Saturday, July 23, 2011

Using Paclobutrazol for Mangoes


By Felix B. Daray  ( Published in the Agriculture Magazine of the Manila Bulletin, April 2011)

When Paclobutrazol is not applied, it takes nine months for the leaves to mature and that’s the only time you can induce the mango trees for flowering. If not induced the tree flowers but does not bear much fruits.

Paclobutrtazol is applied two months after flushing. The leaves become dark green a few days after application. Two months latter, the mango tree is ready for induction. So if say, the tree flushed in February, apply paoclobutrazul in April. Induce in June and you’ll harvest by September when the price of mango is high up to December.
Here some tips on using Paclobutrazol:

Apply to trees 10 years old and up. Do not apply Paclobutrazol to mango trees below 10 years as these have soft branches, hence fruits cannot hold much fruits.

Select trees with many flushes. Do not apply Paclobutrazol to trees that have not flushed or to those with matured leaves.

Application ratio depends on the age of the tree, Being a mango grower for years, I have learned that the application ratio depends of the age of the tree. For 10 – 15 years old trees, I suggest an application ratio of 5 tbsp of Pclobutrazol to 2 liters of water per tree.

Apply to the base. Some mango growers spray Paclobutrazol solution to the leaves, but is more and practical to spray it to the base of the tree, so the chemical will not be washed out when it rains. Pour the solution on loosened soil 2 meters around the base of the tree Do not apply when the soil is very dry or if rain is shortly expected. If it did not rain a week after application, spray the base with water to facilitate further absorption.

Apply flower inducer after harvest. Since the leaves are mature, spray flower inducer for simultaneous flowering.

Do not induce trees after the second cropping. Some farmers induce for third cropping, but do not expect high yield. Rehabilitate the trees for a year or more. Spray newly opened flushes with insecticide to control leaf-eating insects. Mango trees are ready for another cropping after the second flushing and that’s when you can start another cycle of Paclobutrazol aplication.

I have taken all these tips and last December I harvested 9.5 tons of mangoes from my 2-hectare from Kibuaya, Hagonoy Davao del Sur. I sold my produce at P30 per kilo. It was my first “bumper harvest” and second cropping with Paclobutrazol application. Of my 150 mango trees, 75% fruited. And as of this writing, my trees have started to rejuvenate.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dried Mahogany Fruits are Alternative for Fuel


 By: Felix B. Daray (published in the Agriculture Magazine of the Manila
                                    Bulletin Publishing Corporation, May 2011)

MAHOGANY FRUITS are often thrown away. What most people do not know is that the dried pulps are good substitute of charcoal and firewood.

“Four dried pulps are enough to boil a liter of water,” says,  Maregien Abrasaldo, science teacher of Aplaya Elementary School in  Digos City.
 “To have a good burning effect, the pulps should be dried for one day. If used in  clay stove , the pulps should be chopped into smaller pieces, like charcoal.”

Abrasaldo has taken her own advise and it has serve her well for she has reduced her LPG usage by  50%.

Her co- teachers have also tried using dried mahogany fruits as fuel, After all, mahoganies abound in the school because since 1990, graduating pupils are required to plant trees.

Known as a hard wood, mahogany is a fast-growing forest trees commonly made into furniture or used in construction materials. More importantly, mahoganies effectively prevent soil erosion and flood hence these are often planted along river banks. Mahogany trees do not bear flower but grow buds which develop into brown oblong fruit. The fruits fall when they mature, and the dried ones break spreading on the ground.

Pupils of Aplaya are asked to collect fallen fruits for fuel and seeds  for school’s plant nursery . The school has to grow more mahoganies as it has partnered with the local government, Department of Education, and a group of environmentalist in a project to conserve and prevent soil erosion along the banks of Digos River.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Interesting Canmote Recipes


By:  Felix B. Daray, (published in the Agriculture Magazine, March 2011 issue of the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp.)

CHEAPER AND MORE NUTRITIOUS than rice, sweet potato or  camote can be prepared into interesting recipes.

