CORN PROGRAM AND PRDP Region 02 TEST THE CORN COMBINE HARVESTER WITH BALER A PRELUDE TO CORN – LIVESTOCK INTEGRATION
The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office No. 02 through its Corn Program and PRDP assisted the San Agustin Dairy Cooperative (SADACO), San Agustin, Isabela in acquiring a Corn Combine Harvester with Baler. SADACO operates the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) funded Dairy Carabao Enterprise. The machinery awarded to them will have a big role in the Farm, Fisheries, Consolidation, and Clustering (F2C2) Corn- Livestock Integration in their municipality.
Under the F2C2 Corn-Livestock Integration, SADACO will assist its members in the production and harvesting of their corn enterprise while consolidating their members’ produce which now includes baled corn stovers that previously go to waste or burned. During the testing, it was observed that, aside from corn silage, farmers can have additional income from their corn stovers in the form of organic fertilizer and other corn by-products. This is because of the baled stover which lessens the manpower needed in collecting and shredding the stovers in the field.
“We have passed a resolution requesting for one to be used by the members of the cooperative. Aside from dairy, our coop also ventures into corn. The board decided to fortify this direction,” Mr. Blas Lamug said.
“With the numbers of carabaos here in San Agustin, corn silage and baling is an answer to the foraging areas affected by the drought,” Lamug said.
The crossbred carabaos can produce more milk and have a higher growth rate than an ordinary swamp carabao. San Agustin, with its 19,973 hectares devoted to corn, cassava, and banana with a few paddies of rice fields is located at the hilly boundaries between Quirino and Aurora. The rolling terrain abounds with grasses that provide ready forage for carabaos.
However, the grasses in those rolling terrain easily wither during summer and much more during drought. The Murrah cross-bred carabaos, the pride of San Agustin being the Nuang Capital of the Philippines need more forage during this time.
Corn silage is a mixture of fermented high-moisture feed. It is forage for ruminant animals because it is high in energy and digestibility and it is noted particularly for its quality.
SADACO buys fresh milk from the farmers using a refrigerated van procured by the PRDP along with pasteurizers, ice cream makers, and a milking parlor. It processes flavored pasteurized milk.
In line with its nutrition program, the Provincial Government of Isabela regularly purchases from SADACO pasteurized milk for the COVID 19 frontliners. SADACO also supplies milk to established markets.
“We are grateful to DA RFO 2 through the corn program for the equipment. This will be of great help to the cooperative, the members, and to the enterprise,” Mr. Lamug emphasized. (Ferdinand Cortez and Paul Vincent G. Balao)