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Vegetable Farm Practices Documentation

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The author was born on April 23, 1983 in a small town in Gumaca, Quezon. She is the fifth among the six siblings of Mr. Conrado C. Sabuelba and Mrs. Alegria E. Rivales. She has given five loving siblings namely Shiela, Sherwin, Shyrill, Reino Butch and Alyssa Ashley. She finished her primary education at Gumaca West Central School and her secondary education at Gumaca National High School. Both are located at Gumaca, Quezon, where she has spent her childhood years. During her elementary and intermediate years, her interest in joining different drawing contest has given her awards and honors.

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The author passed the University of the Philippines College Admission Test and decided to take up Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Major in Agronomy, Specializating Weed Science under the supervision of Prof. Henedina M. Ramirez, for the first two years and Prof. Priscilla M. Barcial, for the succeeding years. On her college days, she has involved herself in two prestigious organizations, UP Banahaw (UPB) and University of the Philippines Society of Agronomy Major Students (UPhilSAMS).

She served as the UPB’s secretary for two years, from 2002 to 2004.

She has left the university last May 2006, with a unit of Undergraduate thesis study left unfinished for some personal and financial matters. For the time being that she is outside the university, she has worked for five years on different private companies. Thinking of career stability, she again decided to enroll the unit remains in her curriculum. The author wishes to work using the field she has chosen and hopefully succeed in the future.

Acknowledgement

This book has been made possible with the support of the following persons and I wish to extend my deepest gratitude.

For GOD, the creator, who has given me clear mind to think which path to take and for giving me strength, courage and determination to finish this book. For my family, nanay and tatay, thank you for the unconditional love and understanding. NAYTAY, I know how much this meant to you. I love you so much. This is for you. Ate She and KuyaAthan, thank you for all the support that you had given me, this would not be possible without your help. Thank you for the financial and moral support. Ate She, thank you for being there always. I am the luckiest person on earth for having a sweet, loving, caring and understanding sister like you.

Thank you for the pieces of sound adviceKuya Sherwin, thanks for keeping my motorcycle well-maintainedand for always believing in me. KuyaBho, I know you always prefer to be silent, but I know those words beyond silence, I love you kuya. Ate shy and KuyaArnel, thank you for the extended financial help. Thank you for always believing in my capabilities. Bunso, Alyssa, I know you always complain about nanay and tatay favoring me, but always remember that they love you as much as they love me, and the rest of our ates and kuyas. Thank you for always believing in your ate, thank you for being proud of me.

Year from now, I also want to see your diploma Ate loves you so much. And to my nieces and nephews, thank you for the joy you always bring whenever I am home. And of course, Lola Charing, so sad that you weren’t able to see the fruit of my success, but I know you are seeing me from heaven. I miss you and I love you LOLA. To my adviser, Prof. Priscilla M. Barcial, thank you for everything. I don’t know what words to say to express my gratitude. This may not be possible if not for your patience and words of encouragement. Thank you very much Ma’am.

Thank you Ma’am Heidee Ramirez, thanks for the time you have given me when I am starting to choose what major to take. Wherever you are, I will always be thankful that I met you. To Sir Larry, thank you for the time you have allotted to check my manus. To titaEya, thank you for being there always to attend to my academic problems. To all the College Sec’s staffs, thank you for the support and word of encouragements. To Kagawad Susan Jumawan and her family, thank you for the patience and for your cooperation. And to Kapitan and his councilors, thank you for the help and support And to IT STAFF of Municipal of Sariaya, Jeddah LynneFlancia, thank you for the data and for the effort. Thank you for the support and valuable cooperation. Let me also extend my thanks to the respondents to the questionnaire surveys and to those who have helped me with additional information. Tito Nelson Rivales, thank you for the financial support you have given me and for the help you always give to nanay. This is also for you To my UP Banahaw and UPHILSAMS Family, thank you for serving as my training ground to become a better individual. UPB Family, thanks for the happy memories; I will always cherish all that To my PARDZZZ, Love, Prado and Bocz.

No matter how far we are from each other and communication might sometime be missing, you will always be my PARDZ for life. Thanks for the happy memories and genuine friendship. To charmaine, wherever you are, you will still be remembered. Thanks for the first person, aside from my family, who encouraged me to pursue my studies. This is also for you. To Meldy, things may be far off late for reconciliation, but I am still hoping for a second chance and wish we could be good friends. I may not be who I am now if you didn’t happen to me. Thank you for the happy and inspiring years.

To Nanay Lily and Dad Ramon, thank you for the love, care and trust. Thank you po for the unlimited foods during mealtimes . To chin, thank you for the years of understanding and caring you have given me. Thanks for taking care of me during the times that I am away from my family. To Rose, thanks for the moral support and any kind of help you have given me. Thank you for being there during the times that I am tied up with emotional problems. To my BFF’s, Jona and Billy, thank you for the happy moments. Thank you for the unlimited friendly banters and for always believin’ in me. I will never forget you guys.

To BOY, BF JEN, YZAH and Mareng JEN, thank you for everything. Thank you for the happy memories. BF Jen, thank you for being there in times that I am so down. Mareng Jen, thank you for the pieces of sound advice To Sir Rod and Ma’am Carla, wherever you are, thank you for the support, trust and pieces of advice. To Ate Jec, thank you for being a good friend Thank you for the trust and for always believing that I can be somebody someday I miss you Ate Jec To COVERLAY people, thanks for the happy moments, sawalangkatapusang gala thanks for being part of my journey , I’ll never forget you guys.

Abstract

The farm practice was conducted at Brgy. Mamala I, Sariaya, Quezon from July 2011 to February 2012. The study was intended to 1) Document the different farm practices done by a farmer-cooperator from the area 2) Collect weed samples infesting vegetable farms, take pictures of these samples and make an herbarium; and 3) Survey farmer’s demographic information. Farm practices documentation was conducted to be able to make a full report regarding the practices and procedures done by farmers in Brgy. Mamala I, Sariaya, Quezon. Activities of Mr. and Mrs.

Jumawan, farmer-cooperator, were recorded, from land preparation to harvesting. Samples that were collected through farm visits were photographed and compiled with brief but sufficient information. Identification of weed samples was made possible with the help of the mini booklet entitled Major Weeds of the Philippines (Moody et al. , 1984) and through personal consultation from Dr. William SM. Gruezo. Samples were cleaned, sun dried and pressed using manual presser and old newspapers. Results on the interview of 100 farmers in the area showed that most of the farmers used the conventional way of farming.

Age bracket who works in the farm is 16-75 years old, mostly married male individuals. All of the farmers were from that locality. The bigger fraction of farmers owns the house while the rest rents. Their primary source of income is farming. On the actual farm activity, most of them do the plowing thrice and twice for harrowing, depending on the crops that they want to grow. Mechanical tools that the farmers use in the field are native plows, harrows, spade and shovel. Most of them owned the equipments while some rents from other farmers.

