By Julio P. Yap Jr.
Since El Niño, which developed during the last quarter of 2018, is still present in the tropical Pacific Ocean, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has advised farmers to take good care of their crops.
Most farmers know very well that water stress may alter the physiological and metabolism of plants and reduce the quality and quantity of their harvest, and that irrigation is essential to ensure successful crop production in water stressed farms or regions.
Barly D. Valenzuela, caretaker of a cacao nursery and plantation in Barangay Atipulan, Bago City in Negros Occidental, knows that cacao trees cannot tolerate drought very well, and will require climates with high precipitation and humidity to thrive.
In order for the cacao tree to provide a good harvest, the grower still has plenty of work to perform.
To look after a cacao plantation, a farmer has to replace seedlings that have not grown, remove the weeds and keep the soil covered, prune the trees, protect the cacao trees from insects and diseases, and apply the necessary fertilizer.
But stress or damage to agricultural crops due to weather disturbances could be prevented or minimized with the proper application of farm inputs like organic fertilizers and related products.
During these times, many farmers have already used an organic fertilizer with the brand name Amino Plus Foliar Fertilizer or APFF, which could help them cope with the changing weather patterns.
In fact, the product has already helped many farmers maintain the health of their crops, even during occurrences of drought or flooding.
The protection and improvement of their cacao crops can be attributed to the potency of APFF because it is made from selected fish, which contain compounds that promote plant growth and better fruiting.
This is due to the high L-Amino acids content of APFF which are easily absorbed by the plants.
It also contains effective microorganisms that provide long-term beneficial effects on the physical, chemical, and biological condition of the soil.
NPK alone cannot offer an all-in-one solution to plant nutrition and can become detrimental when supplied in excessive amounts.
NPK represents nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) which are used by the plants.
This is where amino acids come in. The building blocks of protein are needed by the plants like all other living organisms.
The amino acid contents of APFF can provide the benefits that cannot be supplied by the NPK alone.
For fruiting trees like cacao, APFF can be applied once a week or once every two weeks during the vegetative stage, and during the fruiting stage, APFF should be applied every after harvest.
After all, APFF can increase the defense mechanism of plants, provide stress resistance, promotes nutrient absorption, improves fruit formation, activates growth hormones, and improves protein synthesis.
Even ordinary farmers can succeed in improving their crops, and of course, increase their harvests and incomes.
Amino Plus Foliar Fertilizer is an organic fertilizer which is already available in the market.
Plants or fruiting trees sprayed with APFF can become more resistant to diseases and other stresses in the field – like drought or flooding.
When sprayed, it effectively adheres to the plant’s surface and provides quick supplementation.
Incidentally, APFF is manufactured in Mandaue City by the Global Green Organic Fertilizer, Inc.
The product has been registered with the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, and is already certified by the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines (OCCP).
The trimmings and fish scraps, particularly of the mackerel types, are fermented to produce the organic foliar fertilizer.
Unlike other fertilizers derived from fish and other natural sources, APFF is not processed in high temperatures, preventing the denaturation of proteins and retains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, and natural oil.
It can also boost the growth and productivity of rice, corn, vegetables, fruit trees, ornamentals, and many other crops.
Foliar feeding can also be used to overcome root problems when they are less efficient due to low or high temperatures, lack of oxygen in flooded fields, nematode attack damaging the vascular system, and a decrease in root activity during the reproductive stages where more of the photosynthetic creation is transferred for reproduction with less for root respiration.
Since recent weather conditions suggest that this phenomenon will likely to continue until the April-May-June 2019 season and that varying impacts are now occurring in most areas of the country, farmers like Valenzuela have been using APFF to cope with the harsh weather conditions and protect their crops and fruit-bearing trees.
This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s May 2019 issue.