Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Bad Effects of El Nino to Mango Trees

El Niño Inflicts Damage to Mango Production
By Felix B. Daray

One of the commodities, mango fruits, were also affected by the long drought. Last January, the mango trees I induced did not experienced rain from flower induction until it was harvested last April 10.  Out of 13,000 pieces of bagged fruits, I harvested only 990 kilos. Many fruit were undersize from 100 to 120 gram.  It takes 6 to 7 mangoes per kilo instead 4 to 5 during normal condition. As expected, the production would be more or less 2.5 tons, but only 40% of the expected gross weight was produced. It was the worst production that I ever meet. And because of many undersize fruits, the market price dropped to P30 per kilo. Because of that, many farmers suffered loss of capital.

According to some, El Niño in conducive for flowering stage, so, we can expect more fruits, but the drawback is there is no water for the tree to support developing fruits. Germination of pollen grain is affected. Fruit setting is low because moisture dries faster in flowers, thus germination of the pollen tubes to fertilize the stigma is affected.

On the other hand, I noticed that mango fruits during dry season are less-prone to diseases because fungi do not thrive in hot or dry environment. Fruits are shiny and without rust and  spots, but the worst effect is  the formation of small and malformed fruits.
In some areas, of Davao del Sur, despite of the hot season some farmers started flower induction last April, to meet the onset of the rainy season by May, but rain is so slight and moderate. Spraying was totally failure because the newly developed fruits did not grow.  Only few reach to egg- size ready for bagging. But still the bagged fell down because of heat burn.

Last April, at the peak of the hot season, I visited my daughter’s mango farm at barangay San Roque, Digos City. I was so surprised that almost all leaves of mango trees fell down. The plants became  bald. It was so dry that the soil cracked and the weeds were all dried. This was noticed in  the farms  of,  Marites Juntilla, Benito Ayop, Felipe Nebria, Bendoy Tungal, Arnold Nebria, Nemenio and Albores farm and others. San Roque is budded as  ‘mango country’ of Digos City because  95% of the land area is now  productive mango farms for domestic and export  market,  the ‘cebu’ variety. However, some plants have died including coconut trees. It was a great blessing that a heavy rain fells in torrent last April 25. Few days after, the plants started simultaneous flushing. All branches sprout.

Moderate rain continued falling during the first week of May, the mango trees have recovered from thirst. On the third week, the flushes became full-grown leaves. The farmers sprayed with insecticide to prevent voracious leaf-eating pest. By the end of May, the mango plants are stout, greenish and healthy with good canopy. As of this writing, the plants have totally recovered all infliction brought by El Niño.  

By June, when the soil is completely wet, I will apply 4 kilos of complete fertilizer around the base of the tree, 4 meters away from the trunk. So, by January next year, when the leaves are thick and matured, the trees are ready for induction.

Felix B. Daray                                                                                                                                      1693 Luna Ex. Digos City