Vegetable crops planted for this season were radish (RaphanussativusLinn. ), pechay (Brassica rapa L. ), green sili (Capsicum annuum L. ), carrots (Daucuscarota Linn. ), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatasL. ) and cabbage (Brassica oleraceaLinn. ). Majority of them acquire their seeds from Parungao Agricultural Store and Sariaya Agricultural Center, both were located at the town proper. Some gets their seeds from Mamala I Cooperative. For farmers who planted sweet potato, planting materials were from the previous season. Their source of irrigation is from the river and rainfall.

Vegetable growing is indeed the most profitable enterprise for smallholder farmers in the Philippines and generates jobs both in the farm and in the distribution chain in rural and urban areas ( FAOSTAT, 2008). Vegetables as part of Filipino subsistencebe it as food or as source of livelihood, cannot be undermined. All 43 kinds and 250 lesser-known species of Philippine vegetables are important sources of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and proteins. In the crop category, vegetable ranks second to ornamentals in terms of income generated per unit area and time.

Vegetables are also widely used as an intercrop for coconut and fruit trees, and as a component of other cropping systems. Although, with around 630,000 hectares harvested annually they may seem dwarfed by more than 6 million hectares of rice and 2. 5 million hectares of corn, vegetables are crucial in alleviating poverty and fighting malnutrition. Pumpkins, eggplants, tomatoes and string beans are some of the biggest vegetable crops grown in the Philippines, and export crop like okra is now familiar all around the world.

However, the diversity of vegetable crops is incredible with nearly 80% of the total area allotted to crops which are individually too small to classify in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s statistics. These include crops such as sitao (snake bean), kinchai, (celery), kondol (hairy melon) and patola, the ridged luffa (FAOSTAT, 2008). With the enactment of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) in 1997, the Philippine agricultural sector has been modernizing rapidly, establishing itself as the center of the country’s economy – with a 25% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution and employing 50% of the labor force.

However, the industry as a whole continues to exist as units of small, individually-functioning farms, most of which are producing fruits and vegetables for home consumption or as small-time alternative income source (Pabuayon, 2001). Numerous definitions of weeds have come up and no one definition has been coined to universal satisfaction. Some defined weeds as plants that deemed to do more harm than good (Kranz, 1977) while some described weeds as wild plants that are considered nuisance and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings, especially farm field and gardens (Janick, 1979).

But from an agricultural science point of view, weeds of crops have been seen simply as a nuisance to be removed using the best available technology at hand (Cousens and Mortimer, 1995). However, the presence of weeds does not necessarily mean that they are competing with a crop, especially during the early stages of growth when each plant can find the resources it requires without interfering with the others. As the seedlings’ size increases, their root systems spread as they begin to require greater amounts of water and nutrients. Some crops have greater resistance than others crops.

Smaller and slower growing seedlings are more likely to be overwhelmed than those that are larger and more vigorous. After this period, weeding, by any means, is necessary. It is important to understand the yield losses associated with weed infestation in order to avoid the problems that weeds will impose and maximize the yield percentage. Over the centuries, weeds have consumed so much of the attention of farmers, conservationists and scientists because of their abilities to affect the livelihoods of agricultural producers or to reduce endemic biodiversity of certain crop.

Weeds’ ecological attributes that confer the ability to interfere these activities and occupy farmers and scientists’ attentions are as follows: 1) The weed’s often close association with human-managed habitats affords them a powerful means of dispersal 2) Their ability to increase rapidly in abundance after introduction into a habitat resulting to give them the chance to dominate a plant community confers colonizing potential 3) And lastly, their ability to tolerate a wide range of habitats conditions and to reproduce ensures long term regenerative capacity (Cousens and Mortimer, 1995).

Objectives

The general objectives of this apprenticeship were to make a full report regarding the different vegetable farm practices done by a farmer-cooperator, prepare an herbarium collection associated with crops grown by farmers in Mamala, Sariaya, Quezon, conduct a rapid appraisal of farmers’ weed problem and control practices being used in vegetables in Mamala, Sariaya, Quezon, and acquire an indepth documentation of farmers’ weed problems and control practices. The specific objectives include the following:

  • To document the whole process of growing different vegetables, including all of the farm practices, from land preparation to harvesting.
  • To determine the farmers’ weed problems in vegetables.
  • To identify the weed control measures done by the farmers.
  • To identify the sources of information regarding the weed management practices adopted by farmers
  • To be able to prepare an herbarium collection of the different weed species associated with vegetables.
  • To take picture of the weed species associated with vegetables.

Review of Related Literature

Vegetable Production in the Philippines Vegetable production is one of the most challenging works for farmers in a small-scale farm-holder since vegetable prices vary for each season and production is highly seasonal in response to temperature, rainfall, and the frequency and intensity of typhoons. Prices of vegetables are generally lowest in March to May and higher in September to December. Production costs during the dry seasons are much lower than in wet seasons. Since the average farm size in the Philippines is just 2. 2 hectares (Alcantara, 1988), it is very difficult for smallholder vegetable farmers to access the institutional market. Furthermore, the unawareness of most smallholder vegetable farmers regarding the quantities of vegetables planted, the customers’ quality requirements, preferred varieties, the seasonality of production and the supply and demand situation in both domestic and export market were the things that hinder successful production ( Batt et al. , 2008). In 2005, it is reported that 604,000 hectares of vegetable crops were cultivated in the Philippines, which produced over 4. M of fresh vegetables (Batt et al. , 2008). But this is obviously not enough to feed millions of Filipinos to be able to achieve the recommended nutritional diet. Ironically, the per capita consumption is quite low at 39 kilograms considering that the recommended intake is 69 kilograms (Pabuayon, 2001). Without consolidation, small-holder vegetable farmers will not have sufficient production to maintain the quality and continuity of supply. At a local or regional level, fruit and leaf crops provide important income for farmers and farm workers. Production Practices in Vegetables A. Land Preparation

Land preparation is consideredthe first step in agricultural production. The field must be properly prepared because performance of the crops during growing period merely depends on how good land preparation is done. Each crop requires different land preparation. For a land that is frequently used for vegetable production, a thorough land preparation is necessary. Basically land preparation is done to dispose seeds and soil-borne pathogens that are initially present in the soil to provide the soil the best holding capacity of water for the best free flowing of water for drainage and aeration (Kempen, 1989).

When planning to plant a crop with smaller seeds, land preparation is more critical compared to those crops with bigger seeds and transplanted ones. Crops with smaller seeds will not emerge if the soil clod is not properly pulverized. A land that was well-prepared will most likely have fewer weeds during crop growth because weed floras that were initially present in the soil will be removed. B. Furrowing and Hilling Up Furrowing is a process that some crops require in order to perform well in the field. This is the process of making furrows in between rows. Depth of furrow depends on the cropthat was planted in the field.

The main purpose of making furrows is to provide good irrigation practice. Also, furrows lessen the opportunity for the weeds to affect the crops. Generally, furrows are 15 to 20 cm deep and 20 to 30 cm width. Some crops that tend to perform well with this method are tomato and eggplant and other row crops. Hilling up is a process of raising the soil a few or more inches depending on the crop’s requirement for growth and development. It intends to add stability to the crops and make them capture the sun’s rays at an optimum level for superior growing performance.

