Chicken/Broiler Production



Chicken broiler and egg production are the most progressive animal enterprises in the Philippines today. The poultry industry as backyard enterprise but has shifted to the formation of very large integrated contract farming operations.The growth of poultry industry in the Philippines has been impressive but its problems include inefficient management and the prevalence of many destructive poultry diseases and parasites cannot be ignored.
(Source: Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 27 March 2014)


  • Manure

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Cultural Management

Chicken Breeds/ Classes

The chicken is the most exploited species of poultry, which is utilized for food production in the whole world. Scientific researchers have been done on this species for past centuries and it is still the focus of the present and future experimentation. In the Philippines chicken rank first, while ducks rank second in economic importance as source of meat and eggs.
Breed of Chicken can be classified by its utility. This is based on the purpose for which the breed or variety is most efficient.

Egg Class
The breed belonging to this class is characterized by their comparatively small size. They lay large white shelled eggs, very active and nervous in temperament. They are non-sitters. The earlier selection of geneticist for this class showed record of early maturity that may not necessarily be true with the modern breeds under this class. Examples: Leghorn, Minorcas, Anconas, Mikawa.

Meat Class
to this class belong the breeds that are large, slow movement, quiet and gentle in disposition. Geneticist of the past described them as relatively slow maturing which may not hold true anymore with the present meat breeds. They are generally poorer egg layers and generally lay brown shelled eggs. Examples are: Brahmas, Cochin,Langshans, Comish, White Rocks.

General Purpose Class
Breeds of Chicken in this class are medium sized good layers and the young are fast growers. They are not s nervous as the egg class but much more active than the meat class. Examples are: New Hampshire, Rhode Island Red, Plymouth rock, Lancaster, Nagoya, Cantonese.

The general purpose breeds had its popularity period when the idea of the poultry breeder was to hit both products of eggs and meat in one kind of breed. Later developments proved that specialization of breed purpose is better goal for more efficient production. The general purpose class at present has been modified and developed by breeders in the production of broiler chicks.

Fancy class
The breeds under this class may be characterized as possessing decided beauty of plumage or form of having a rare unusual appearance. Most of them are raised chiefly as ornamentals or pets by hobbyists, regardless of their value as source of food. Example: Frizzle, Bantams, Long tailed.

Fighting Class
Since this sport is now legalized in the Philippines it should revolutionalize our original vision that fighting cock breeds has no place place for our study. There are groups of this kinds of chickens now developed by national and international aficionados in this game. Since there are no studies conducted on the breeding and raising of these game fowls, the LAS could not profess any knowledge of what kind and what process of raising will assure a cock to win in the fight. The popular ones are the Ruble, Hulsay, Claret, Oasis

Health and Diseases

1. AVIAN Pest (New castle Disease)

Cause: Virus


  • Direct contact with the nasal and mouth discharges of infected birds
  • Airborne transmission
  • Through mechanical means such as being carried by sparrows (maya) predators or other birds
  • Human being transmit the disease through infected clothes and shoes
  • Signs:
  • In young birds gasping, coughing, rattling of the windpipe, hoarse chirping, paralysis, walking backyard and circling
  • In adults, coughing and occasional paralysis, abrupt drop in egg production shoft shelled eggs, greenish watery diarrhea

Prevention: Vaccination. Consult your veterinarian for a program suited to your operation

Treatment: There is no treatment for the disease. In case of an outbreak, the following measures could be adopted to minimized its further spread and effect control of the disease.

  • Isolate sick birds quickly
  • Quarantine the area by regulating persons entering the disease-affected premises of from other farms as well as from one poultry house to another
  • Revaccination of the birds if titer (detected by serological test) is already low
  • Thoroughly disinfect the houses and premises. Allow to dry before occupancy
  • Bury dead birds deeply or burn

2. Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD)

Cause: Mycoplasma organism or pleuropneumonia like organism (PPLO)


  • CRD organism or is egg-borne; contracted exposure with infected flock
  • Airborne transmission


  • Tracheal rales, sneezing coughing watery or sticky discharged from the nostrils
  • Foamy exudates in the eyes
  • Feed consumption is reduced and the birds lose weight

Treatment: Broad spectrum antibiotics, either by injection or mixed with feeds or drinking water

3. Coccidiosis

Cause: Microscopic organisms called coccidian (Eimeria species) usually occurs in flocks below two months of age.


