nuestro, DA technician Regino Reyes, and hybrid rice model farm program of Regional Field Office 4A headed by Director Arnel de Mesa.

By the way, SeedWorks Philippines, headed by Carlos Saplala, is the same company that introduced the Prolifica variety of eggplant that is high-yielding, resistant to pests and diseases, and with excellent eating quality. Up to this day, the variety is being sought by farmers.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s March 2019 issue.