Some crops need to be raised higher while for some crops, hilling up is unnecessary. Vegetables that are usually provided with hills are pechay, cabbage and carrots. C. Fertilizer Application Cropneeds proper nutrition in order for them to adapt to the different stressesthat the environment may pose. The environment cannot merely provide all the nutrients that the crop needs and the crop cannot as well seek and provide all the nutrients and minerals it needs, especially at the start of the growing period. This is where fertilization comes in.

Fertilization is simply defined as the process of providing the optimum needs of the plant in order to grow and develop normally. There are basically16 macroelements and seven microelements that are considered essential to plant growth. Macroelements are those elements that the crop needs in bulk amount since most of the physiological processes is driven and made possible by these elements. Microelements, on the other hand, are those elements that are already present in the soil and thus the crop needs it in a very small quantity.

The amount of fertilizer to apply to a garden depends on the natural fertility of the soil, the amount of organic matter present, the type of fertilizer used, and the crop being grown. The best way to determine fertilizer needs is to have the soil tested. Fertilizers are identified by the analysis given on the package which refers to the amount of an element present in a formulation based on percentage of weight. Proper timing of fertilizer application is very important to achieve its maximum efficiency. It is the soil type that dictates the frequency of fertilizer application.

Sandy soils require more frequent applications of nitrogen and other nutrients than do clay-type soils. Other factors affecting frequency of application include the type of crop, the level of crop productivity required, frequency and amount of water applied, and type of fertilizer applied and its release rate. The type of crop influences timing and frequency of application since some crops are heavy feeders of particular nutrients than others. Root crops require less nitrogen fertilization than do leafy crops. Corn is a heavy feeder of nitrogen, and may require nitrogen fertilization every four weeks.

A general rule of thumb is that nitrogen is for leafy top growth; phosphorus is for root and fruit production; and potassium is for cold hardiness, disease resistance, and general durability (Bierman and Rosen, 2005). Proper use of nutrients can control plant growth rate and character. Nitrogen is the most critical nutrient in this regard. If tomatoes are fertilized too heavily with a nitrogen fertilizer or side-dressed before fruit set, the plants may be all vines and no fruit. This is also the case with potatoes, which will show excess vining and poor tuber formation.

If slow-release fertilizers or heavy amounts of manure are used on crops that form fruit or vegetables, leaf and vine growth will continue into late summer, and fruit and vegetable development will occur very late in the season (Relf et al. , 2009). D. Weed-Crop Association Weed-crop association exists when one or more species of weeds emerged recurrently at the same time a certain crop was planted. There are many studies of plant competition that have been directed towards understanding how plants respond to density in monocultures and how the presence of weeds affects yield in crops (Freckleton and Watkinson, 1999).

Association exists when a certain weed co-evolves in a particular plant community that is assembled in agro-ecosystem. Co-evolution involves reciprocal natural selection between two or more groups of organisms with close relationship, but without exchange of genetic information between the groups (Guglielmini et al. , 2007). In crucifers, broadleaf weeds are the most common weed species. For rice plantation, most common are grassy weed species. One of the reasons is their similarity on growth requirement.

If crop and weed has a very close association, then control of the latter may be a bit difficult since the control measure that one will apply to eliminate the unwanted plant may also harm the crop. Also, similarity on each species will bring competition closer since each will have the same likeness in terms of vegetation or habitat form. Dissimilarity, on the other hand, tends to eliminate competition and preserve the advantage of superior form. These broad concepts seem to fit with the weed scientists’ perception of weed-crop association (Guglielmini et al. 2007). Today’s weed floras have survived all previous weed control efforts, incorporating demographic traits such as fluctuating temperature requirement for germination and resistance to herbicides, among others. The frequent and periodical disturbances associated to crop management have selected weed traits that established floristic composition of weed communities (Martinez et al. , 2000). Weed phenology, for example, has been finely molded to fit the patterns of cropping activities along farms and regions.

In a real scenario, when an agricultural cycle begins, the farmer unintentionally operates on the entire system opening niches for other species. Weed species with the same germination requirements as the crop are usually selected by their convenient traits adjusted by cropping practices. For example, in temperate areas a maize/soybean-weed community at crop harvesting constitutes a very low productivity system with low cover under conventional tillage. Tillage buries weed seeds of species that may require a burial period of some months to subsequently germinate in the cropping system.

As a crop management technique is regularly repeated, those species that succeeded in predicting high resource environments and survive cropping activities sequences are selected. This is the case of Daturaferox (L. ) an important weed of soybean that possesses seeds with high levels of dormancy when their capsules ripen at crop harvest. There are evidences that D. ferox has adjusted the time and rate of germination to the cyclic labors performed under the conventional tillage soybean cropping system (Ballare et al. , 1987). In addition, exotic and native species increased the species richness of the crop-weed community.

Based on historical records, there are many examples in the literature pointing out the effects of cropping systems on associated weed communities (Fryer and Chancellor, 1970). Several other traits of weeds appeared to evolve under selective forces of agricultural practices. Crop mimics have allowed some weeds to escape control effects and to alleviate weed competition with complementary requirements. For example, Avenafatua (L. ) matures at a similar time as wheat and, it has morphological characteristics like the crop, but it has larger seeds. At harvest, A. atua panicles are collected and threshed with crop spikes. A high proportion (75%) of weed seeds maybe captured by the combine and, hence, widely dispersed from combine cleaning dispositive (Guglielminiet. , al. 2007).

Other example of crop mimics is provided by Echinochloacruss-galli. (L. )Beauvais. In ricefields, E. cruss-galli is a major weed. Barrett (1983) indicates that mimetic forms have evolved from primitive agricultural systems to modern mechanized rice culture under rice production systems. Broadleaf species such as Portulacaoleracea (L. , Amaranthusspp and Malvaparviflora(L. ) are the most significant weeds in brassica production (William and Chiang, 1980). In soybean field, weed species like Amaranthus. viridis, Celosiaargentea, Cyperusrotundus, Echinochloacolonaand Trianthemaportulacastrumwere predominately observed (Balyan et al. , 1999). Amaranthusspinosus (L. )is reported to be the number three weed in maize and is a principal weed of mangoes, sorghum, soybeans and cowpeas in the Philippines (Caton et al. , 2004).

In Bukidnon province, Mindanao, Philippines, Rottboelliaexaltata L. f. s found to be the major weed in corn (Zea mays) fields (Fisher et al. , 1985). In Bangladesh, three different Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZ) were considered to identify the major weed associated with mungbean (Vignaradiata (L. ) R. Wilczek). The different locations were Joydebpur, Barisal and Ishurdi for AEZ 28, 13 and 11 respectively. Variability of weed species was observed in different locations. The maximum weed infestation of Cyperusrotundus(L. ) was found in Ishurdi. Weed species such as Echinochloa crus-galli, Digitariasanguinalis and Cyperusrotundus were the dominant weeds of Joydebpur.

