Thursday, 19 December 2013

Establishing a Nursery for B-IRRI-ANI

Since the holidays are coming, our team decided to grow our seeds over the vacation period. 

Our seeds were planted on their trays last December 16.

The seeds were not soaked and incubated, they were directly sown into the trays.This gives us 2-3 more days to transplant after two weeks from seeding. 

This gives us two options to have our transplanting date on either January 2 or 3. 
We decided to have it on the 3rd since most people just came back. :)

A tray of IR64 seeds.

IR64 seeds directly sown into the tray.

We had 24 trays for our 6 kg of seeds.
Those trays were covered with nets to protect the seedlings from being damaged.

We were asked to water those seeds thrice a day. Since one of us is staying for the holidays he volunteered to water them. What a relief! 

Day 3- December 19, 2013

 After 3 days some of the seeds started to germinate.

We also started our land preparation procedures. Our field was already rotovated yesterday.

This is a really fun experience. :)

We are so excited for transplanting!

Hope everything goes out well and our seedlings don't get sick. 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

1st Field Visit for (B)-IRRI-ANI

7 A.M. 

Yes you read that right. 7 A.M is already late from a farmer's perspective but that's the earliest time our bodies can allow us  to go to fields.  What a lame excuse! :)

Rei and I visited plot 826 to see what's going on.  This sign greeted us and brought big smiles to our faces.

Similar to Biryani a popular dish made of rice, chicken, beef, vegetables and spices.

We were surprised to see that our neighboring field already started land preparation.

See the difference?

We have two tasks to do that day.

1. Measure our plots. 

We explored the four corners of our field with a tape measure on our hands. 
We were able to finish our field measurements and it was so much fun. By doing this, we can now  determine how much kilogram of seed is needed for our plot.

2. Plant flowers on the bunds.

We decided to try the concept of ecological engineering. We planted Marigold and Zinnia seeds along the bunds and hopefully before the season ends we see them in full bloom. Marigolds grow within 45 days. Zinnia takes about 4 weeks to grow and these colorful flowers attract butterflies.

A bag  of Zinnia seeds.

Direct seeding is the best method for the two flowers.

We roamed around our field and found a lot of Golden Apple Snail Eggs. 
They look cute (Sorry, I am being subjective since it's color pink) but this should not stop us from eliminating them since they are a great threat to our future crop.

Golden Apple Snail Eggs everywhere.

Snails are active early in the morning. We tried to hand pick some of them especially those near the bunds but they are too many.This issue leads to one of  the objectives of the second visit. ELIMINATE THE SNAILS.

Looking forward to the expert session on snails.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Hello from team RICEsilient

Hi everyone!

The rain may not give it away, but the dry season in the Philippines has begunand so has the next round of the illustrious Rice Survivor challenge here at IRRI. This time, I am more than happy to take on the challenge with my fellow team mates of the team RICEsilient. We are (in alphabetical order) Berta, Lisa, Lorie, Nikos, Rexie, Samir and Sara. Though we may come from very different parts of the world, we are united by our complete lack of experience in rice farming and by our motivation to make the most out of ittrue to our motto Rice and Shine! As the other three teams in the challenge, we have a good five months ahead of us to make the most profit out of our small rice field on the IRRI premises. And in the past weeks since the challenge has officially begun, we have had time to get to know each other and to start planning the task ahead.

As our first meetings and expert sessions quickly taught us, we can be sure to know one thing: that we know nothing. (Having a Greek in the group, I think it is fair to quote Socrates here, right?) Rice farming is all about knowledge: how to prepare the land, when to apply fertiliser, which seed varieties to grow, how to get rid of those nasty snails and rats... These are just a few of the questions we will have to address in the following weeks, and some of them are more imminent than others. Luckily, we can draw upon the expertise and experience of the IRRI family to help us have an instructive and fun experience with Rice Survivor. We are looking forward to the challenge and will keep you updated on our progress.

   Rice and Shine! (And an iced latte, please...)