See more from this Division: ASA Section: Global Agronomy
See more from this Session: Symposium--Practice and Training In Field Diagnosis of Small Holder Agriculture: What Works?
Tuesday, October 18, 2011: 2:40 PM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 007C, River Level
A critical problem that small rice farmers face in the Philippines is how to assess the nutrient status of their soil and determine the right amount and kind of fertilizers to apply. Soil testing laboratories are few and are not readily accessible and the cost of analysis is relatively expensive for small farmers. Moreover, results from soil laboratory tests are not well correlated with yield of irrigated rice. Minus One Element Technique (MOET) was developed specifically for irrigated lowland rice soils to address the issues of reliability, cost and accessibility to small farmers. The basic principle of MOET is based from the “law of the minimum
” MOET is considered a biological test wherein the plant’s relative growth reflects the limiting nutrient(s) in the soil. The MOET kit is consist of seven nutrient formulations, each is applied to separate plastic pots containing 4 kg. wet soil and subsequently planted to 12-day old rice seedling which are grown up to maximum tillering stage. The pots are kept with standing water or at least saturated and the water is taken from the same source as that which the farmer irrigates his field.
Farmers conduct the test themselves in their farm. Besides providing technical information regarding their soil, the test enables farmers to develop their decision making skills. The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture has distributed so far more than 60,000 MOET kits to rice farmers. An increasing number of rice farmers are securing the kits at their own personal cost. Based on feedback information from farmers they do not only save on fertilizer use but also increased their yields as compared to their previous fertilizer practices.