However, Digitariasanguinalis and Parapholisstrigosa were found dominant in Barisal (Khan et al. , 2011). In India, Purple-leaf button (Borreriaocymoides) weed and Indian heliotrope (Heliotropiumindicum) are widespread and common weed species of rain-fed rice in many tropical countries (Chauhan and Johnson, 2008). E. Weed Management in Vegetables Growing of vegetables imposes particularity in approach to managing weed problems. Different crops are associated with one or more species of weeds. There are species of weeds that grow when a specific crop is planted. Amaranthusspp. Chenopodium album, Polygonumaviculare, Portulacaoleracea and Solanumnigrum are some of the weed species that have been observed on transplanted tomatoes (Oroian et al. , 2009).

However, in direct-seeded tomato,Avena spp. , Lolium spp. , and several Brassicaceae and Asteraceae are seen to be more frequent. Thus, weed competition is especially dramatic when a direct-seeded vegetable is grown. Critical period of weed competition is usually longer in direct seeded than in transplanted crops since in the latter, vegetable crops have an overhead against weeds (Oroian et al. 2009). Major problems in vegetables are caused by broadleaf weeds because grass weeds are much better managed by crop rotation practices or can be successfully removed with the application of selective foliar-applied herbicides. However, the success of many weed control operations basically depends on the knowledge of the target weeds, herbicide and time of implementation (Fryor and Makepeace, 1978). At the earlier period, during land preparation, good knowledge of the weed species prevalent in the field is necessary in controlling or minimizing weed infestation.

When annual weeds (i. e. grassy weeds) are predominating in the field, shallow cultivation is needed to achieve the objective. When there are no dormant seeds, deep ploughing is advisable in order to bury the seeds. But when there are dormant seeds, this is indeed not a good practice since they will be viable again when they return to the soil surface after cultivation. There are basically fourapproaches in managing weeds on the farm, and these are through mechanical, chemical, biological and cultural means (Muzik et al. , 1970). 1). Mechanical Weed Control.

Presence of weeds in the fields is the main problem of farmers in producing good quality crops. Some farmers employ mechanical method of eradicating weed species if the weed population is still at a manageable level of occurrence. Mechanical or physical weed control involves hand weeding, use of mulches, or simple machinery like hoes, cultivators, mowers, flamers, etc. Hand weeding is expensive but can be very effective in early-season weed control. Mulches used to control weeds include straw, newspaper, plastic, and grass clippings.

When mulching with organic materials, it is important to mulch deep enough to conserve soil moisture as well as block weed emergence. Most organic mulches keep the soil cool, and thus will not result in early harvest of most vegetables. Plastic mulches are becoming popular for vegetable weed control in both home gardens and commercial fields. Mulches block light so weeds do not germinate (Alcantara, 1988). 2). Chemical Weed Control. Herbicides are often used for weed control in commercial vegetable production. They are marked by savings in farm labor, effective weed control, and reduction in production costs.

If the presence of weeds cannot be controlled by mechanical means because the weeds occupy majority of the land area, then farmers are shifting to chemical way of eliminating weeds. This kind of control is considered the most effective way of getting rid of unwanted plants. Nowadays, majority of the farmers are now using herbicides since the effects can be seen in a very short period of time (Kempen, 1989). Herbicide could be either pre-emergent or post-emergent. The former is applied before the crops emerge while the latter is applied some time after the crops emerge.

It is also classified as selective and non-selective. Selective herbicides are those that affect a specific physiological activity of weed while non-selective herbicides affect all the physiological processes of the target weed. In terms of its application, herbicides are commonly applied in granular and liquid form. Granular herbicides are easily applied with a common push-type spreader and can come blended with a fertilizer. Granular application must be broadcast over a large area, and thus there are some that are applied in places that may not need it.

Large crabgrass is a weed that is controlled by granular application of herbicide (Smith and Pimentel, 1978). On the other hand, liquid herbicides are diluted with water and sprayed onto the plant with a hand-held or backpack sprayer. Spot spraying broadleaf weeds, like dandelions or clover with a selective post-emergent herbicide is effective and saves the lawn from excessive chemicals. Above all these, one must have a thorough knowledge on how to use a certain herbicide as well as the hazards it may pose. In the Philippines, traditional vegetable growers did not find chemical control as an efficient trategy for weed eradication. Some of the reasons were: 1) Small areas were devoted for vegetable production; Vegetable growing areas are usually situated adjacent to rivers and waterways, and, if herbicides are used, their environmental impact must be taken into account to; and Number of vegetables were produced under plastic mulching which affects herbicides’ behavior (Zaragosa, 2001). Biological Weed Control. Biological weed control involves the use of natural enemies to reduce the weed populations which may include parasites, predators or pathogens specific to certain weeds.

However, current economics and short shelf life of the biological agents make biological control a relatively less popular method (Julien and White, 1997). The first experiment conducted was known to be implemented by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The program started in British Columbia in the early 1950s. At that time, two beetle species were released to control the spread of St. John’s Wort(Hypericumperforatum), a perennial weed that was a serious pest in fields and on roadsides.

Since the 1950s, biological control work in British Columbia has expanded to include noxious weeds such as knapweed, leafy spurge, toadflax, and hound’s tongue (Williams, 1985). Successful stories of biological weed control include the destruction of the prickly pear cacti (Opuntiaspp. ) in Australia by an imported moth (Cactoblastiscactorum) and the control of St. Johnswort(Hypericumperforatum) on rangeland in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. These examples demonstrate that biological control can provide a permanent solution to serious weed problems.

The first insects were introduced 50 years ago and the Australian prickly pear is still under control. St. Johnswort is presently controlled at two percent of its former density in British Columbia (Watson, 1977). In Virginia, there are several stories of successful biological control. The first was achieved through the introduction of leaf beetle (Cassidarubiginosa) to control Canada thistle (Cirsiumarvense). The second case is the introduction of fly (Urophoraaffinis) and moth (Metzneriapaucipuntella) that controlled spotted knapweed (Centaureamaculosa).

The third successful case is the introduction of moth (Bedelliasamnulentella), moth (Oidaematophorusmonodactylus),beetle (Megacerusdiscoidus) to control hedge bindweed (Calystegiasepium). Another case is the introduction of beetle (Taphrocerusschaefferi) andmoth (Batraverutana) in controllingyellow nutsedge (Cyperusesculentus). Species of dandelion (Taraxacumofficinale) were controlled through the introduction of beetle (Ceutorhynchuspunctiger) (Kok, 1999). Scientists and researchers at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) conducted several experiments to test the potential of a leaf blight pathogen (Alternariasp. for the control of gooseweed (SphenocleazeylanicaGaertn. ) in rice fields. Under varying conditions, this broadleaf weed was effectively controlled by Alternariasp. in all its growth stages, from seedlings to flowering (Watson and Mabbayad, 1995). In 1999, biological weed control has received renewed interest because it is an environmentally compatible method of weed control without residue and pollution problems. However, biological weed control has its weaknesses and is not suitable for all weed problems. To be effective in biological control, an agent must be host specific so that they do not affect non-target organisms (Kok, 1999).

