JOSE P.MADRIAGA, 53, is a multi-awarded diversified farmer with practical ideas in maximizing production in his 8.5-hectare farm in Tay-ac, Bantay, Ilocos Sur. One such practice is called relay cropping. This is done by planting a new crop in a field with standing crop so that when the first crop has been harvested, the intercropped variety will already be yielding new harvest.
One example is what he has done on his field planted to Red Dragon onion. When the onions were 50 days old, he planted tomato seedlings in appropriate distances in the onion plantation. When the onions are harvested about 50 or 55 days later, the tomatoes will already be starting to produce ripe fruits. Harvesting could last for 15 to 20 harvests. He has planted a very high-yielding tomato so that even if the price per kilo ex-farm is only P8, it is still profitable for him.
In his previous tomato planting, Madriaga said that harvesting can be done every day in a one-hectare tomato plantation, harvesting from just a portion at a time.In that previous crop, he was able to harvest 2,000 to 4,600 kilos every day. Even at P8 per kilo, the daily gross was substantial. For harvesting 2,000 kilos, he usually spent P1,500 for the harvesters. Aside from the harvest from the tomatoes, Madriaga says that by planting tomatoes between his onion plants, destructive insects are repelled.
In his standing crop of Maserati shallot, Madriaga intercropped yellow corn for livestock feed. At the time of our visit (March 1, 2018), when the onions were 65 days old, the corn plants were already 1 foot tall. Next May, they will already be ready for harvesting.
What is important in order to be able to practice relay cropping is that you have a way to irrigate your plants. Madriaga irrigates his onions every 9 days using a pump either run by electricity or by diesel engine.
Now you see, you can maximize productivity in your farm by practicing relay cropping. Aside from tomato and corn, you can use many other varieties for relay-cropping. You can consult Ramgo regarding seeds of Maserati and other seeds of high-value crops at 0928-501-1888 (Pamela Chan) or 0906-744-6543 (Arielina Arevalo)