  • When birds pick up or swallow the coccidial organisms
  • Contaminated feed and water
  • Indirect contact thru flies, human beings and other mechanical means


  • Tendency to huddle together in a corner
  • Decrease feed and water intake and poor weight gain

Prevention: Incorporation of coccidiostat in the feeds or drinking water.
Use of sulfa drugs. Most feed companies incorporate this in the feed mixture as indicated in the feed tags

4. Mareks Disease

Cause: Virus

Transmission: Exposure to infected birds or to environment with existing virus, poultry nests and feeders


  • Initial symptoms are leg weakness and paralysis of one or both legs
  • Birds tend to rest on their breast with one leg extended forward and the other backward
  • They could hardly reached the feeders and the waterers resulting in the dehydration and emancipation which finally cause death

Prevention: Vaccination with MD vaccine, the most commonly used is the so called Herpes virus of turkey (HVT)

Treatment: There is no known treatment for the disease

5. Avian Malaria

Cause: Microscopic Protozoan Parasite

Transmission: Bites of mosquitoes, mechanically by blood transfer as in mass vaccination, caponization and injection


  • Severe anemia (paleness) extreme leg weakness, emancipation and nervous signs like twisting of the head
  • The shanks and the toes are dry and birds have ruffled feathers
  • Greenish-yellow or greenish white diarrhea

Prevention: Control if mosquitoes within the premises and houses with
effective insecticides, include spraying the breeding places of mosquitoes. Proper drainage of stagnant water

Treatment: Anti malarial drops like plasmochin, quinine hydrochloride and pyrimethamine combinations were found effective. Confer with the veterinarians


Housing Equipment
Feeding troughs or feeders
Feeders can be placed inside or along the front of cages. When making feeders, consider the ease in cleaning and avoidance of feed spilage. Feed spilahe may be avoided by placing a metal or wooden strip along the inner mouth of the feed trough.

To facilitate cleaning, the shape and size of the waterers should be semi circular, fairly wide and supported by an adjustable bracket to permit easier adjustment. It may have a removal stopper at the drainage end to allow for easier cleaning
For chicks, the waterers are usually one gallon plastic jars
The most common waterers are the plastic waterers because they do not rust therefore they will last longer
Backyard poultry raisers usually use bamboo waterers. They are cheap but there is a great tendency for slime (lumot to develop) and often times they do not last very long. They need constant changing.

Portable Catching Panels
This is usually made of either bamboo, wood or wire frames. This device comes in handy during vaccination.

Feed Carts
In a well-planned poultry house with cemented service alleys, the feed cart is a handy piece of equipment which can reduce the number of hours spent in feeding the chickens. It makes the feeding less laborious and tiresome. In the absent of a feed cart a wheelborrow will do.

In shade houses, natural daylight must be supplemented with artificial lighting in order to obtain desirable lighting patterns which are necessary to adequately control sexual maturity. A constant or decreasing lighting pattern during rearing is essential to prevent too early sexual maturity. An increasing or constant light pattern is necessary after 22-24 weeks of age.

Egg Handling
Supply at least 1 nest per 4 female. Ensure free circulation of air around the nest areas to discourage broodiness. Collect eggs more regularly than in temperate areas and transfer immediately to the egg cooling room which should be located on the farm site. Transport eggs to the hatchery in an insulated van. Pratice daily fumigation of eggs.