The release of biological control agents is governed by general rules. These rules include number and size of the releases and where the releases should be made. Host and releases should be occupying same climatic zone so that natural enemy will have a chance to develop in all areas where the host occurs. To ensure rapid establishment, releases should be large enough; more than one release in an area is needed to achieve successful establishment. There should be in synchronization in time of release and with the abundance of the preferred host growth stage.

During release, the biological control agent must not be adversely affected by ongoing activities in the area of release. Thus temperature during the time of day that encourages the biological control agent to stay and not to disperse should be taken into consideration for release. Moreover, pesticide applications that are routinely carried out in the area before release should be avoided. This is to prevent these chemical inputs from killing the biological control agents. Adequate recovery collections should be continuously carried out in order to find out whether establishment has occurred (Kok, 1999).

Undoubtedly, with continued interest and research support, the general assumption that biological weed control is used only as a last resort where chemical and other methods have failed will be proven incorrect. Although biological control is an important tool for combating noxious weed infestations, it can only succeed when used with integrated weed management and good land management practices (Kok, 1999). 4). Cultural Weed Control. Cultural methods are also practiced in some situations which involve use of competitive and smother crops, use of allelopathic cover crops, and crop rotation.

A popular cultural method for controlling weeds in vegetables is the stale seedbed technique (Caldwell and Mohler, 2001). With the stale seedbed method, the soil is tilled approximately two weeks before the expected seeding date, and weeds are allowed to germinate and emerge under optimal soil moisture and temperature. The emerged weeds are then tilled into the soil and applied with a non selective herbicide such as glyphosate prior to planting the crop. Another method that could lessen weed density is the mixed cropping method. In here, two or more crops were grown at the same time and were adjacent to one another (Muzik et al. 1970). A field study was conducted in San Jose and Bongabon, Nueva Ecija. To determine the efficacy of preplant and postemergence control methods against purple nutsedge (Cyperusrotundus L. ) and other weeds infesting onions grown after rice, the experiment was conducted during the wet season. The preplant method includes the mechanical and chemical stale seed bed technique (SST) combined with the farmer’s practice of rice hull burning. The postemergence method on the other hand, includes use of shielded sprayer and nozzles and paintbrush in directed herbicide application.

At the end of a four-crop rotation cycle, mechanical or chemical SST applied once or twice a year in combination with the combined with farmer’s rice hull burning reduced occurrence of purple nutsedge (Cyperusrotundus L. ) tuber population by 90% of its initial population (Baltazar et al. , 2001). However, cultural weed control method gathers the least vote for crop producers since this kind of method may not be effective for a bulk production or for the rapid change of climatic factors nowadays. Some of the cultural controls that are noted to be very effective five or ten years ago may not be effective nowadays.

Also, this kind of control may be crop and place-specific and thus efficacy regarding control is not very convincing (Smith and Pimentel, 1978). F. Harvesting There are different specifications for each crop in terms of harvesting but the main point behind growing your vegetable is how much better they taste fresh from the garden. The only failsafe way to guarantee harvesting vegetables at the optimal time is to taste test. However, there are some guidelines for judging when vegetables are ripe and ready to be harvested. Keep in mind that great flavor is not a matter of size and color.

For most vegetable growers, they have set their own criteria when to do harvesting. If one is a long time grower of a specific crop, then he probably has his own indicators when to harvest. Counting from the time of planting is one of better ways to have an idea regarding harvesting period. Also, some of the crops show peculiar development on any of the plant part. For snap beans, the cue for timely harvesting is the time when the seeds start to bulge. In cabbage, when the head feels solid when it is gently squeezed, then it is ready to be harvested.

Proper handling procedure is very important to maintain the desirable quality of the crops for marketing purposes. Crops, fresh from the field, should be placed in a clean and appropriate container. Crops’ appearance is also very important. Cleaning of the crops, especially for root crops, is very important. Excess soil should be removed to expose the real color and appearance of the crop. Also, there are some microorganisms and insects that might be present in the soil and will cause damage to the crop when not removed instantly.

Description and Schedule of Activities

Time and Place of the Study The studies and apprenticeship were conducted at Brgy. Mamala, Sariaya, Quezon from July 2011 to February 2012. The practitioner conducted three major activities namely: Activity 1. Full documentation ofthe different farm practices in vegetable production. Identification of a Farmer-Cooperator In order to satisfy the first activity, a farmer-cooperator was chosen through the help of the Barangay CaptainArcadioRabinaJaspio. The bases in identifying farmer-cooperator were; one who grows vegetables as his main crop and a resident of the said barangay. Site Description

The apprenticeship was conducted in one of the vegetable farms in Brgy. Mamala 1, Sariaya, Quezon. Most of the farms in the area were devoted to vegetable production. The farm that was observed was managed by Mr. and Mrs. RodencioJumawan. The different farm practices done by Mr. and Mrs. Jumawan were documented. Background of the Area Smallpercentages of the country’s agricultural land areas allotted for growing crops could be found in Sariaya, Quezon. Sariaya is subdivided into two major areas, the urban and rural areas. Measurements were 63. 73m2 and 22,839. 55 m2 respectively adding up makes a total land area of 22, 903. 8 m2. There are 43 barangays in the area and one of these is Mamala I, where vast production of vegetable crops was found. Brgy. Mamala I, 110 km south ofLos Banos, Laguna, is composed of seven (7) Purok, 647 households length measurement of 11,975. 70 m2and an area of 4,978,666. 45 m2. From the number of total households mentioned above, 95 % (614 persons) are farmers (PDMS, 2009). Figure 1. Map of Sariaya, Quezon showing all of the barangays(the area under study is encircled with red mark) Preparation of herbarium and leaflet of weed species associated with vegetables in Mamala I, Sariaya, Quezon.

Weed Collection The weedswere collected from July to September, 2011. Weed samples that were seen thriving on the field and along sideways were collected and then manually pressed using a plant presser and sun dried. Photos of the weeds were taken prior tocollection. Photos of the different samples were compiled and brief descriptions were provided. Documentation of the different weed control practices used by farmers of Mamala I, Sariaya, Quezon. For this activity, a mass interview was done to gather farmers’ demographic information, including the weed control practices they employed in the field.

Instead of doing a one-on-one interview, the student preferred to do a mass interview and took the chance to have few hours to talk in front of the farmers who attended the Barangay General Assembly last November 7, 2011. A printed questionnaire was distributed to 100 farmers and the student guided the farmers in answering each question on the questionnaire. Interviews and questions raised during the mass interview were entertained and lasted for 2 hrs. The output of this apprenticeship included:

Full report regarding the complete process, including the management done by farmers, of growing vegetables. . Herbarium collection of weed species associated with vegetables planted in Mamala I, Sariaya, Quezon..

