Planting corn the earth-friendly way: Use of bio-fertilizers and plant-based insecticides in cultivating green corn at Laguna, Philippines
Author: Lolita l. Beato
Corn (Zea mays) is one of the major crops grown in the Philippines. However, most farmers, particularly those in the province of Laguna, still use inorganic fertilizers and insecticides, a practice that could lead to adverse ecological consequences. Hence, this study sought to find an ?earth-friendly? way of cultivating green corn by using bio-fertilizers and plant-based insecticides. A 2x4x6 factorial experiment, following a split-split plot design with three replications, was conducted. Results showed that a fertilizer mix of 571.43 kg Greenland/ha (chicken manure compost) + 180.96 kg Urea/ha was comparable with 192.86 kg (14-14-14)/ha + 140 kg Urea/ha (inorganic fertilizer treatment) and better than 1413.6 kg Vermicompost/ha + 140 kg Urea/ha in affecting the growth and yield performance of green corn, specifically in terms of plant height, number of days to 50 percent silking, number of corn ears per plant, and length and diameter of unhusked corn ear. Moreover, it was found that using 571.43 kg Greenland/ha yielded 20.82 tons of unhusked corn ears per hectare, which is only slightly lower than the 23.18 tons produced by 192.86 kg (14-14-14)/ha + 140 kg Urea/ha, noting that the Control only yielded 16.81 tons per hectare. Meanwhile, it was found that using 1041.67 li/ha Makabuhay (Tinospora rumphii Boerl) vine extract (organic insecticide) was comparable with 1041.67 tbsp/ha Lannate (Methomyl) in addressing insect infestation and population from whorling to silking, silking to maturity, number of larvae per plant, and number of borers per stem. The Makabuhay vine extract was also found to be better than Lannate when it comes to controlling insect infestation, as indicated by the number of nymphs per corn ear and number of nymphs per plant. The study recommends further testing of the Makabuhay vine extract in different concentrations, as well as using fertilizer combinations in other corn varieties.
Illustration Photo: Corn field (CC0 Creative Commons from Pixabay.com)