Marketing for Broiler
Birds have attained the marketable weight should be sold. Birds should be harvested as scheduled. When harvest schedule approaches the companys representatives should be reminded of the exact date that the birds are to be harvested and the assurance that his company trucks should come on time. This is to ensure that the birds will not consume extra feeds due to longer stay in the farm without any beneficial effect to the grower.

The birds should be harvested within the shortest possible time. There are companies that sell to viajeros. The middle man tend to select the bigger and healthier birds of relatively uniform sizes. This practice should not be allowed since this will disturb the other birds resulting to weight losses and also delays the harvesting.

For independent growers
Alternative market outlets should be surveyed even before deciding to broilers to be assured of the ready market at the time of harvest. Marketing arrangements with local hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, institutional buyers and grocery stores with freezers should be made
Procedures should form associations or market cooperatives so that they could agree on a common prize. Organized producers have some bargaining power with regard to their selling price.

Producers will be best advised to compute which is more profitable to sell, the birds dressed or live, and whether to sell at the farm or bring them to market.

The broilers should be sold at optimum weight. More profits can be derived if broilers are sold between 1.3 to 1.5 kg live weight depending on consumers preferences and market reports

Marketing of Eggs
Survey market outlets before investing in egg production. Marketing arrangements must be made with local bakeries, local hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, groceries, or sari-sari store, higher income families and other regular users. This will ensure regular orders for the eggs.

Sell graded or classified eggs. Proper grading or classification can attract all types of consumers. This would also enable the consumers to make purchasing decision on egg size at hand.

Sell only clean eggs since everybody wants clean eggs. Dry or wet cleaning of eggs should be a standard practice on the far.
Reduce breakage and spoilage of eggs to the minimum. Broken eggs constitute losses and render the container unsightly.

Technology option: Organic Production of Native Chicken

Organic Management System
The organic management system us aimed to develop a harmonious relationship between land and animals, and respect for their physiological and behavioral needs. This can be achieved by a combination of providing quality organically-grown feeds and fodder, appropriate stocking rates, animal husbandry systems appropriate to behavioral needs, and animal management practices that seek to promote health and prevent diseases.

Organically Produced Native Chicken
The Philippine native chickens and their upgrades, whether raised under scavenge-based system or free-range system can very well be regarded as organically produced. They are adapated to local conditions and utilize traditional feeds (succulent leaves, buds, inflorescence, insects, earthworms, grains and kitchen discards) coming fromthe farms itself. No synthetic drugs are given except vaccines.

Potential Users
The raising of organic native chicken can be integrated with other crops and livestock production systems. This technology is very appropriate for farmers with adequate range area for the production of native chicken. Organic native chicken production could be done in various agro-ecosystem which include but not limited to orchards, grasslands, upland and hillyland. The meat and eggs should be sold as organic food and should command a premium price compared to the same products coming from commercial exotic chickens.

Production Cost:
The production cost for raising the Philippine native chicken is vey minimal. Chickens are allowed to wander freely and scavenge for all or most of their food.

Free-range system:
Under free-range system, almost 75% of their requirements are obtained from the range. Feed supplements can be in the form of grains (rice, corn) chopped coconut meat or kitchen discards.

Market Price:
Market weight is between 0.8 to 1.3 kg per bird. Market age is between 12 weeks up to 18 weeks old. Price per live is between PhP 80 to PhP 200. Eggs which are about 40 to 45 grams (small) sell between PhP 5 to PhP 6 per piece. Most are paid in premium price because of their unique wuality attributes including distinct flavor, leanness, texture and pigmentation. Eggs are likewise valued because of the intense yellow pigmentation of the yolk.