  1. Pictures and description of the different weed species collected from the farms.
  2. Demographic informations achieved through personal interviews with the farmers on Mamala I, Sariaya, Quezon.
  3. Data on the different weed control practices used by farmers in the area achieved through personal interview with the farmers on Mamala I, Sariaya, Quezon.

Identifying a farmer-cooperator was not a hard task since almost 95% of the residents are vegetable farmers. One of the farmers who preferred to grow vegetables using the available land is Mr. and Mrs. RodencioJumawan. Mrs. Susan Jumawanis the first Kagawad in their Barangay. But aside from serving the community where she lives, she still managed to do farm works and raised good-quality vegetables. Her husband helped her in the farm, as well as her son-in-law, cousin and nephew. Kagawad Susan has four helpers in all, including her husband. She just added some manpower whenever the circumstances call for it. She managed a 3-ha farm that is not a contiguous one.

It is located in different areas of the barangay but not too far from each other. These were unequally planted with different vegetable crops. According to her, the land where they grow their vegetables is neither rented nor owned. A friend who is currently abroad lentthem the land for free to be able to preserve the soil structure and for them to generate additional income for everyday expenses. And just like any other farmers in the area, Kagawad Susan is a high school graduate. She and her husband acquired the knowledge about farming from their parents and through everyday experience. What their ancestors used to plant and did to nourish the crops is what exactly they employ in the field.

As long as they gain profit from it, they will be contented on using the knowledge learned from their ancestors. Land Preparation Figure 2. Land preparation of a portion of Kagawad Susan’s farm using the conventional way Kagawad Susan and her husband basically did the land preparation using the conventional way. Her husband plowed and harrowed the land thrice using a native plow, harrow and a carabao. Frequency of plowing depended on what crop was previously planted and what crop is to be planted. For the land that was used on the previous season, they only plowed it twice. For the land that was long abandoned, they plowed it three to four times.

It took three days for her husband to finish preparing the land since he was the only one who prepared the field. Her husband started land preparation on August 15, 2011 and finished the job on August 17, 2011. Subsequent to land preparation, Kagawad Susan and her helpers planted sweet potato, radish, pechay and carrots in different dates. (Table 2). Seed Sowing/Planting. After land preparation, 7,000 m2were planted with sweet potato. Five days after, 3,000 m2 was planted with pechay. Two days after, 3,000 m2were planted with radish. Radish was sprinkled on the plot. This was followed by shallow plowing to cover the seeds. After another 2days,5,000m2 of the 3-ha land were planted with carrot.

They planted cabbage but due to typhoon Ramon, the seeds did not emerge. Variety that she preferred to use was Condor for carrots, Suksok, Bentong and Taiwan for sweet potato, Pabito for pechay, Beaurofor peanut, and Ramgo for radish. A larger fraction of the land was planted with sweet potato since she said that sweet potato is the easiest to grow among the crops they planted. Also, they did not need to buy the planting materials for sweet potato since they just acquired them from the previous season. For the rest of their crops, they bought the seeds from Sariaya Agricultural Center and Parungao Agricultural Supply, found at a small store found in their locality owned by LudyBornolla.

Sometimes, when she faced financial crisis, she acquired seeds from Mamala I Multi-purpose Cooperative, where payments were in term of monthly installment basis or on what terms they have agreed upon. 1). Carrot(DaucuscarotaLinn. ) Field Preparation. The land was plowed and harrowed several times until a fine filth is attained. Thorough field preparation is very important for the plant because carrot is small-seeded and usually planted directly in the field. Also, Kagawad Susan was very keen in observing good soil texture before planting since land preparation was very important in the development of the roots. Crops planted in a well-prepared land would have well-shaped, marketable roots than plants grown in a poorly-prepared soil which tend to have irregularly-shaped roots. Planting and Spacing. Carrots were usually direct-seeded.

In a small plantation or backyard garden, it is either broadcast or planted in furrows spaced at 20 cm between rows and about 5 cm in a row. Since Kagawad Susan production is for commercial purposes, seeds were drilled evenly on prepared beds which were 20 cm high, 0. 7-0. 8 m wide and 0. 3 m apart. After planting, the field was harrowed shallowly to cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Kagawad Susanpreferred to use a spacing distance of 20 to 30 cm between rows and about 5 cm between hills. One hectare of their land required one can of carrots. The seeds were uniformly distributed in furrows and covered with fine soil at about two cm thick. It took 3 weeks from sowing to complete the emergence of the seedlings. Cultivation and Thinning.

At the seedling stage, carrot is a slow starter plant both in germination and growth. The crop germinated 21 days after sowing (DAS). During seedling stage, the plants were slender and incapable of competing with the weeds that is why Kagawad Susan didhandweeding at this period in order to have a uniform plant stand. After exactly 1 month, the first true leaves appeared and Kagawad Susan and her husband started shallow cultivation. They made sure that the soil is thrown toward the base of the plants to avoid the development of green pigments on the shoulder of the roots which may affect their market value. They did not employ thinning since they said that even before; thinning is not a practice of Mamala farmers.

Nutrient Management

Soil fertilization should be based from the result of soil analysis. Since Kagawad Susan only relied on what her husband’s parents taught them, she only used fertilizers that they used since then. They commonly used chicken manure, complete fertilizer (14-14-14), solophos (0-20-0) and ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) as their fertilizers. Before planting, MangRodencio incorporated two sacks of chicken manure during land preparation, 2 weeks before the scheduled planting. The remaining nutrient requirement was applied 30 days from sowing, just after weeding. For ammonium sulfate and complete fertilizer, applications were basal. Water Management.

During the first 30 days of growth, carrots needed a lot of water. In the case of Kagawad Susan’s farm, there is some restriction regarding the availability of water to supply on their farm. They were not allowed to utilize water from the reservoir in their locality; hence they relied on rainfall instead. Weed Management. MangRodenciostarted weed control even before land preparation. He applied Sharp shooter on the land where different weed species were growing. They have waited for 3 weeks before they started plowing in order to make sure that the chemical was not present in the soil and will not affect the growth and quality of the crop. Thirty (30) DAP, several weeds emerged and they employedhandweeding.

Farmers only used their bare hand or used bolo to remove the weeds which were too difficult to pull. For insect pest management, they used Selecron and Brodan. There was no disease that drastically affected the growth of the crop. Harvesting. At exactly 3 months after sowing, Kagawad Susan and her helpers harvested the crops. Kagawad Susan pulled out one root to check if the carrots are ready for harvesting. Yellowing of leaves and roots and being big enough were the indicators they used. Harvesting was done using a spading fork. They pulled it carefully to prevent the roots from being damaged. After harvest, they removed split roots and brought the crops to the packing house, just beside their house. Postharvest Handling.

Handling includes cutting the leaves 5-8 cm from the shoulder. They washed and air dried the roots, then sorted and classified the harvested carrots according to size and appearance. Roots that were found to be damaged (i. e. deformed, cracked and forked) were considered non-marketable and used for their own consumption. Cost and Return Analysis. Table 3 shows the total cost of production, the total income and the return above variable cost for carrot production. For land preparation, cost was for the rental of farm equipments such as native plow, harrow and carabao. There was no added cost for the labor since MangRodencio did the land preparation.

