YOU WANT to make as much income from your farm, right? Yes Sir!. Of course. Well, here is one technique that will make you achieve that. The technique is called Relay Cropping.
LONG TIME RELAY CROPPER – The fellow who has been doing this is Jose P. Madriaga, 55, of Tay-ac, Bantay, Ilocos Sur whom we interviewed in 2918. Relay Cropping is done by planting a new crop in the field with standing crop so that when the first crop has been harvested, or before it has been harvested, the intercropped variety will already be yielding new harvest.
EXAMPLE NO.1 – One time he planted Red Dragon onion in one hectare of his 8.6-hectare farm. When the onions were 50 days old, he planted tomato seedlings in appropriate distances in the onion plantation. When the onions were harvested about 55 days later, the tomatoes were already starting to produce ripe fruits. So his income continued!
He harvested from his tomatoes at least 15 times. He planted a high-yielding variety so that even if the price ex-farm was only P8 per kilo, it was still profitable.
DAILY HARVESTING– Harvesting can be done every day in a one-hectare plantation, harvesting from just a portion at a time. In a previous crop, he was able to harvest 2,000 to 4,000 kilos every day. Even at P8 per kilo, the daily gross was still substantial.
Another bonus. Aside from the fruits he harvested from his tomatoes, Madriaga said, the tomato plants helped repel attacking insects, thus protecting the onion plants from pests.
EXAMPLE NO. 2 – In his standing crop of Maserati shallot during our visit (March 1, 2018), Madriaga intercropped yellow corn for livestock feed. When the onions were 65 days old, the corn plants which were pre-germinated were already 1 foot tall. The following May, they would already be ready for harvesting, Madriaga said.
IRRIGATION VERY IMPORTANT – 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.
OTHER CROPS, TOO – 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.