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2008 Corn Forecast
« on: March 17, 2008, 02:44:52 AM »
Corn production for the 1st half of 2008 is forecast at 3.34 million MT,21.22% above the 2007 level of 2.75 million MT.The expected gains would come from 23.00% and 18.31% increases in the 1st and 2nd quarters.Harvest area may expand to 1.17 from 1.05 million hectares.Yield may improve from 2.62 metric tons per hectare.

Total corn output for 2007 reached 6.74 million MT,10.77% higher than last years 6.08 million MT record.Harvest area increased by 3.02% from 2.57 to 2.65 million hectares.Yield improved from 2.37 to 2.54 metric tons per hectare.The growth in 2007 was attributed to the significant gains realized in the 1st,3rd and 4th quarters of the year.


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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 10:54:56 AM »
according to reports from region 12,yellow corn farmgate price is 11.00 pesos per kilo,up from 10.66 pesos per kilo at the end of Feb.


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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2008, 08:27:10 AM »
The rising prices of corn should really be good news for the Philippines,if only the country could produce enough of it for local consumption,and for export.However the country still imports most of its corn supplies,ironic for a country that is suppose to be agricultural.Approx. 70% of the feed ingredients are imported,which includes soybeans,fishmeal,aside from corn.


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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2008, 03:58:34 PM »
Decades ago they say that the Philippines is an agricultural country and we export our products in different counties and also people in asia  go to the Philippines to study about agriculture.

Now other countries are very progressive and to think they acquired their knowledge here in the Philippines.
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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2008, 01:44:22 PM »
Young cob corn (Zea mays L.), the newly developed corn, has been used by Chinese as vegetable for generations and this practice has spread to other Asian countries. It is used as ingredient in most food preparations. It has nutritive value similar to that of non-legume vegetable such as cauliflower, tomato, cucumber and cabbage (Yodpetch and Bautista, 1983). This vegetable has a great potential for cooking purposes and for processing as a canned product. Canned cob corn export to Thailand, Japan and Europe is increasing and has a good future.

Generally, corn farmers strive their competitive position by improving yields and cutting cost of production, for instance, though shortening cultural risk by harvesting for either green corn or baby corn. Young cob corn has a short growth duration thus a farmer can grow four or more crops a year. It has a wide range of adaptation and does not need intensive cultivation. Pollination is also not a problem because young cob corn is harvested before kernels are developed. Considering these factors, young cob corn has good potentials.


Sweet corn varieties are commonly used for the production of baby corn. In some areas of the country, Pioneer 305 and SMC (hybrid) varieties are being commercially grown for young corn. Golden Cross Bantam and Super sweet were also found to posses the best attribute of young cob corn. (Yodpetch and Bautista, 1983). IPB Var 1, IPB Var 2, IES Cn 1, IES Var 2 and Super sweet corn #33 were also proven to be suitable for young corn production (Masana et al., 1990).

Soil and Climate Requirements

The best soil for corn is a well-drained with a texture of silt loam or loam type. It should be a type of soil with a high moisture holding capacity, high amount of organic matter and be slightly acidic (pH 5.3 to 7.3). A rainfall of 200 to 1,500 mm is required in its growing period. However, the optimum requirement of corn is 400 to 600 mm per growing period. In time of moisture deficiency, irrigation is essential.

Land Preparations

* A seedbed which is deep, well pulverized yet fairly compact is excellent for corn.
* A clayey and weedy field requires more plowing. In a weedy field where trash is plowed under, a second or third operation may be needed to obtain a clean seedbed.
* Plowing is done when the field is at the right moisture, when the soil particles 13 cm. Below the ground separate, only a thin portion sticks to the finger but no ball is formed.
* For animal-drawn plow, a depth of 4 to 6 cm is sufficient. When tractor is used, 12 to 14 cm is preferable.
* Harrowing is done at the time the soil has the right moisture content. It is done again within two days before planting to level the soil.

Planting Method

1. Surface or Flat-bed Planting

Seeds are drilled or hill-planted on a level to slightly rolling topography at a desired depth and row spacing. It is suited for areas with abundant precipitation and heavy soil types.

2. Listed planting

Seeds are placed at the bottom o the V-shaped furrow. A lister which is double mold board blade is used for opening furrow of this kind. It is practiced in areas where rainfall is a limiting factor, where soil is drainage is good and the soil is friable.

3. Ridged Planting

The seeds are placed to a specified depth on top of the ridge. The conditions described in listed planting are also appropriate for this type.

If the soil contains considerable moisture at planting time, the seeds should be planted from 2 to 5 cm deep. On dry soil, the seeds should be planted 5 to 8 cm deep.

Rate of Seeding

The amount of seeds needed in a hectare to have a population density of 80,000 to 100,00 plants/hectare is 27 to 30 kg of hybrid seeds. The rows are spaced 100 cm with a hill spacing of 25 cm with 3 plants/hill or drilled 25 cm between hills. No thinning on corn seedlings will be done.