Planting was accomplished by six persons that Kagawad Susan hired at 170. 00/person/day. For the application of fertilizer, there was still no cost since they were the ones who did the application. Handweeding was done by eighteen persons thatcostedthem a total of 3,060. 00. There was no cost on fertilizer application since MangRodencio did the application. For irrigation, crop is rainfall dependent so there was no need to employ additional manpower to irrigate the field. Four persons were employed in the field to harvest the matured carrots, at same labor cost as in planting and handweeding job. The total cost for labor was 8,710. 00. A can of carrot was utilized thatcosted them 80. 00. Just before planting, 4. 5 sacks of chicken manure at 90. 00/sack,were incorporated into the soil. Thirtydays after planting (30 DAP), 3. 5 sacks of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) were applied. Total cost for material inputs was 4,735. 00. Other operating expense includes irrigation fee, but since the field is rainfall dependent, no cost was incurred for irrigation.

The line that was created by harrowingserved as guide for planting the stems called “amlay”. Ridges formed were approximately 15 cm high. This was enough to prevent roots from growing too deep for easy harvesting. Planting and Spacing. Kagawad Susan chose fresh, mature and healthy stem planting materials. The sweet potato planting materials that were used came from the previous season. The indicator that the stem was fresh was a sap that came out 6 seconds after cutting. The stems were cut into 20-30 cm long using a bolo. Planting materials were not kept for more than 5 days and handled them carefully to avoid damages on nodes during planting.

During planting, “amlays” were put in a row made during land preparation, and then another person covered the vines with soil. (Figure 3). Figure 3. MangRodencio is establishing a line with the use of native plow and a carabao while Kagawad Susan and his nephew put “amlays” on the established areas. Nutrient Management. The general recommendation for a soil which was not analyzed is eight sacks of complete fertilizer (14-14-14). However, since these are tested soil and are used for sweet potato and other vegetable production, then they applied two sacks of the said fertilizer per hectare. These were applied 30 DAP at 5-10 cm away from the plant. Organic fertilizer like chicken manure was also applied for better performance of the crops.

Weed Management

Weed occurrence on the field planted with sweet potato was better managed compared to the fields planted with other vegetables since the rapidly growing vines shaded weeds, as such little weeding was needed. First weeding, just like in other crops, was done 30 DAP and second at 60 DAP. For other pest and diseases, there was only a little occurrence of disease and insects infestation during the growing period; hence no effect on the productivity of the crops. Cost and Return Analysis. Table 5 shows the total expenses incurred during production, the net income and the return above variable cost for sweet potato. The cost under the land preparation is for the rental of farm equipments used during land preparation.

Only four persons wereemployed in the farm to plant “amlays”. There were no cost for irrigation, fertilizer application, harvesting ad sorting and packing because Kagawad Susan and MangRodencio were the ones who did the job. The cost for the handweeding job was ? 170. 00/day. Eighteen persons were deployed in the field to do handweeding and costed them ? 3,060. 00. Harvesting was accomplished by six persons that costed them ? 1,020. 00. The total cost for labor inputs was computed to be ? 8,030. 00. There was no cost for the planting material since the “Amlays” were just acquired from the previous season. Eighteen (18) sacks of chicken manure at ? 90. 00/sack were incorporated in the soil.

Weeding and watering were continuously done until the seedlings were ready for transplanting, or after about 2-3 weeks after sowing. The seedbed was watered thoroughly to facilitate easy pricking of seedlings and minimized root injury during transplanting. Transplanting. A prepared lot was plowed twice to make a fine texture of soil. Two to three seedlings were planted at 15 cm between hills and 20 cm between rows. Transplanting was done in the afternoon when the sun was down to prevent wilting. Weed Management. Weeding was done 30 DAP to minimize competition for soil nutrients. Kagawad Susan observed careful handweeding so that the roots of the pechay plants were not disturbed. Nutrient Management.

Chicken manure and ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) were pre-incorporated in the soil during land preparation. Oneweek after transplanting, 1 tablespoon of urea (46-0-0) and complete fertilizer (14-14-14) were side dressed at the base of the plant and then covered with little amount of soil, followed by watering. Harvesting and Postharvest Handling. The plants were harvested 1month after transplanting. Aside from the number of days from transplanting, start of flowering also indicates that plants are ready for harvesting. Upon harvesting, they immediately washed the plants, trimmed old leaves and removed roots. They graded the crops according to size and quality and packed in strong rigid containers with holes at the side to allow aeration.

They put lining in the basket with paper to maintain turgidity. Figure 4. The harvested pechays were placed in a plastic box to preserve the quality of the crop. Cost and Return Analysis. Table 5 shows the different expenses that Kagawad Susan spent during production. The operating expenses only covered the rental fee for farm equipments and there was no labor cost for planting, fertilizer application, weeding and spraying since Kagawad Susan and MangRodencio did these activities. For irrigation, crop is rainfall-dependent, so there was also no labor cost. For harvesting, sorting and packing, there were also no monetary inputs since the crops were bought in bulk they called “pakyaw”.

Additional application of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) was basal. Since radish has a very short growing period, sufficient nutritional management is very important. Weed Management. Because radishes have such a short growing period and are grown only in small areas, weed control was generally not a serious problem. If weeds emerged during the stage on which the crop is critical to compete for nutrients and water, they just manually remove the weeds through handweeding. Harvesting and Postharvest Handling. Radish plants were harvested two months after sowing. An indicator that the plants were ready for harvesting was that the root reached a satisfactory size.

Harvesting was done manually, either tied in bunches of a dozen roots or sold in bulk to pre-packers who top them and then sold them by weight in pre-packs. Since radish was susceptible to wilting, then harvesting was done in the afternoon. To achieve a higher marketable value, they manually washed the radish and then let them dry. After some time of cooling the crops, radishes were then packed into plastic bags, with holes on each side, and brought to the market. Cost and Return Analysis. Table 6 shows the cost and return analysis for radish production. MangRodencio rented farm equipments for 1,200. 00. Three persons hired by Kagawad Susan did the planting.

There were no costs for fertilizer application, spraying and irrigation since they were the ones who did the job. Harvesting radish is a bit difficult task so Kagawad Susan hired five persons that helped them harvest the crops. Following the minimum rate for farming works Kagawad Susan was charged 850. 00 for these persons. It is Kagawad Susan who sorted and packed the harvested radish thus there was no cost for sorting and packing. Radish planting material costs 320. 00/kg. Kagawad Susan bought two and a half (2 ? ) kilos of radish from Parungao Agricultural Store and charged her 780. 00. Ten sacks of chicken manure cost ? 900. 00 while the complete fertilizer (14-14-14) costs ? 1,300. 00.