Friday, January 2, 2015

Organic ampalaya for diabetes

Felix B. Daray

          LIKE MANY PEOPLE , my favorite pastime is gardening. It is my relief from stress and source of joy, especially when it’s harvest time.
          These days, I am growing organic ampalaya in my backyard . It is also called bitter mellon or papailla. Its scientific name is momordica charantia.
           I enjoy sharing my harvest with my friends and neighbors. Likewise, I like to impart my little knowledge on it.
          I suggest to those who plan to grow ampalaya in the backyard to plant it in an area that is exposed to sunlight. They should also plant the crop near a compost pit. Eight months after the biodegradable waste decomposed, sow two seeds near the pit.
          As soon as the vines start growing and crawling up on the trellis, water the plant with rice wash or fish wash or meat wash from the kitchen. It would be best for the plants as they are very rich in nutrients and minerals.
          To prevent pest infestation, bag the fruits with cellophane or old newsprints as soon as the flowers fall down. Doing so would hinder sucking insects and fruit flies to lay eggs on the young fruits.
          I also inspect my ampalaya plants every morning to see if there are tiny holes or scratches on the leaves. These are indications that the plants are infested by pin worms or cutworms, which I remove manually .I also suggest that biodegradable waste be burned under the trellis in the early morning or late afternoon as the smoke will drive insects away.
          In fact, I grow the native variety as it is resistant to pest. It is shorter to other cultivars but it has thicker pulp.
          I start to harvest after 45 days. And for about 90 days from the first harvest, I pick one to two fruits every other day. Like most households, my family often cooks pinakbet or ampalaya with egg. And we don’t mind its bitter taste as we know; it’s because ampalaya contains momordicin, a compound found to be effective in treating diabetes.
          To prepare ampalaya extract, the Department of Health (DOH) suggests the following steps:
• Wash and finely chop ampalaya leaves
• Add six tablespoons of the chopped leaves in two glasses of water
• Boil the mixture for 15 minutes in an uncovered pot
• Cool down and strain
• Drink 1/3 cup of the solution three times a day.
          Alternately, ampalaya tops can be steamed and eaten (1/2 cup twice a day).
          Incidentally, the standard treatment for controlling type 2 diabetes includes diet, exercise and anti-diabetic medications. Hence, regular intake of ampalaya alone will not be able to control the blood sugar of most diabetics. People with the disease must still exercise and stick to a diabetic diet. Furthermore, for many diabetics, other medicines might have to be taken. In any case, regular intake of ampalaya will, at the least, lower the dose requirements for other anti-diabetic drugs.
          The blood sugar lowering property of ampalaya is attributed to its content of momordicin, a substance that is sometimes called plant insulin. This is also the substance that is responsible for the bitter taste of the plant’s leaves and fruits.
          As to the other medicinal properties of ampalaya, books and articles on Philippine medicinal plants list several diseases where the plant is apparently beneficial. Reportedly, extracts from the leaves or roots shrink hemorrhoids. The leaf extract is supposedly also a good antitussive (i.e., anti-cough) and antipyretic (i.e., for fever). Likewise, it is purportedly, a good  purgative.
           Clinical Studies for Ampalaya or Bitter Melon demonstrated hypoglycemic properties (blood sugar lowering) or other actions of potential benefit against diabetes mellitus. The leaves and fruits are excellent sources of Vitamin B, iron, calcium, and phosphorus. It is also rich in beta carotene.
        So try this, growing organically in your backyard. It’s simple, needs only little time and effort.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easy and Affordable Mango Recipes

