PILI, Camarines Sur—A Filipino-made bio-organic plant supplement developed from fruit extracts and beneficial microorganisms is now available in the market for farmers who wish to increase their crop yields by as much as 30 percent while reducing the use of chemical fertilizer by 50 percent during the initial cropping.
Called Seed Growth, the bio-organic fertilizer was developed by renowned inventor Glenn Castillo. An engineer, Castillo used nanotechnology which deals with the development of materials or devices within the size of 100 nanometers or smaller in at least one dimension.
Nanotechnology is the study of controlling matter on an atomic and molecular scale.
In a statement, Castillo explained that the technology is very diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to completely new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to investigating whether it can directly control matter on the atomic scale.
It has the potential to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in medicine, electronics and energy production, Castillo said.
Distributed by the G’Core Group Inc., farmers can expect higher yields from using Seed Growth on rice, corn, vegetables, plantation crops, fruit trees and even aquaculture, the firm’s agriculturist Dann Revaula said in a statement sent to the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office here this week.
He explained that Seed Growth contains nano-minerals that rapidly stabilize soil pH (potential of hydrogen) level and neutralize soil acidity. It also activates beneficial microorganisms and nonsymbiotic forms of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil that help convert nutrients into more usable forms.
According to Revaula, another benefit from this newly developed bio-organic fertilizer is the increase in crop resistance to insect pests and diseases due to the release of gibberellins and kinetin-like hormones so that farmers need not apply pesticides at all.
“For rice, we recommend the application of Seed Growth starting from land preparation up to fruiting stage to achieve best results,” Revaula said.
Seed Growth is initially applied to rice at a rate of 100 milliliters (ml) per 16 liters of water during land preparation. The succeeding applications at seven days after transplanting (DAT), at 30 DAT, at 45 to 60 DAT, and at milking stage require a uniform dosage of 15 ml per 16 liters of water, the G’Core agriculturist said.
This rate is enough for 1,000 square meters, Revaula said. “But most farmers find it more effective when applying two liters of Seed Growth in combination with 10 bags of organic fertilizers per hectare.”
For vegetables, the dosage is 15 ml per 16 liters of water at 10- to 15-day intervals starting from land preparation. For ornamentals and fruit trees, the recommended rates are one ml per liter of water and 30 to 35 ml per 16 liters of water, respectively, at intervals depending on the crops’ nutrient requirements, he said.
Revaula, however, said that the best result from using Seed Growth, especially on rice, is not fully achieved right on the first cropping as the soil undergoes a so-called transition period.
In the first cropping, for instance, he said that farmers who have used Seed Growth on their crops attested that they achieved a 30-percent increase in yield and a 50-percent reduction in inorganic-fertilizer application.
This rate increased in the second and third croppings where farmers got 70- percent to-100-percent increases in yield and 70-75 percent reduction in inorganic fertilizer inputs.
“These, of course, are achieved with proper management and favorable weather conditions,” Revaula said.
DA regional executive director Jose Dayao welcomed the introduction of Seed Growth in the local market. The product is now used by farmers in Luzon, Visayas and especially in Mindanao where it was first introduced.
Some farmers in Bicol who are already using it now harvest an average of 150 cavans of rice per hectare or even higher compared to 80 cavans per hectare without this bio-organic plant supplement.
Priced at P1,500 per liter, Seed Growth was one of the new agricultural support products featured at the recent 2009 National Invention Contest and Exhibits organized by the Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, he said.
“We understand that it is an organic juice for plants made from fruit extracts with other basic natural ingredients like minerals, growth hormones and beneficial microorganisms,” Dayao said.
Seed Growth helps improve nutrient availability in the soil as it contains nano-minerals that rapidly neutralize soil acidity, rejuvenates the soil by reducing the fixation rate of the major elements, and improving the soil structure for better aeration, he said.
As an organic plant-growth accelerator, Seed Growth activates beneficial microorganisms and non-symbiotic forms of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil, helps convert nutrients into its preferred nitrate form, and releases gibberillins and kinetin-like hormones, strengthening the plant’s resistance against insects, pests and diseases, Dayao said.