Farming Tips

Ripening of Banana can be Delayed

Bananas (also other fruits and vegetables) emits gas called "ethylene." The presence of this gas inside the enclosed bags when transported for shipment coupled with high temperature hasten the fruits ripening process. A food expert devised a new, low-cost treatment for prolonging the storage life of bananas and other fruits and vegetables during transport. A charcoal-like material was placed inside a plastic bag which absorbs the ethylene gas given off by the bananas. It measures 15 x 15 x 2 cm. and soaked in a concentrated solution of potassium permanganate. Two slices were placed in each plastic bag containing a bunch of banana and tied at both ends with tape. They were cooled at a constant temperature of 20 C. Those packed in plastic bag without the charcoal-like absorbent ripened in just two weeks. The treated ones remained hard green, as if newly harvested and when the plastic bag was taken off, the fruits ripened normally.

Use of Salt as Fertilizer for Coconut
The application of sodium chloride (NaCl) can increase nut production, copra weight per nut and copra yield per tree. Research studies on chloride nutrition and fertilization of coconuts were extensively reported in 1972 on the positive responses of young and bearing coconuts to chlorine application. This was the result of adding potassium chloride to palms at the Davao Research Center of the Philippine Coconut Authority in Bago Oshiro, Davao City. The beneficial role of chlorine in the normal growth, accelerated development, and high nut and copra yields of coconuts was confirmed in the inland coconut-productive areas in Davao. Leaf chlorine is the main factor for copra yields; and for foliar diagnosis (a tool for nutritional diagnosis and predicting fertilizer needs), the critical level of leaf-Cl was found at 0.30% C1 and optimum level at 0.50-0.55% C1. The addition of 60-70 g NaCl/seedling can increase the plants girth and fresh weight. It was found that seedlings from seednuts produced by NaC1-fertilized parent palms had bigger girths, more leaves, and higher total germination percentage, indicating that chlorine nutrition of parent palms is a positive factor in affecting the conditions of the seedlings in the industry.

Source: Technology, PCARRD publication

Recycle Eggshells as Fertilizers

Eggshells can be used as fertilizers, cement and tile binder and paste ingredient after grinding them finely. They contain calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur which makes plants robust and vigorous. Ground eggshells can also be used as a reinforcing ingredient in pastes. Mixed with starch, the sticky substance can bind paper effectively. When used as a cement binder, the mixture dries easily and as tile binder, it gives a hard but smooth finish. One part white cement is mixed with every two parts ground shell.

Source: Phil. Farmers Journal March 1981Keywords: Agriculture, Fertilizers, Eggshells

Bio-control of Crop Diseases

Many of our local plants contain helpful chemicals, particularly alkaloids, that are effective against fungal and bacterial diseases of other plants. Thus, they are mixed with the soil to control the fungus that causes the diseases of seedlings. Allow the leaves to decompose for about one week before transplanting the seedlings. Some of these leaves are as follows:

abaca leaves
santan pula
beans (red variety)

Thus, using plant leaves in controlling disease-causing organisms is no doubt cheaper than pesticides and insecticides. It is also simpler and easier to apply by merely incorporating the leaves with soil during cultivation. When decomposed, the leaves release certain chemicals which prevents harmful bacteria and fungi from attacking the crops. Besides controlling diseases, the leaves also increase the organic matter content of the soil, improving its structure and fertility.

Corn Cobs can be Fed to Cattle

Corn cobs can be fed to cattle as forage, but these have to be treated with a chemical to make them more digestible. A research conducted at the University of Nebraska in USA showed that crossbred steers (young male cattle) fed with corn cobs treated with calcium hydroxide gained twice as much weight as those fed with untreated cobs. American cattle raisers have been feeding treated corn cobs to their animals. The commonly-used chemical, however, is sodium hydroxide, which can leave a residue that is potentially harmful to soil, animals and humans. Calcium hydroxide, on the other hand, is safer and cheaper to use in treating corn cobs as cattle feed.

Vitamin C Makes Pigs Grow Faster, Bigger

According to a team of experts from UP at Los BaƱos, adding ascorbic acid or Vitamin C to the diet of pigs -- 800 gms. for every kilo of feeds, will make them grow faster compared to those treated with normal diets. It was further noted that Vitamin-C treated pigs when slaughtered had a higher dressing percentage, leaner backfat and more lean cut yields.

Give Broilers Banana Leaf Meal

According to a study conducted at Southern Mindanao Agricultural Research (Kabacan, North Cotabato) broilers fed with a ration containing five percent banana leaf meal (BLM) registered the highest average weight gain of 1.462 kilos, followed by those given a ration with 10 percent BLM at 1.373 kilos. On the other hand, those given commercial starter mash ration gained an average of 1.289 kilos.

Herbal Plants for Chicken Worms

Chickens maybe infested with roundworms which are indicated by slow growing process. Even the layers can also be infested by roundworms. It was found by researchers that papaya sap can be given as a drink but it was difficult for poultry raisers to give each chicken when there are so many. Researchers from UPLB tried using finely chopped papaya leaves combined with the feeds for 3 days. Results showed that the worm infestation were controlled and destroyed. Also, powdered tobacco leaves which were dried under the sun may also be used. Powdered tobacco leaves (2 parts) mixed with 12 parts feed mash and sodium sulfate is a salt solution for discharging chicken roundworms when given for 3 days.

Source: Technology (PCARRD) Vol. IX, No. 3, 1987

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