Easy and Affordable Mango Recipes by Felix B. Daray (published in the Agriculture Magazine, Oct. 2009) Talk about fruity desserts, and mango recipes will be mentioned. The reason is simple because mango appeals to almost everyone plus the fact it’s nutritious, too Rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C, mango is an ingredient in various dishes. In Thailand for instance, coconut-flavored sweet glutinous rice is served with sliced mangoes. In other Southeast Asian countries meanwhile, mangoes are pickled with fish sauce and rice vinegar.As for Filipinos, we enjoy mangoes from simply eating it with bagoong to having it prepared as mouth-watering dessert. So, looking for delicious fruity dessert? Then try these: Mango Candy Ingredients: ripe mangoes camote (sweet potato) sugar Procedure: 1. Wash mangoes. 2. Slice, scrape and mash pulp. 3. Boil, and mash camote. 4. Measure 1 cup mango, 1 cup camote and ¾ cup sugar. 5. Cook and stir frequently until mixture becomes very thick. 6. Transfer mixture in trays and spread or mold. 7. Wrap each in cellophane and store. m Mango jam Ingredients: ripe mangoes refined sugar Materials: steel stock pot mixing ladle measuring cup sterilized glass bottle Procedure: 1. Wash mangoes and cut into halves. 2. Scoop the pulp and depress with fork. 3. Add 1 cup sugar for every cup of mango pulp. 4. Cook briskly and stir frequently until mixture becomes thick. 5. Pack in sterilized jars and remove air bubles. 6. Process jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. 7. Cool, seal then store. Mango Puree Ingredients: 10 kg firm ripe mangoes 25 g citric acid Materials: steel stock pot mixing ladle peeler sterilized jars Procedure: 1. Wash mangoes and peel. 2. Scrape the pulp and homogenize in the blender to a smooth pare. 3. Heat the puree with constant stirring. 4. Add citric acid and continue stirring. 5. Pack in sterilized jars while hot then process in water bath for 30 minutes. 6. Air cool and store. Mango Pickles Ingredients: firm unripe mangoes salt sugar Materials: sterilized glass jar steel basin Procedure: 1. Wash mangoes and peel. 2. Cut into halves, then cut lengthwise to about 3/8 inch thick. 3. Weigh and add 2o percent salt by weight. 4. Soak overnight. 5. Wash and drain. 6. Add 40 percent sugar by weigh and soak overnight. 7. Wash and drain. 8. Prepare syrup then cool. 9. Pack sliced mangoes in sterilized bottle then add syrup up to head space. 10. Store in cool place. Mango Shake Ingredients: ripe mangoes 6 tbps non- fat milk ½ cup water ice cubes Preparation: Combine all and pass through a blender for 1 minute. Serve with crushed or cubed ice. b>Burong Mangga Ingredients: green mangoes salt water Materials: sterilized glass jars steam jacketed kettle Procedure: 1. Wash mangoes. 2. Sliced into halves and remove seeds. 3. Wash sliced fruits the salt. 4. Place in jars. 5. Fill jars with boiled water enough to soak sliced mangoes. 6. Cover the jar and let it stand for at least a week. Source: Bureau of Plant Industry- National Mango Research and Development.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Security Guard, now Farms

Security Guard now Farms by Felix B. Daray FORTY- FIVE YEARS AGO, Herly Contayoso was a security guard of a company that exported Cavendish bananas. His salary was just P230 a day. Today, he proudly cultivates 3 hectares of farmland in Cabligan, Matanao, Davao del Sur.His farm is planted to 300 mango trees and some coconuts and home to 30 goats, 4 cows, 5 pigs and native chickens. Back in 1998, the year he resigned from work, the property had nothing but cogon and stunted coconut trees. Contayoso did all the cleaning and plowing himself. And at the start, he intercropped grafted mangoes with sugar cane. “I have observed that mango trees grow fast and healthy as these are not easily infested by pest and fungus because sugarcane prevents harmful insects and stray animals to get near the trees,” Contayoso said. Intercropping also helps prevent soil erosion and build up of humus in the soil. After two years, his coconut trees started to fruit. He saved on the cost of fertilizer as his three crops shared in fertilizer. This is one of the advantages of untercropping, he said. Since then, he harvests 1,200 kilos of copra every months. Although the price of copra is erratic, it nis still an added income. He sells petioles for firewood and makes charcoal for coconut shells. In 2008,he stopped rationing the sugar cane as the mangoes were ready for fruit induction. He thought of raising animals that could feed on unwanted sugar cane shoots. He decided to raise goats as these were good docile and good clippers of weeds. More importantly, their manure was a good organic fertilizer. He started with with six does and 1 male of a hybrid species. Today he has 30 head, and he sells a newly weaned goat at P 1,500 per head and pig at P90 per kilo liveweight. His mango trees on one hand, gross around P500,000 annually. But since he has little knowledge on mango production, he has entered into sharing system. The cultivator gets 70% percent of the gross income and for this reason, Herly plans to venture solo, saying that he has already acquired enough knowledge and capital. As of now, Contayoso is waiting for another mango harvest by mid-December. He expects that it will be another bountiful harvest like one he had in 2008 when his sh. are amounted to P 170,000

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.