The field should be irrigated moderately even at the time of seed germination and during the early growth and development of corn plants. Weekly irrigation must be done especially during summer.


The recommended rate of fertilizer per hectare is 3 bags 14-14-14 and 1 bag Urea. One half of N and all of P and K is applied in the furrow and then cover 2 to 3 cm layer of soil before planting. The remaining half also of N is side dressed 20 to 30 days after planting. Fertilization may also vary as recommended by the Bureau of Soils as a result of a soil analysis.


Weeds are the unwanted plant companion of crops. Besides serving as host to plant pest and diseases, weeds can reduce corn yield by as much as 50 to 80% if left uncontrolled.

Weeds are commonly controlled by hand weeding, hoeing within the rows and cultivation in between the rows.


Detasseling is achieved by removing all the tassels of corn plants. This is done as soon as the tassels emerge.

Crop Protection

Baby corn requires practically no application of pesticides because the crop has short growth duration thereby eliminating the residue factor and minimizing in production cost.


Timeliness is the most important consideration in harvesting baby corn. Ideally, young corn is harvested 2 to 3 days after silking or 50 to 55 days after emergence. Harvesting duration may last for 15 to 18 days which is carried on by hand picking.

Cobs for market must have a good quality. Young cob corn of excellent quality is straight, has uniform ovary alignment, is 4 to 11 cm. Long, 0.8 to 1.8 cm. In diameter, slightly yellow to yellow color, sweet and not fibrous (Yodpetch and Bautista). Cobs must be free from bites of corn borer, must be clean and not broken.



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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2008, 11:09:26 AM »
Tips on Growing Sweet Corn
By Pinoy Farmer | May 1, 2008

A Short History of Corn

The cultivation of corn (maize) (Zea mays ssp. mays) began over 8,000 years ago in Mesoamerica, a geographical area which includes central and southern Mexico, and Central America. Corn was first domesticated from teosinte (Zea mexicana), an annual grass native to this region. Wild teosinte mostly has value as a fodder plant, as it provides very little edible seeds.

The first archaeological evidence of domesticated corn comes from the San Marcos cave in Tehuacan and the Guilá Naquitz cave in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The corn in San Marcos cave is dated to over 5,000 years ago. The cobs from the Guilá Naquitz cave were dated to over 6200 years old.

Researches believe that humans first domesticated corn by selecting the teosinte plants that had the largest amount of edible seeds until they eventually provided a substantial food source. This method probably took several generations to produce the corn we see today. In the process, humans have transformed corn into a plant that can no longer self-sow. Modern corn requires someone to break the hard, tightly bound cob and plant the seeds. Wild teosinte, however, is very fragile and the seeds easily fall off and grow new plants. Interestingly, without human interaction, modern corn would probably cease to exist.

Home gardeners who want to grow corn may choose from several different varieties including popcorn, dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, and sweet corn. Here we’ll focus on growing sweet corn as it is the most popular for the home gardener.

Sweet Corn Varieties

There are three main types of sweet corn available: Sh2, (supersweet), SUSU (normal sugary), and SESE (sugary enhancer). Sweet corn can also be classified by its color: white, yellow, or bi-colored.

Supersweet corn varieties have firm kernels and are very sweet. They are typically not as “creamy” as the other varieties. Note that supersweet corn is more susceptible than the other varieties to cross-pollination and may loose its flavor if grown too close to other non-supersweet corn crops. Normal sugary corns are creamy and sweet and very popular with gardeners. They do not store well after harvesting, and should be eaten within a couple of days. Sugary enhancer varieties have a smooth and buttery texture. For flavor, texture, and ease of growing, this is the best variety.

Sweet Corn Gardening Tips

Where and When to Plant
Plant your corn in full sun and well after any risk of frost. Your corn should receive at least eight hours of sunlight a day. Soil temperatures should be about 60 degrees F for proper germination, and slightly higher for the supersweet varieties. Generally, May and June are good months to plant. You can check your soil temperature with an electronic soil tester if you have any doubts. If you want an early start on your corn, you can consider covering your soil with a plastic mulch, such as clear or black polyethylene, to help warm the soil and promote germination.

When you’re looking for a place to plant your corn, you should keep in mind that it’s important to separate different corn varieties as they may cross pollinate. Additionally, keep an eye out for other people in your area who are growing corn. Corn is pollinated by the wind and can easily be contaminated by other corn crops. About 300 meters distance between different corn crops is recommended.

Soil and Spacing Tips
Plant your seeds in well-draining soils. The kernels may rot if the soil doesn’t dry well and they stay too wet. Test your soil pH with a soil pH tester. It should be around 6.0 to 6.5. You can add limestone to raise the pH if it is low. Add the powdered limestone during fall so that your soil will be ready by next growing season.

Of course, it is always a good idea to add organic compost to your soil. This will balance out drainage and other factors like pH. If you don’t know how, you can check out the Composting Guide site. Also, consider purchasing a high quality composting bin for your home to improve the quality of your compost.

