By JAMES TABABA
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice) is a government agency under the Department of Agriculture that is mandated to help develop high yielding and cost-reducing technologies for farmers, leading to rice security for Filipinos. Their mission is to improve the competitiveness of Filipino rice farmers and the Philippine rice industry through research and development projects and extension programs. Here are four diagnostic tools they develop to help rice farmers in identifying weeds and nutrient deficiencies of rice.
Controlling weeds is an important aspect in rice farming because if unattended, weed growth may reduce the yield of rice. Using artificial intelligence weed recognition technology, the app eDamuhan process and recognizes images of the different weeds in the rice field. Furthermore, the app lets the user capture photos of the unknown weeds then gives description and recommendations on how to control the weeds. Th eDamuhan app is available from the Google play store.
Leaf Color Computing app
The leaf color computing app or Philrice LCC app can evaluate the nitrogen needs of the rice plant. By capturing the leaf images in the field using the smartphone, the app generates nitrogen recommendations in under a minute. The Philrice LCC app can be also downloaded from the Google play store.
Minus-one element technique kit
Minus-one element technique kit (MOET) is a reliable, low-cost, and more convenient alternative technique for diagnosing soil nutrient deficiencies. The kit can detect deficiencies in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, zinc, and copper. The kit is priced at P300 pesos and available in local PhilRice offices.
The MOET app is a complementary app in combination with the MOET kit. This app includes a fertilizer requirement calculator that sets appropriate target yield and schedules the precise nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur to be applied. It also includes a yield predictor that estimates the yield of the chosen rice variety if the farmers use a different fertilizer management plan. The app helps farmers avoid excessive or inadequate application of fertilizers.
The different diagnostic tools offered by PhilRice are designed to help rice farmers with their decision making. Using these tool, rice farmers will be able to implement better weed control and nutrition management that are important concepts in rice farming to attain desirable yield.
Photo courtesy of Philrice