Source: Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 27 March 2014

Breeding Farms


Office: Rm. 215 BPI Bldg. Plaza Cervantes, Binondo, Manila
Farm: Km. 102 mc Arthur Hi-Way Anupol, Bamban, Tarlac
Tony Acibar -mngr.
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0922 813 5099


Office: 179 Mariano Ponce St., Caloocan City
Farm: Pulilan, Bulacan
Edwin Chen
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0971 810 4381 / 0922 817 1042/ 366 0616


Office: E. Rodriguez Ave., Pasig City
Farm: Sitio Abuyod, Brgy. San Jose, Antipolo City
April Hicban (prod. Mgr.)
0932 888 7358

Jonathan M. Dino (mktg. mgr.)
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0922 888 0391


Office: Provincial Rd., Brgy. Sta Cruz, Sta. Maria, Bulacan
Farm: Cacarong, Pandi, Bulacan
Leopoldo Mendoza
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0922 808 9692

Herman Cruz
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09228135099/ 0917 541 4482


Office: Door 1, VDRF Bldg., Patag Road, Carmen, Cagayan De Oro City
Farm: Kitaro, Lingating, Baungon, Bukidnon
0917 707 6509

Jefferson Siy
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0917 589 0137

Julia Bettina Ang
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0917 303 4399


Office: 101 col. S. Cruz St., San Rafael, Rodriguez Rizal
Farm: Liciada, Bustos, Bulacan
Irwin Ambal
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(043) 726 2244/ 0920 906 3892

Jess Medina - Director
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(043) 778 2290/ 0917 504 0095

Arthur Baron - President
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0918 913 8084


Office: 24 Maysan Road, Malinta, Valenzuela City
Farm: Km 29 Bo. Gulod, Pulong Buhangin, sta. Maria, Bulacan
Sonny R. Retinio - Farm Head
292 2923/292 1171/0923 688 0190 / 0920 293 5354


Office: 90 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Ugong Norte, Murphy Libis, Quezon City
Farm: Bo.Road, Sitio Pantay Buhangin, Dalig Morong, Teresa, Rizal 1880

Ms. Annie Laylay 0917-773-1792
Ms. Teresita Pino 0917-546-2290
Ms. Grace Mata 0917 -499-7566 / 404-76-56
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0917 577 7973 / 634 8387 loc 1636 / Fax no. 636 1837

Citrus Fruits



Citrus, which originated in Southeast Asia, is characterized by fragrant flowers and edible juicy fruit. Today, the most important commercial varieties include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines and to a lesser extent, tangelos and temples. Oranges account for the greatest value in terms of production, followed by grapefruit, lemons and tangerines.
(Source: Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, Date accessed 27 March 2014)

For further assistance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.

Cultural Management



Citrus can be propagated by seed budding, grafting and marcotting. Commercially, seed budding, which is universally applicable to all citrus species, is the preferred method. Although grafting and marcotting produce satisfactory materials these methods are recommended only for small-scale propagation. Shield budding unites a desired scion variety with a suitable rootstock. Success depends on the skill of the propagation and the conditions of the scion and the rootstock.


  • Must be compatible with the scion variety allowing good growth, long life, good yield and good fruit qualities;
  • Seeds must be readily available, preferably high poly-embryonic to get uniform seedlings and with high percentage and germination;
  • Must be adaptable to a wide range of soil depth, texture, structure, pH, salinity, moisture, and nutrient supply; and
  • Must be resistant to soil-borne diseases, such as Phytophthora grimmosis.

Budwood should be taken from parent trees which:

  • Hold a record satisfactory production over a period of a t least 5 years;
  • Are free from systematic diseases; and
  • Have true-type fruit characters.

Budwood should be plucked from green, vigorous, second-flush growth. Its leaves should be clipped and the budwood is collected. It should be immediately labeled, indicating the name of the variety, source of budwood, and date of collection. Only freshly cut budwood should be used. If it needs storage, it should be kept by wrapping it in moist sphagnum moss or similar materials, put in polyethylene bag and kept in a cool place. This will last for 10 days.

Nursery Care

By means of shallow cultivation, the nursery is always kept free. Weekly, seedlings are sprayed with the appropriate insecticides to control pests and leaf cutting insects. Every 2 weeks, copper fungicide is mixed with the insecticide to control diseases. Once a month, at time of weeding, one (1) level tbsp 5 g urea is applied around each seedling.