Plant your seeds approximately one inch deep and space them about a foot apart in each row. If you have sandy soil, you can plant your seeds a little deeper. Planting your corn in groups of four rows works well to stimulate pollination. 32 inches between rows is a good standard distance.

Watering and Maintenance Tips
Sweet corn requires frequent watering to produce full, healthy ears. Once the tassels appear, you should be watering at least one inch of water per week. Make sure the soil doesn’t dry out between waterings. If your area is experiencing particularly hot and dry weather, make sure to compensate and water more frequently. Corn will not do well when exposed to prolonged drought.

You should cultivate around the corn to remove weeds. Weeds can become a nightmare for home gardeners growing corn, so weed frequently. If you’re growing a fairly large crop, you should consider a handheld electric cultivator which will greatly reduce the work involved in cultivating. Weeds and debris also attract pests so remove litter when you can. It’s not recommended to cut out the suckers around your corn as these suckers have nothing to do with yields or quality.

Soil solarization is another technique that can also help to reduce problems with weeds. See this site from Seminole County in Florida for more information. Additionally, burning off weeds with propane torches is another way to deal with weeds without harmful chemical herbicides.

Common Problems

Root Rot: If you have cool, moist soil, watch out for this problem. Improve soil drainage with compost and wait for soil temperatures to regulate.
Rust/Leaf Blight: Warmer, wetter parts of the country have problems with these diseases. There are many blight resistant varieties available. Ask your local nursery for recommended cultivars.

Wireworms/White Grubs: These pests come from soils recently planted with sod or alfalfa. Look for birds feeding on the grubs. Tilling and planting with a cover crop, such as winter peas, can help with this problem.

Corn rootworm beetles: This pest goes after corn silk on maturing cornstalks. They can cause problems with pollination. The immature beetles can be found in old corn fields, and when mature, they migrate to feed on tender, new corn. Keep on the lookout as your corn first starts to produce silk.

Corn Smut: This is a fungus that causes the kernels to swell and turn grey and black. In Mexico, it is called Huitlacoche and is consumed as a delicacy. Ask your local extension agent or nursery for smut resistant varieties. Corn smut is more common on white varieties. You can remove the smut by hand and you should destroy it so that it won’t infect other corn plants. If you’re curious, you can actually harvest the smut before it turns black and dries out. Check out this article from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on the economic importance of Huitlacoche in Mexico: Also see Aztec Gardens for more information on this unusual food.

European corn borers: These pests bore into the stalks and can weaken them to the point of breakage. The larva is cream colored and they are about 1” long. They may eventually work their way into the corn cob. Their eggs begin to hatch in June.

Fall armyworms: This moth lays small pinkish eggs on corn leaves. Adult worms are less than two inches long. They have a Y shaped marking on the head. Late sweet corn is especially susceptible. You can plant early to avoid this pest, as armyworms are at their worst in the late fall.

Flea beetles: These pests attack in the early spring and can carry Stewart’s bacterial wilt disease. This disease will eventually stunt the growth of young corn. Ask your nursery for disease resistant varieties.

Corn earworms: These are brownish, flying moths that will lay eggs in corn silk. They are active mostly at night. The worms will feed on the tips of the ears. You’ll usually not find more than one caterpillar per ear as they are known to devour each other when there is competition. You can avoid this pest with a bit of mineral oil in the tip of the silk tube, or by sealing off the husk with a rubber band. Pheromone traps placed around the cornfield are also an effective control.

Birds: Birds such as crows are common pests for corn farmers. You can use reflective bird tape throughout the rows to scare them off and confuse them. A good old fashion scare crow is also effective.

Harvesting and Storage Tips

The best time to harvest is known as the “milk stage” when the ears are fully formed but not yet ripe. This stage usually lasts about a week. You can determine when your corn is ready to harvest by looking at the silks, husks, and kernels. The silks should be brown and starting to dry, which occurs about 3 weeks after the silks first appear. They husks should hold tightly to the ear and the kernels should produce a little milky fluid when pierced. Supersweets will produce a clearer liquid. Each stalk of corn should yield at least one ear, and sometimes more.
You should harvest your corn in the cooler hours of the morning. Remove the ears of corn by twisting them at the base and pulling them off. After harvest, you can remove the cornstalks and use them as compost.

Store your corn in cool temperatures, usually around 38 degrees F, the cooler the better. If you wait too long to store your corn, you risk changing the flavor and reducing quality, as sugars begin to convert to starch almost right away in the kernels. You can cool your corn by resting it in crushed ice or placing in a container with ice water. After cooling, place your corn in plastic bags with a few small holes punched in them, and then in the refrigerator for storage. Depending on the variety, it is best to eat your corn within a few days after harvest.


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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2008, 12:08:24 PM »
Wednesday, May 21, 2008Print This Page
CME: Corn Price Main Worry
US - CME's Daily Livestock Report for 19th May 2008.

