Bayer comes out superior with a 12.36 metric tons (MT) per hectare yield in DA-administered corn derby in Malaybalay, Bukidnon
Bayer Crop Science (BCS) Philippines is restoring its Mindanao operations with aggressive market enthusiasm armed with new multiple pest-resistant hybrid corn varieties that toppled other seeds in a Department of Agriculture-administered corn derby.
Coming out superior from the DA Region 10 Field Office (RFO) corn competition is Bayer’s DEKALB 8131S with a top yield of 12,36 MT per hectare. It bested other entries from seven seed companies.
Incidentally, two other DEKALB hybrid corn varieties, ranked Top 2 and Top 3 in the DA RFO 10 corn derby. DEKALB 8899S gave a yield of 10.9 MT per hectare and DEKALB 8719S at 10.06 MT per hectare.
DA RFO 10 reported that the hybrid corn varieties were showcased in two research centers in Region 10. The first is at the Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City with an altitude of 800 meters above sea level. The other competition site is at Research Center for Upland Development (RCUD) in Barongcot, Dangcagan, Bukidnon (600 meters above sea level) on March 3-4, 2022.
“Our aim is to assess the productivity and profitability of these different hybrid corn varieties and component technologies appropriate for specific locations,” said RFO 10 Executive Director Carlene C. Collado.
Erwin Vibal, Head of Grower Marketing at Bayer CropScience Philippines, said DEKALB’s strong performance in the competition signals revival of operation in MIndanao. The company experienced a lull in its Mindanao operation in three to four years. It just began restoring operation in 2020 with its new DEKALB superior corn varieties.
“We pulled back in Mindanao from 2016 to 2017 since we had to rethink our strategies. Now we’re confident to be back to Mindanao because of the excellent performance of our product offerings that beat competition by miles away,” said Vibal.
Mindanao corn farmers found the DEKALB corn varieties highly profitable owing to its VT Double Pro that has resistance to four virulent pests. VT Double Pro has dual mode of action that protects corn plants from Asiatic corn borer, Fall Army Worm (FAW), earworm, and cutworm.
It is the only hybrid corn variety certified by the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA) for its resistance against FAW.
FAW has been heavily infesting corn farms nationwide, bringing losses of 80 to 100% to farmers.
“The disease pressure in Mindanao is very high. But farmers have a choice. Do they want to use seeds and use pesticide sprays, or do they want DEKALB hybrid corn seeds that have built-in resistance against pests?” said Vibal.
Evangeline S. Mayantao, a farmer of Malaybalay City said (originally in Filipino), “This derby helps us farmers a lot in giving us information on what corn seeds give a high yield and on technologies that will help us grow our farms.”
Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga recognized the sustained effort of the seed companies in developing high yielding corn varieties appropriate in different agro-climatic conditions.
Among the provinces in the region, Bukidnon has the largest corn production in the region with more than 100 hectares.
The third leg of corn derby and field day was held on March 10 at the Research Center for Hillyland Development (RCHD) in Lanise, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
The activity was supported by the PLGU Bukidnon through its Provincial Agriculture Office, respective Municipal Agriculture Offices, DA-10’s Research Division and Provincial Operations Center for Bukidnon and farmer associations.
The results of the derby were presented to the attending corn farmers together with their assigned agricultural technicians, coming from the towns of Magsaysay, Lagonglong, Balingasag, Claveria, Jasaan, Villanueva, Tagoloan and Opol, and the city of El Salvador, MisOr; and the municipality of Malitbog, Bukidnon.
Collado said in a statement that results from the corn competition will also form part of the agency’s procurement, factoring in the local government units and farmers’ requests.
Collado also urged the corn farmers to form into clusters, being one of DA’s key strategies to boost the country’s agriculture sector. This will optimize any assistance from the government that would enable farmers to significantly cut their cost of operations, achieve bountiful yields, and reap an increase of incomes.
“If you have volume, we encourage you to form a cluster, as we can make arrangements with different feed millers, to ensure you enjoy stable or even higher prices for your corn harvest,” he said. Melody Mendoza Aguiba