BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera spearheaded the first Cordillera Regional Corn Derby Field Day in Busilac, Alfonso Lista, Ifugao in search for the most productive and profitable corn variety for highland farmers in the region.

DA Regional Executive Director Cameron Odesy said, the Corn Derby aims to provide farmers on-hand experience in corn variety selection, company business presentations on featured corn seeds, farm tour, farming consultation, and corn crop cut inspection.

Sixty-four farmers from 10 barangays in Alfonso Lista, and 40 farmers from four barangay in Aguinaldo, both in Ifugao patticipated the Corn showoff was presented by six top performing hybrid seed companies such as Asian Hybrid Seed Technologies Incorporated (Inc.), Bioseed Research Philippines Inc., Cornworld Breeding Systems Corporation, Corteva Agriscience Inc., Bayer Crop Science Inc. (Dekalb), and Syngenta Philippines Inc., last Sept. 15 to 18.

Odsey said, a total of 12 varieties planted, composed of two entries per company, were judged according to fresh weight, shelling recovery, and dried weight to hail the “Masaganang Ani Award.”

With an estimated yield of 9,006 kilogram per hectare (Kg/ha), Syngenta Philippines Inc. (NK8840) was hailed as the champion over throwing five other corn seed companies. Corteva Agriscience Inc. clinched as first runner-up with 8,892 Kg/ha estimated yield.

Further, Bioseed Research Philippines Inc. (H102G) and Syngenta Philippines Inc. (NK6410BtGT) faired as third runner-up and fourth runner-up respectively. Syngenta Philippines Inc. was also dubbed as the Farmers Choice award.

With an average yield of 3.93 metric ton/hectare (MT/ha) yellow corn and 2.5 MT/ha white corn, the Cordillera continuously embarks on upscaling corn production.

Ifugao has a total of 28,731 ha corn area with 18,468 ha planted in Alfonso Lista and 4,835 ha corn area in the municipality of Aguinaldo,Ifugao.

Farmers from producing hybrid corn in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao showed their good hybrid corn during the First cordillera corn derby spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera. (Photo by DA-CAR)

Gerardo Banawa, DA-CAR corn coordinator, the Corn Derby as a techno-demo farm is assessed to have produced six to nine MT/ha of yellow corn surpassing the five MT/ha target for model farms and three MT/ha target for white Open-Pollinated Variety (OPV).

Odsey, highlighted the importance of farm clustering and consolidation in agricultural interventions. He stressed that by organizing groups or cooperatives, corn farmers could be able to seek DA assistance easily noting the efficient and focused monitoring of their development.

“One of DA’s objective is to increase the amount of corn production in the region through assistance in seed, fertilizers, drying facility, and farm machineries distribution to be concentrated in farm clusters.

Under the DA Administrative Order (AO) number 27 series of 2020, Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation (F2C2) Program focuses on grouping together crops, livestock, and fish producers in a community on the basis of proximity of their production areas, similarity of inputs, shared production activities, processes and common final product towards unified management of production activities, sourcing of inputs, access to financing, processing logistics, storage, marketing, and enhanced quality of produce.

As of now, 16 farm clusters from Alfonso Lista, 7 farm clusters from Aguinaldo and three farm clusters from Paracelis have been accredited by DA-CAR.

Guilbert Daguio, Busilac corn grower, expressed his gratitude on the corn seeds distributed by DA. He emphasized that the two bags of certified seeds provided “helped boost their harvest last season amidst challenges on drought and the current COVID-19 pandemic.”