Results of the latest experiment conducted in Hacienda Luisita reveals that Power Grower Combo, a special fertilizer formulation, can almost double the yield of sugarcane.
For instance, the untreated plants yielded only 88 tons of millable cane per hectare while the plants sprayed with Power Grower Combo yielded 162 tons per hectare. The tonnage was much higher because in every one-meter row of the sprayed plants, there were 19.63 millable stalks compared to only 13.13 of the unsprayed plants.
The untreated plants produced 151 bags of sugar at 50 kilos each (LKg) whereas the treated plants yielded 268 LKg per hectare. There’s a difference of 117 LKg At the current price of P1,520 per LKg, the increase in yield is worth P177,840.
Of course, the sugarmill gets a share of the total yield. In the case of the untreated plants, the planter would get a share of 102 LKg out of the 151 LKg per hectare. On the other hand, the planter of the treated plants would have a share of 182 LKg out of the total production of 268 LKg. The difference of 80 LKg in the share of the planter of the treated plants is currently worth P121,680. And the cost of the sprayed material is not even worth P3,000.
The experiment was conducted by Mauro J. Merculio, an agriculturist from Tarlac who is both a planter and a researcher. The research was conducted from December 2012 up to November 2013.
In the trial, eight replicates were conducted. A first group of sugarcane rows were sprayed with Power Grower Combo on February 11 and on June 13, 2013. A second group was sprayed only once on June 13, 2013.
A sugarcane planter from Negros with 55 hectares reveals that Power Grower Combo really works wonders. He is John Geolingo of Hinigaran, Negros Occidental. In a telephone interview, he said that he used to get a yield of 4,000 (LKg) from his 55 hectares when he was not yet applying Power Grower Combo. At this time, he has already gotten 7,300 LKg and he still has 8 hectares left for milling.
Geolingo has been doing his own experiment. In the last season, he sprayed Heavy Weight Tandem together with Power Grower Combo when his plants were four months old at the rate of 1.5 kilos of PGC and 1.5 kilos of HWT.
Heavy Weight Tandem is another formulation by Alfonso G. Puyat with a higher content of potassium and chelated elements. This has been observed to increase the sugar content of the canes, hence higher sugar yield. Geolingo said that when was using only PGC, he only got 1.7 LKg per ton cane. With Heavy Weight Tandem, the sugar yield increased to 2.01 LKg per ton cane.
Puyat says that Power Grower Combo accelerates the growth of young plants. Spraying could be done as early as when the plants have four to six leaves. This will induce them to produce longer roots and take up nutrients from the soil faster. Thus he recommends that the usual fertilizer should be applied to the soil. And the soil should be kept moist so that the nutrients can be absorbed by the roots.
Puyat adds that Heavy Weight Tandem contains higher potassium plus 11 chelated micronutrients. This induces the plant to produce higher sugar content in the stalks.