From a budded plant, tape is removed 2 - 3 weeks after budding. If the bud looks fresh and green, the lower half of the tape is left intact until the bud begins to grow. When the budding reaches about 10 cm, lopping can be done to hasten growth. Only one vigorous scion should be allowed.

Cultural practices such as weeding, cultivation, watering and fertilization should be continued to promote the development of the plant. To avoid infestation, spraying of appropriate insecticide should be done every 2 weeks.

Orchard Establishment

Planting can be done anytime of the year if irrigation is available. Balled or bare-rooted budlings are planted in holes big enough and always enriched with a handful of complete fertilizer, high in phosphorous. Topsoil is used to fill the holes and this is pressed down firmly to avoid large air spaces. Newly planted budlings should be watered immediately.

Planting of citrus follows a certain arrangement in which trees are set out in the orchard. Systems used include square, rectangular, triangular, and quincunx. Rectangular and square systems are to be used where intercropping is to be done.

In rectangular and square systems, the rows of trees are set at right angles to each other. In a triangular system, trees are set at the corners of equilateral triangle. In the quincunx system, four trees are set in a square and a tree is planted in the center.

Care for the Bearing Groves

Care for the bearing groves is observed through the following:

Irrigation. This is important to avoid water stress.
Trees are watered until the rainy season begins. Irrigation can be through furrow, hose, or sprinkle.

Fertilization. Plants need 2 - 3 fertilizer applications each year.

  1. First, when the rainy season begins;
  2. Second, during the middle of the rainy season; and
  3. Third, when the rainy season is about to end. Fertilizer can be applied or sprayed.

Fertilizer can be applied directly or sprayed.

citrus fruit2











Pruning means removing diseased anddead twigs, branches, and leaves which are unproductive and are less exposed to sunlight. Best time for pruning is during the dry season or after harvest.

A certain spray program should be strictly observed. Two or three types of chemicals against a particular pest should be alternated to avoid developing resistance of the chemicals.

Propping and Setting of the Windbreaks.
Ipil-ipil windbreaks on the windward sides of the orchard can be set up to prevent the crop from touching the ground and the branches heavily laden with fruits.

Pest and Diseases

  • Many important pests limit citrus growth. A systematic virus-like disease called leaf molting with its insect nectar was responsible for the decline of more than half a million citrus trees.
  • Efficient pest management simply requires an understanding of the nature and cause of diseases, conditions that favor the spread of the diseases and the most effective control measures.
  • Knowledge of the most common and destructive insect pests therefore becomes vital. To prevent unnecessary injury to plants when using pesticides, make sure that instructions and recommendations in pesticide packages and containers are followed.


Periodically, sampling has to be done to check whether fruits are ready for harvesting. Generally, citrus trees start bearing fruits 3 - 5 years from planting and can be harvested 5 - 6 months from flowering depending on the species and the environment. Unlike other fruits, citrus does not ripen further after it has been harvested, so it is important that it is picked at the right stage of maturity.

Maturity indices include color, juice content, level of soluble solid (sugar), treatable acidity, and solids to acid ratio.

citrus fruit3












Best time to harvest citrus is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the dew has dried up and fruits have lost their turgor. Fruits, which are frigid, are easily bruised resulting in brown patches on the rind, which indicate direct injury to the oil cells in the rind. This lowers fruit quality.

The proper way to harvest citrus is by pulling or clipping from the stem. "Twist, jerk and pull", experts say, is the general rule. Use of hand gloves reduces to great extent injuries on the peel of citrus.

Canvas bags of suitable sizes with hooks at the bottom are best for transporting fruits to large, padded, field containers.

Source: Department of Agriculture, Date accessed 27 March 2014





Coconut (Cocos Nucifera L.) is popularly known as the "TREE OF LIFE" because of the variety of products and by-products made from the tree namely: coconut meat, oil, juice, husk, shell, shell charcoal, leaves, husk, pith, inflorescence, trunk and roots.