Corn planting conditions and the overall outlook for feed supplies remains one of the principal preoccupations for livestock producers this spring. As with $3 gasoline, memories of $4 corn suddenly seem so quaint. Now the main worry is price corn will go into feeders that will be placed later this year, a question that ripples across the entire livestock marketing chain. Good weather across much of the US corn belt last week caused corn futures to drift lower and there was plenty of anecdotal evidence that farmers were able to make considerable progress in planting the new corn crop.

On Monday night, USDA released its latest report on the corn progress, showing that through week 20 of the year (May 18), US corn producers had planted 73% of the overall corn crop, slightly lower than the trade estimate of 75%. In the last two weeks, corn producers have planted about 46% of the entire corn crop, impressive progress considering lingering showers and some persistent wet patches. Moreover, it appears that with some additional good weather, producers could be fairly close to 90% by the end of this week.

E-Livestock Volume  5/19/08  5/16/08  5/12/08 
LE (E-Live Cattle):  15,309  8,939  13,620 
GF (E-Feeder Cattle):  231  352  210 
HE (E-Lean Hogs):  7,137  12,638  19,800 

If the rapid progress in corn plantings the last two weeks allowed livestock producers to breathe a sigh of relief, the enthusiasm likely will be short lived as plenty of hurdles remain this summer. In the last 10 years USDA has also tracked the percent of the corn crop that has emerged. We do not claim to be agronomists but it is our understanding that a late crop emergence means that the pollination phase (the most critical for yields) will be pushed back further into the summer, exposing the fragile crop to the intense summer heat. Furthermore, late emergence also means that the crop could be exposed to frosts in the fall.

For the week ending May 18, USDA reported that only 26% of the corn crop had emerged, compared to 59% a year ago and 56% for the average of years 2003-07. The comparison to last year is especially interesting given the delays in planting in 2007. Because farmers were able to catch up quickly by the middle of May, crop emergence actually was above the five year average level. This year, corn crop emergence remains well behind and it is the slowest in the last 10 years. The more comparable recent year we could find was 2002 and the current crop is behind that one also. In that year, corn yields were 129.3 bushels per acre, 6.4% lower than the previous year.


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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2008, 10:45:46 AM »
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News India may ban maize futures
// 27 jun 2008

Maize futures in India may fall prey to the rising inflation with the government considering banning maize futures. The government may also ban export of some more agricultural commodities, including maize, to curb price rise.

Even though maize was not a major item on the wholesale price index (WPI), a ban on its exports is needed due to the steep increase in its price. Maize is primarily used as poultry feed. It is not a major item in WPI, but the poultry industry is hit hard due to the rise in its price.

According to officials, the department of consumer affairs has recommended a ban on futures trading and export of maize because of a steep rise in its price. The issue will be reviewed next week and a decision will come out by then.

There would, however, be no ban on oilseeds futures trading as not much of a price rise in oilseeds has been witnessed. According to officials, the government will ban futures trading and exports of items where it sees price increases much beyond the normal levels because of speculation.

In view of the rising prices, the government had already banned futures trading in items such as rice, wheat, and pulses pigeon peas and black gram (a type of lentil). It had also imposed a four-month ban on futures trading in potato, chana (chick peas), soy oil and rubber as a precautionary move to check price rise and control inflation.


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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2008, 10:59:55 AM »
Tuesday, July 01, 2008Print This Page
CME: Corn and Soybean Acres
US - CME's Daily Livestock Report for 30th June, 2008.

Cost-weary livestock producers got a bit of good news today with USDA’s estimate that 87.327 million acres of corn have been planted and that 78.94 million will be harvested. The planted acres are nearly 1.7 million higher than the average pre-report estimate and CME Group Corn Futures reacted quite predictably to the negative with all 2008-09 crop year contracts losing $0.30/bushel and the deferred contracts falling by $0.22 to $0.285/bushel.

E-Livestock Volume 6/30/08 6/27/08 6/23/08
LE (E-Live Cattle): 11,310 8,824 7,367
GF (E-Feeder Cattle): 510 414 464
HE (E-Lean Hogs): 14,842 11,598 13,000

This is somewhat an effort to answer “Just what is an “expected acre”? Recall that back in March, USDA’s Prospective Plantings report predicted 86 million acres would be planted to corn. But by the time that report was released on March 31, the conditions that prevailed when the survey was done in early March had changed dramatically as corn prices had risen relative to soybean prices. The change was so dramatic that a few analysts were saying we need for Prospective Plantings reports — a call that was decidedly unpopular at USDA from both a resource and “headache” standpoint.

The tendency for corn acres to grow during planting is well documented so most believed that, given good weather, the historical pattern and the higher relative corn price would secure a few more acres to meet growing corn demand. So when did a former intended soybean acre become an intended corn acre? And if there is such a tendency for acres to grow, why has USDA’s Crop Progress report NEVER shown more than 100% of intended acres to have been planted to corn?

Whatever the situation, it now appears that the shift to corn acres has overrun the weather problems. But an acre planted is certainly not an acre harvested and USDA presently predicts that only 90.4% of planted corn acres will in fact be harvested. That number is not low by historic standards but this percentage has trended upward for years as less and less corn is cut for silage. This year’s number is about 2% below the trend percentage. USDA plans to do more surveys in July to get a better handle on expected harvested acres for both corn and soybeans.