       The tops of the native purple for instance are good for salad and the wter used in cooking  the tops can be made into juice. These are very easy to pepare. Here’s how.

  1. Remove the boiled tops and set aside to cool.
  2. Mix it with sliced ginger, onion, and tomatoes with tuba venigar.
  3. Mix it with bagoong or ginamos to taste.

      Camote tops are also an ingredient in tinulang isda or pork sinabaw. The tubers, on one hand, are a good substitute for rice. In fact to save rice, in rural areas the tubers are chopped and cooked with rice. Boholanos call this meal saksak.

  1. Strain the water used in boiling the camote tops.
  2. Transfer the stock in a container and add calamansi juice and sugar to taste.
  3. Rrefrigerate and serve cool.

     The juice turns purple-violet when the calamansi is added. Green camote tops can be used, too.

     In terms of nutritional value, sweet potato is rich in calories and vitamins A and C. It  also contains carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, sodium, folic acids, calcium, manganese, potassium, and vitamins B6 and E.

     On production, camote is easier to grow than rice.  It can be planted in backyards without applying fertilizers.J

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tips on Mango Production

Tips on Mango Production
(Published in the Agriculture Magazine of the Manila Bulletin, January 2011)
   By: Felix Daray

There  are many factors that affect mango production. Number one is excessive rain during pollination . Too much rain results in few fruits developed. Second is pest infestation, which may be severe in some instances. Third is erratic price. But mango growers shouldn’t be discourage by the rise and fall of the price for mango is a certified moneymaker. This is one of the things  I learned as a mango grower for the last 12 years, and I would like to share some more. Here are some tips on mango production:
Use pactrobutrazol (cultar) during the maturation of the leaves. By using this chemical, you can induce mango plants four months earlier. Apply it three months after when the latest buds are maturing. Do not apply to trees ten years old or below, when the trees are weak or sickly, and when the leaves are matured.
Induce mango plants when the leaves of the latest buds are fully matured. I suggest to use Calcium Nitrate or Potassium Nitrate. Apply follow up spray after two days with the same formulation to enhance the emergence of flowers. Use 1 to 2 percent of CaN when the trees are maturing and when the  weather is cloudy. In spraying potassium nitrate, prepare 1 to 3 percent solution depending on the condition of the tree. Or mix 4 kilos per 200 liters of water. Use Apsa-80 as sticker.
Spray for pest control. Spraying should be done when the tree and the leaves are dry, and when no expected rain for the next six hours. If possible, spray in the early morning (from sunrise to nine o’clock) or late in the afternoon (from four to six o’clock) to prevent leaf burning due to sunlight.
Inspect flowers everyday to prevent pest infestation. After 12 days, when the flowers start to emerge, spray insecticide and fungicide. The flowers would be fully developed after 20 days. At this time, flowers are susceptible to, pest, so inspect the plants every day to see if  there are damages caused by insects and spray appropriate pesticide. Do not touch the flowers during pollination or 26 to 32 days after induction. However, if pest are so severe right away using fine nozzle.
Spray insecticide and fungicide. These  chemicals may be applied together. Spray to flowers, totally wetting but not dripping. Use clean water.
Bag the fruits. Do this at 65 to 75 days from induction to control fruit fly and other sucking insects. Spray the fruits with insecticide and fungicide before bagging—this is the last spray. Do not bag the fruits early as malformed fruits cannot be determined yet. Late bagging, on one hand, results in early fruit fly infestation.
Harvest fruits 105 to 110 days from induction. Early harvesting results in poor quality; ripe fruits taste sour. Supervise harvesting to ensure proper handling to minimize, if not prevent the fruits from being damaged.  Also fix the price first before harvest. Do not harvest if there is no down payment, that is, 80 percent of the estimated gross weight.
Of course, I take my own advice. I apply these tips with my 2 hectares in Kibuaya, Hagonoy, Davao del Sur. It is planted to 150 grafted  Cebu mango. Last December, 2010, I harvest 9.5 tons and I sold my produce at P30 per kilo. A bout 75 persent of my mango trees are fruiting and the rest are flushing.