The coconut industry in the Philippines plays a key role in shaping national development. It is among the top ten export produce of the country as exhibited by the good export performance of both traditional and non-traditional coconut products. 
(Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014)

1. Coir Fiber and dust
2. Coconut shell charcoal
3. Copra meal
4. Coconut water
5. Coconut sap

For more information about the coconut industry, you may visit the Philippine Coconut Authority.

For further assistance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.

Cultural Management


Propagation and Care of Seedlings

There are many types of propagation techniques.


Coconut is a monoecious crop (having both the male and female flowers are borne in the same plant). When the male part fertilized the female flower, the resulting offspring is called Inbred. This method follows the same characteristics the mother plant has.

Controlled Pollination

The production of hybrid is done by removal of male flowers and artificial pollination of female flowers of a different tree during pollination time. To ensure no inbreeding is accidentally done, male flowers are removed and female flowers are covered to prevent inbreeding.

Tissue culture

This adopts the genetic characteristics of the mother tree. The advantage of this method is it multiplies easily without using a large area. It may also be a method to replicate pest and disease resistant varieties.

Nuts are subjected to selection where those that are barren, dry or not sloshing; deformed and damaged nuts are discarded. Nuts are placed in cool dry place until they germinate. These nuts contain meat and water that support and nourish the growth of the embryo during germination. Nuts are placed in germination beds to facilitate careful selection of good seedlings. All seedlings that germinate within 11 to 15 weeks from sowing or 84% whichever comes first shall be selected.
Planting in polybags reduces transplanting shock since most of its roots are not disturbed during transplanting. Recommended polybags are black 40 cm long, 40 cm high and 0.20 mm thick.

Otherwise seedbeds are prepared for nursery. Seedbed should have a very friable soil. The land must be plowed several times. Blocks with dimensions of 1 meter width or less are laid-out to allow nursery caretakers to move freely. In between blocks, footpath are maintained at 40 cms apart. Seeds are laid on its side in the furrow and covered with soil so that about one-fourth of the nut diameter is above the ground. Shading of any sort must be provided. Young coconut trees could not survive under direct sunlight specially during summer months.

Land Preparation

Like other crops, coconut cannot be established in thick vegetation. Clearing of debris from thick vegetation is primarily necessary to eliminate possible breeding sites for the destructive rhinoceros beetle. Hence, the area should be cleared of felled trees/shrubs, stumps, weeds, and other obstruction and then plowed and harrowed to improve soil tilth.

Site Selection

  1. Land must not be water logged. Coconuts do not grow well on flooded land.
  2. Soil depth must not be less than 1 meter. Root canopy is more than 1 meter.
  3. Rain water is available most of the year. Areas that have distinct dry season is not preferred.

Staking of Field Layout

 Tall x TallDwarf x TallDwarf x Dwarf
Density (palms/ha) 143 160 180
Distance bet. palms 9 8.5 8
Distance bet. rows 7.8 7.35 6.9

Access Roads and Surface Drainage

Access roads are needed in delivering seedlings and supplies, and later, in hauling the produce to and from the farm. These facilitate inspection, data gathering and evaluation of palms. Surface drainage is essential to avoid water logging.

Hole Preparation

Prior to digging, plating guides are put in place by using 2 pegs placed at equal distances from the stake. This indicates the center of the hole where the sprout of the seedling to be planted later on will have to be aligned. It must be noted that by using a stick marked at the center, and using the planting guides at planting time, the relocation of the stake in the hole can easily be done. Holes should be dug at 50x50cm size. This operation commences as early as 2 months before planting to allow for weathering of the soil on the sides and bottom of the holes. Weathering is encouraged to promote early root contact.