USDA’s predicted soybean plantings are 74.533 million acres, slightly higher than the average estimate of 74.257 million acres. But concerns over both harvested acres and today’s soybean stocks (higher than expected but still nearly 40% smaller than last year) drove CME Group soybean futures to record highs today –mitigating the good news of lower corn prices for poultry producers and, to a lesser degree, hog producers. Nearby July soybeans closed at $16.05/bu. and hit a record $16.07 1/4 during the session. New crop November beans also set a contract life high for the close.

Below are the charts for USDA’s weekly crop condition ratings. Corn gained 1% in the good-excellent categories while soybeans gained 2%. The improvement is welcome but both crops remains well below average and corn conditions remain below the worst year on record.


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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2008, 07:27:20 AM »
From Grass Lands to Productive Corn Lands
One thing that members of the Northern Iloilo Corn Producers Association, Inc. (NICPAI) are so proud of is the conversion of the once unproductive grass lands in Sara and nearby towns into productive corn lands. This is especially true in barangays Del Castillo, Tad; Latawan, Ardemil, Malapaya, and Muvco, the mountainous areas of Sara where only a few farmers were into corn farming before 1998.

According to Delson B. Sonza, an agriculture graduate of the Western Visayas State University who specialized in agribusiness and Iloilo’s official representative to the PhilMaize, the mountainous areas of Sara in the past were a great contrast to nearby lowlands where there are 10,000 hectares (ha) of rice and 6,000 ha of sugarcane. Some of the people in the mountainous areas were growing corn but their yields were awfully low as hybrid corn seeds were not available.
Delson said in the past the people in the six barangays derived most of their household income by rendering seasonal farm labor in the rice and sugarcane fields from May to July and October to January. On the average, they earned P60-R100 a day, which was barely enough to buy food. August was their worst month. They hardly ate three square meals a day, and they had to contend themselves with their huts made of bamboo and cogon roofing.

He came to know the farmers in the six barangays soon after he established in 1989 the Model Agricultural Supply store, which is now a big distributor of agriculture inputs in Panay island. He only got to know their problems in 1997 when he rented 4 ha for corn production.

He used hybrid seeds and applied herbicides and fertilizers, as well as followed the recommended cultural practices for hybrid corn. He found out, however, that labor cost for manual weeding was the biggest production cost due to the abundance of grasses and, hence, only a few residents were engaged in corn farming. Likewise, the farmers were practicing full tillage and were experiencing substantial soil erosion in areas where the slope was 25 to 45 degrees.

It was probably a stroke of fate for the farmers as the solution to their problem came soon after Delson started producing corn. In 1998 the multinational company Monsanto Philippines and Delson introduced zero and minimum tillage to the corn farmers primarily to solve soil erosion, which was a big problem because corn farming in Sara is in the highly elevated areas. Delson and the Monsanto people were sure that soil erosion could be minimized with zero and minimum tillage.

As a distributor of Monsanto herbicides and seeds, Delson collaborated with the multinational company in convincing and educating the farmers on the use of the glyphosate herbicides Roundup and Power as an alternative practice in land preparation.

“I remember that some farmers ridiculed us, saying we were still young in corn farming and the new practice was not acceptable to them as well as not compatible to their existing practices,” Delson said.

To encourage the farmers to use glyphosate herbicides, Delson had to sacrifice a good portion of his profit by giving a knapsack sprayer for every purchase of five cases of the herbicides. Because of the farmers’ resistance to the new technology, he had to introduce it initially among the 30 farmers who were getting production loans from him.

Although the adoption of the technology was slow, their sacrifices paid off as some of the farmers began to use the technology. They realized that the new technology reduces the cost of production as not much was spent for land preparation and manual weeding. Their yields and income eventually increased and, hence, other farmers had to adopt the technology.

In 2004, the technology was already being adopted in some 1,200 ha in Sara and San Dionisio where Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn was already being grown.

Although the farmers did not have much capital for corn farming, they obtained production loans from corn financiers in Sara. In many instances, they even obtained loans for their medical and other emergency needs. To uplift the socioeconomic condition of the farmers, the corn financiers organized on April 25, 2005 the Sara Corn Financiers Association, which was expanded into NICPAI several months later to include the corn producers in the neighboring towns of San Dionisio and Lemery.

Registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 6, 2006, NICPAI aims to enhance the corn farmers’ knowledge on corn production, develop camaraderie among corn producers, as well as improve the local corn industry through the acquisition of postharvest facilities that would improve the quality of corn.

NICPAI members provide production loans to the farmers and facilitate the marketing of their products. They buy the grains at current market prices, and NICPAI sells these directly to feed millers, as well as hog and poultry raisers. In the process, the middlemen are eliminated to the advantage of the farmers., The province of Iloilo has eight big feedmills that sell their products to the islands of Negros, Cebu and Palawan.