Each was given one questionnaire which included questions regarding their personal information, weed commonly found in their farms and the weed management practices. Figure 5. Percentage of farmers according to gender . Figure 5 shows that majority of the farmers are in the age bracket of 41-50 years old. The younger generation (10-20 years old) and the older generation (61-70) were least involved in farming (see appendix 3). Figure 6. Percentage of farmers according to gender Figure 6 shows that majority of the farmers in Mamala 1, Sariaya, Quezon were males. Only 22% of the farming community were females (see appendix 3). For other demographic data, most of the farmers owned the house where they are living and almost all of them are from that locality.

Some are members of community organizations, while most prefer to use their free time to do some small-time business like putting up sari-sari store, tricycle and jeepney driving and cheese-making. All of them are equipped with conventional mechanical tools like sprayer, native plow and harrow, spade and shovel. No respondent declared use of large tractors and other savvy tech equipments. As for the crops planted, sweet potato occupies the largest portion of their land, followed by radish, carrots, green chili and pechay(see Appendix 2). Some farm plots were planted with eggplant, cassava, corn and rice. There are also some farmers, who aside from planting vegetables, planted fruit trees such as coconut and banana.

In terms of the property land used, almost 70 % of the land they used for production was owned and only few of the fractions were rented and others are neither owned nor rented. Among this 70%, 63farmers owned a 1-ha land, 28 owned a land size of 1 to 2 hectares and eight farmers owned 2 to 3 hectares of land. There were only few farmers who owned less than a hectare land and more than 3 hectares (see Appendix 3). The remaining 30% belongs to the portion where the land was rented or borrowed. Kagawad Susan and her husband neither rented the land nor owned it; a friend let them use it to maintain the richness of the soil. Mamala farmers practiced crop rotation.

  • The reasons behind rotation in cropping pattern were
  • Variations in the amount of rainfall on a monthly basis;
  • Availability and cost of planting materials;
  • Market crop cost and demands and
  • Preservation of soil nutrients and structures.

But there are also some who practice monocropping, as in the case of rice farmers. Since the area is meant for vegetable production, then a thorough land preparation is required. Farmers in the area used to plow their field thrice. If the area was not infested with weeds and the soil texture is fine, then they only plow the field twice. They harrow the field to remove weeds present on the soil before sowing or planting.

Also, they do additional harrowing when a compost or organic fertilizer is incorporated into the soil. Thus, harrowing serves as the mixing agent. And lastly, when doing broadcast seeding, farmers tend to rely on harrowing so that the seeds will be covered with soil, not too deep for early germination. Leveling of field is also a vital part of land preparation for an upland culture. Seeds or planting materials that they used are normally acquired from the previous season. For some who was unable to preserve seeds from the previous season, they buy seeds at the Sariaya Agricultural Store and Parungao Agricultural Store, both are situated in the town proper of Sariaya (see Appendix 3). Rainfall is the main source of irrigation.

Some provided canals so that when the rain falls, those canals would serve as water storage that could be utilized to irrigate the plant when rainfall was not available. There are some farmers who owned a man-made well which they called “bucal”. They use it as additional source of water whenever it does not rain. Since Mamala 1 has a higher elevation, then it has a higher amount of rainfall. Therefore, irrigation is not a major problem for the farmers of the area. Vegetables in the area are being fertilized with organic and inorganic fertilizers. Most of them used chicken manure as the organic source of fertilizer. Inorganic fertilizers being used include urea, complete fertilizer (14-14-14), ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) and solophos (0-21-0). Organic fertilizers are usually soil-incorporation.

Farmers in the area incorporated chicken manure into the soil during land preparation. The additional fertilizers are applied 30 DAP/DAT/DAS (see Appendix 3). Handweeding is the major weed management option of the farmers in the area when there is a weed infestation. For them, use of chemicals will only be a second option, if handweeding posed inefficacy in terms of killing the unwanted plants. On the other hand, some Mamala farmers still want to rely on some chemical herbicides that were introduced to them by the government personnel. These persons gave them field demonstrations regarding the use of a certain chemicals and proved them the efficacy of the chemicals if weed infestation is the main issue.

The objective of the practicum are to make a full report regarding the different vegetable farm practices done by a farmer-cooperator, prepare an herbarium collection associated with each crop, conduct a rapid appraisal of farmers’ weed problem and control practices being used in vegetables in Mamala, Sariaya, Quezon, and acquire an indepth documentation of farmers’ weed problem and control practices. Activities included in the apprenticeship were collecting profile of the area through coordination with the municipal agricultural staff and barangay secretary, identification of a farmer-cooperator which was achieved through the help of Captain Eladio, Mamala 1 barangay chairman, documentation of the different vegetable farm practices, weed sample collection, photos of the collected weed samples, compilation of the photos with brief description and acquisition of the farmer’s demographic information through mass interview.

On the documentation of the different farm practices, the student learned the conventional way of farming that the Mamala people are trying to preserve. Farmers in Mamala 1, Sariaya,Quezon basically rely on handweeding. The use of synthetic herbicides was usually before planting. When the crops were established on the field, farmers do not apply chemicals and do handweeding instead. On the second activity, which is the preparation of herbarium and leaflet of weed species associated with vegetables in Mamala I, Sariaya, Quezon. Weed species that seen thriving in Mamala 1 were collected, three for each weed species. Pictures of the samples were taken prior to collection.

Weed samples were placed in a plastic bag to preserve the moisture and prevent wilting. Upon reaching the house, the student cleaned the samples, removed the soil in the roots by washing with water. The samples were air-dried. With the use of manual presser, samples were individually and carefully pressed into the presser. Replacement of newspaper was done regularly to prevent the sample from being infected with fungus. After 2 to 3 weeks, samples were placed in a newspaper for final compilation. Weeds were labeled accordingly. For the leaflet, pictures of weed sampleswere labeled with brief but important descriptions of the weed. On the last activity, an interview with 100 farmers in the area showed that ost of the farmers working in the farms are males and within the age bracket of 41-50 years old. Most of them are from the Mamala area, and only few are from other locality. Most of them owned the farm they used for crop production and the rest falls on the category of renting and the neither owned nor rented. And since most of them are farmers, they were just contented on working in the farm than to take tertiary education. Native farm equipments were still be the main tools used for farming. Crops that are planted are vegetables and only few planted rice, since the area has high elevation. Crop rotation is still the main scheme of their seasonal activity in combating weed problems and better crop growth performance.

Problems Encountered

First problem that the student encountered was the trail going to Mamala 1. Not to mention the cost of the one-way fare to reach the area, the road is rough and the elevation is relatively high. Another problem encountered was that the Municipal Hall, Agriculture section and the barangay secretary have insufficient data regarding the crops being grown in barangay Mamala 1. Last problem that the student encountered was the difficulty during the mass interview. The students do not anticipate the educational attainment of the farmers in the area. Some of the farmers did notfully answer the questionnaire and re-interviewing was done.

And thus, for those who will conduct similar studies, the student suggests that the questionnaire would be written in Filipino Language.

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Vegetable Farm Practices Documentation. (2016, Sep 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/vegetable-farm-practices-documentation/

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