The initial financing rate was 8 percent per month, but this was reduced to 4 percent as more affluent people also went into financing and the competition became stiffer.

The government has also provided sunport for the grass land conversion program by constructing access roads. In addition, Quedancor has offered to provide production loans at 1 percent interest a month.

Delson said that more grass lands were converted into productive corn lands with the introduction of Monsanto’s glyphosate-tolerant corn in 2005, leading to the conversion of more and more grass lands into productive corn lands. That was after a series of dialogues and training as well as a lot persuasion were done to convince the farmers to use the new corn variety, which was developed through biotechnology.

In a span of three years, 9,300 ha of grass lands were already converted into corn lands following the zero and minimum tillage technology. However, 2,325 ha were still planted to traditional corn seeds. The farmers were even expanding to nearby mountainous barangays in Iloilo and Capiz. Even those without a carabao and farm implements were already able to cultivate their former grass lands.

Delson said that with the spur of economic activity in Northern Iloilo, the local government units improved existing roads and opened new ones that are passable by four-wheeled vehicles. Electricity is now provided to the farming communities.

“In the past, they were treated as second class citizens, but now they are the apple of the eyes of the business community as they wait for the corn harvest season because of their trade partnership,” Delson said.

Delson said the farmers now earn a net income of R40,000 per hectare annually as average yield has increased to 5 tons/ha. Additional work force is now needed during the harvest season due to increased yield. In effect, the number of beneficiaries of biotech corn increased.

Moreover, corn farmers now send their children to school. Many of them have either repaired their houses or constructed better dwellings. They can now afford to buy refrigerators, television sets, video players, karaoke, audio systems, and service vehicles like motorcycles. Others have invested in postharvest facilities like corn shellers and trucks.

Since plowing and weeding are no longer being done, the farmers have more time to engage in other means of livelihood.

Recently, before the foreign exchange rate dropped to its present level, this success story together with six other success stories around the world won the international Pledge Award. NICPAI got the Judges Choice Award with a US $20,000 cash prize. NICPAI, however, does not intend to rest on its laurels.

As Delson aptly said: “NICPAI plans to sustain the gains both for the [farming] communities and farm conservation. At present, we are developing the [farms in the] municipalities of Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, San Rafael, Concepcion, and the neighboring municipalities in Capiz. We will continue [to help] the corn farmers improve their quality of life as well as their families.”

He added that NICPAI intends to put up a facility that would dry corn in cobs to cater to the needs of farmers.


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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2008, 09:43:20 AM »
Corn : Nationwide Corn Program Launched
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has issued Executive Order 710 mandating the nationwide adoption of a corn-based production program.

Simply called Farmer-Scientists Training Program (FSTP), it is an agricultural Research, Development and Extension (RDE) strategy involving primarily the changing of or improving knowledge, skills, and attitudes of farmers engaged in crop production such as corn, rice, vegetables, and animals in a corn-based production system to adopt scientific methods of farming.

It basically aims to improve farmers’ income and quality of life above poverty level. It is intended for the small farmers to understand and learn the scientific methods of managing all available resources in maximizing food production through the various options that will be made available.

The FSTP was conceived and initially undertaken in Argao, Cebu, on July 15, 1994, by Dr. Romulo Davide, now professor emeritus of UP Los Banos.

Part I(1994-1996) of the program was funded by the National Agriculture and Fisheries Council (NAFC); Part 2 (1996-1999) by the Bureau of Agricultural Research grants as part of Dr. Davide’s Gawad Saka Award as the 1994 Outstanding Agricultural Scientist; and Parts 3 and 4 (1999-2005) by BAR and Ginintuang Masaganang Ani-Regional Field Unit 7.

The FSTP has demonstrated that small marginalized farmers can be empowered with scientific knowledge of farming to produce more than enough corn for food with surplus to sell, along with their production of vegetables, fruits, and livestock, resulting in increased income by more than 100 percent, and thereby benefiting not only their families but also their local governments

and communities.

The expanded program will be jointly implemented by the Department of Agriculture as lead agency, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Interior and Local Governments, UP Los Banos, stage colleges and universities, and other concerned agencies such as non-government organizations.

President Arroyo said that the nationwide adoption of the FSTP is in line with the government’s goal to develop at least two million hectares of new agribusiness lands for the creation of at least two million jobs. The program will cover all upland areas where farmers who grow corn and other crops for food are still living in poverty and hunger. Priority farmers are those from the 10 priority provinces under the government’s Hunger Mitigation Program.


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Re: 2008 Corn Forecast
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2008, 07:23:45 AM »
Will Corn be the Next Rice?
The various patterns of the market trend for corn goes beyond agriculture. It is connected to the country’s political and social spheres

Much like rice, corn is a vital crop in the Philippines. Its array of preparations makes it a worldwide staple food-from cereals to bourbon whiskey, and even as a substitute for rice. Much of the harvests also become stock feeds. In fact, the first months of 2008 indicated an increase for corn consumption as feed (5300 on the ratio of 1000HA), indicating an increase in the demand and also encouraging production. With the global price of oil on the rise, foreign countries, like the United States, are also delving into newer ways of utilizing corn by converting it into cheaper biofuels (ethanol).

Indeed, the many ways with which we can expend corn entail the kind of importance the crop has. Over the past years, the supply of corn in the country is stable. There was even an instance where corn became a bumper crop during Mr. Jesus Tanchanco’s time as Food Minister in the 1970s, steering the introduction of corn rice to Metro Manila and mitigating a rice problem back then. But now that the market is exposed to many import and production related problems, coupled with the global food price hikes, it will become difficult for the country to catch up with the big producers, like Argentina (for grains) and the US. This also goes to big consumers like China. Will corn follow the path of rice in its shortage problems?

Not enough corn?
The agricultural industry here seems to have very good potential. Feedmilling, for instance, is now a more substantial part of agriculture in the country nearly 80% of livestock and fishery expenditures are spent on feeds, and on the average, the 700 feedmills in the country spend more or less $77M importing yellow corn. But since global prices are on the rise, the demand for local feed corn is increasing. The May 2008 report of Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service offers that the country’s corn production will likely be better due to an increased food and feed consumption. From 2006’s 4700 (per 1000HA/1000MT) feed consumption, it has steadily increased to 5300. By also expanding land areas with which corn can be planted-from 2605 (per 1000HA/1000MT) last 2006 to 2650 this year-it seems plausible to think that the crop does well enough in over-all production. Mr. Cris Balila, municipal agriculturalist of Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan, says that 5000 hectares are used in the town to plant white corn every year.

On the other hand, the underdeveloped state of agriculture in the country may also prove to be the very reason why experts are forecasting worse scenarios. The same GAIN report suggests postharvest deficits against a more increasing demand for the crop. While importing corn may temporarily resolve it, experts are uncertain of the implications it can bring to the sector. Last May at the Cebu International Convention Center, the city has already reported a shortage. Mabolo, Cebu’s white corn grits’ (for human consumption) price increased from Php16 to Php23 last February. The government responded by initiating investigations in the distribution of corn, as well as adding corn products into NFA retailers (Bigasan ni Gloria sa Palengke and Tindahan Natin) to stabilize the price.

Whether the shortage was set off by hoarding or uneven distribution, it’s certainly not enough. Vice President for Northstar Commodity Investments Mark Schultz says that countries “are in a buying panic about corn and  soybeans.” Bloomberg posts a 59% increase in the price of corn ($6.06 per bushel last May and $6.29 for December), while soybeans, which can be an integral part in the feeds sector, increased in price to 88% compared last year, reaching almost $16 per bushel. With this in mind, the government supported the call for an emergency meeting for Asian countries in making resolutions.

No corn to buy?
So far, the country can only do so much. Prices keep on rising, and exporters are starting to decline deliveries. When the problem about rice shortage hit the country, the Philippines spent $1.17B (amounting to PhP48.7B) to increase production and help the farmers. The government also opted to import two million tons of rice from neighboring countries, making us the biggest importer. Prices went from $30o up to $1200 a ton. Egypt and India decided to export only premium grades, while Indonesia and Vietnam cut its exports fourfold. Now, Kazakhstan has joined in banning consignments of grains.

Hence, it’s not really that implausible to say that our corn imports may as well be reduced as more major corn producers interdict their exports. Previously at the Fourth National Corn Congress, Roderico Bioco has already expressed unease about the availability of corn in the world market considering that Philippines is a net-importer. The US just converted 35M metric tons of corn to 3.9B gallons of ethanol (biofuel derived from fermentation of corn’s starch) as substitute for transport fuel, and as Reuters reported, United Nation’s Rajendra Pachauri voiced concerns about its implications to food security. PCARRD’s (Philippine Council for Agriculture Resource and Research Development) Dr. Syrian Baguio aptly says, “even if we have the money to buy the commodity, it is not accessible for us anymore.” His case in point is China, cutting its export from 2oM metric tons to 2M, and with growing demand of rice and corn. Such a demand entails that they import more, and when the country becomes the biggest importer of corn, our access to the crop may be directly affected.

Not enough corn to harvest? Ricardo Oblena of the Department of Agriculture-Central Visayas reports that Cebu, getting its supply from Mindanao provinces, expended roughly 197,000 metric tons while production was merely 106,000, where 10,000 went to seeds and feeds. While Bohol may be self-sufficient in corn production, it just implies that it yields more than how many its populace consumes.

Postharvest deficits also contribute to the difficulties facing corn production. Dr. Syrian Baguio suggests that keeping the crops dry is difficult in the sense that the country’s native humidity keeps us from maximizing production while the cost for removing water from the products can get costly. PAFMI’s (Philippine Association of Feed Millers, Inc.) Dr. Franklin Viado implies that post-harvest facilities and infrastructures, specifically roadways, can influence up to 30% in domestic production losses, risking price increase and crop quality.

The price increase in fertilizers cannot be discounted as well. Dennis Araullo of the Department of Agriculture for Operations forecasts a setback in July-to-September corn yield due to the costs of fertilizers, with farmers intending to reduce planting the crop by 50% at the next season. The Bureau of  Agricultural Statistics can attest to the 13-41% increase in the retailed price of urea compared last year, and 19% last 2006. Ammosul’s price increased to 50.71% during the January to April time, while complete fertilizer now costs Php1,155 per bag which only cost Php960 last year. Ammpohos increased its price at roughly the same rate with ammosul, going to Php1,400 from Php914 last year. Following the trend of transport price hikes, specifically in oil, even imported fertilizers bought at a moderate cost will still increase its price, ultimately raising production costs of planting the crop.

Corn surrogates?
The dangerous repercussions of increased production costs and the decreasing availability of corn are now being anticipated by our agriculturists. Currently, the government is working to exceed last year’s production of 2.75 million MT of corn. While we can anticipate delayed yields by the midyear, a heightened motivation towards the agricultural industry is now leading into various researches that would enable farmers to have better yields and reduce expenditures.

Department of Agriculture-Central Visayas Director Ricardo Oblena has already made initiatives to raise funds for white corn, which is to be planted in the clusters this off-season. Program officers were also made to buy 900 bags corn seeds for Central Visayas while 250 units of shellers (husk removers) are to be given by the department to farming associations to lessen harvest losses.

Surely enough, corn research becomes an integral part. PCCARD has already initiated corn variety development that would let corn be planted to farms that would otherwise not let the crop thrive. Because acidic and brackish soils are uninviting to staple crops, Dr. Syrian Baguio offers that corn varieties that can withstand such soils can help alleviate competition issues in land use. Furthermore, their research is also focused on high-lysine corn (an essential amino acid) that will help in the quality of feeds when proved to be viable.

Right now, however, corn feed alternatives are being considered like rice bran, soymeal, cassava and sweet potato. The current focus is on cassava, says Dr. Synan Baguio, because it yields better, and that its energy content is comparable to corn. The problem, conversely, lies in its production costs: soy, for example, is recently only cultivated for food because importing it is cheaper at the moment. The alternatives are kept from being implemented because the price of grains in the world market is increasing by the day. The costly process of drying cassava (and stretching its shelf life) keeps them from adapting it as a corn feed substitute; the former has 75% water content while the latter has less. What they are aiming, therefore, is maximizing the utilization of these grains. They are currently theorizing the inclusion of certain protein catalysts to ease such kind of scarceness.

More corn?
Will it do well in achieving a targeted 7.4 million MT this year? While reaching 94% self-sufficiency by the end of the year sounds too optimistic, the government is expanding its operations to increase production. In Zamboanga del Norte, a Php33M post-harvest facility was set up to increase production by io%, decrease post-harvest deficits by 10%, even out supply and afford investments and livelihood for the farmers. This year, the GMA-Corn Program (Ginintuang Masaganang Ani) has allotted Php658M for production costs to mainly help in post-harvest operations. Last June in Aurora, 5,000 hectares were built up as the department launched its hybrid corn projects, specifically yellow corn.

Expected to add 25,000 MT to the production, the department spent Php10M subsidizing the seeds, while four 4×4 trucks were given to the biggest corn-producing municipalities.

Together with the Philippine Coconut Authority, the department also expressed a future project where white corn will be intercropped underneath 100,000 hectares of coconut trees. Anticipated to add 200,000 MT of white corn, the program is slated to the eleven regions of Visayas and Mindanao, and is also set up to subsidize seeds and fertilizers. Like in the rice situation, this can indicate an opportunity the farmers can take advantage, since corn’s stringent world market can help in increasing the farmers’ income.

The department has also made budget forecasts in helping farms struck with the last typhoons. Because 42,764 MT of corn were damaged (amounting to 1.7% of overall production), the Php403-37M damage was estimated to recover from Php18.1M worth of hybrid seeds, Php4M for the open-pollinated, PhpS.IM for fertilizers and Php2.7M for program management.

Hence, the department’s corn program is strategizing how to multitask between decreasing losses, adopting hybrid seeds, farm clustering and increasing yield. The Ginintuang Masaganang Ani for Corn is gearing to shift traditional production means to better ones, like seed variety, credit/loan systems, fertilizers, soil and disease management and postharvest and marketing operations. Farm clustering, says the program, is based on a minimum of 400 hectares of corn strategically placed to enhance productivity. Complemented with programs inspiring competitiveness among farmers and collaboration with the private sectors and LGUs, the program will be catering to white and yellow corn.

Corn: a perspective
In the end, corn plays roles outside agriculture. The various patterns of the crop’s market trend have been an important aspect that one can see its ties to the country’s political and social spheres. The need for better road and transportation networks leads to the global problem about oil, while farmers complain of marketing support from the government. The availability of corn directly affects the hog and poultry sector; early months of the year showed a 24.61% markdown in the former’s production due to the increasing price of feeds, seeing that corn is an integral part of it.


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