Seed Selection

Selection is an indispensable process in any crop improvement work. In coconut plantations, seedling selection aims to produce high quality planting materials which when properly done could easily increase uniformity and production by 10% or higher.
However for hybrid trials where materials should possess representative "genetic image" of the chosen material, pest- and disease-free seedlings showing food germination, vegetative development and vigor should be selected.
Unless the number of "abnormal-looking" seedlings significantly exceeds the average number of "normal-looking" seedlings per population, the selection should be towards the normal-looking seedlings.
Unless found to be significant, e.g., the number is sizeable, trait is distinct and uniform, the following types of seedlings are culled right away: multiple shoots, thin or leggy and etiolated, and albinos or seedlings which are devoid of chlorophyll.

Records and Layout of Palms

After laying out the field, a planting plan of map should be prepared. In this map, the photos are identified to show the spots where specific palms are to be planted. This facilitates palm and pedigree identification.

Coconut Plantation Establishment

Clearing and Levelling

First activity in Field planting is clearing of weeds, debris and other unwanted crops. Most unwanted crops are old coconut trees that have pest and diseases. It is very important to properly dispose infested / diseased coconut trees. If possible burn or bury into deep pits to avoid contaminating newly planted coconut trees.

Lay-outing and Planting

Triangular system of planting coconut is recommended with rows laid out in a north-south direction. The distance between palms in a row should be 9 m x 9 m to 10 m x 10 m for tall varieties and 8 m x 8 m to 8.5 m x 8.5 m for dwarf hybrid coconuts. Staking is done to ease in locating where the tree will be planted.

After staking, dig a hole with the dimension of 50 cm diameter and 50 cm depth. Seedlings are ready to for planting when they reach 7 months in seedbeds or pots. Best time to plant is during the onset of the rainy season. This is to avoid drying up of newly planted coconut trees. And to ensure greater survival since the trees roots have established itself and ready to absorb moisture left in the soil during the summer months.
Before the seedlings are placed on the hole, fertilizers are applied inside the hole as basal application (refer to table on fertilization below). Prompt replanting of dead trees must be done to avoid uneven growth of coconut trees.

Plantation Management

  1. Cultivation - to remove weeds and improve soil moisture absorption and aeration.
  2. Irrigation and drainage - water logging and drought damages significantly coconut trees.
  3. Cover crops and control of weeds - Cover crops are beneficial to coconut because it prevents erosion during rainy season, excessive water lost during summer months. Some leguminous cover crops like Centrosema and Stylosanthes fixes nitrogen in the soil. Competition for sunlight, water and nutrients with coconut however must be avoided. Two serious weed problems for coconut are cogon and lantana. These two weeds can completely take over the small coconut tree.
  4. Intercrops - these are extra sources of income for the farmer. This is explained further on Chapter VI below. Considerations in selection of crops are market for the intercrop, competition it may offer to coconut as regards to water and nutrient requirement, tolerance or need for shade and dangers it may offer as alternate host for pest and diseases.
  5. Animals under the coconut - same as intercrops these are extra income for the farmer. However, caution must be considered in over crowding in one area. Soil tends to be compacted in overgrazed areas especially for cattle.

Nutrient Management

At pre-bearing or vegetative stage (1 to 3 years), split application of annual rate per palm. The first half at the start of the rainy season and the remaining half at six months after or about one months before end of the rainy season.

Nurient Requirement of Coconut

Field Planting (FP) 30 50 44 7.5
6 months after FP 40 75 66 10
1 year 100 250 220 25
2 years 150 375 330 37.5
3 years 250 500 440 50
4 years 300 625 550 75
5 years or more 400 750 660 100

Fertilizer Recommendation

Field Planting (FP) 150 100 -
6 months after FP 200 150 -
1 year 500 500 -
2 years 750 750 -
3 years 1000 1000 -
4 years 1250 1250 -
5 years or more 1500 1500 1200

Nutritionally deficient bearing palms need the following fertilizers:
Organic fertilizer 8.00 kg/palm per year
KCL (0-0-60) 1.65 kg/palm per year
NaCl (common salt) 1.50 kg/palm per year 

Pest and Disease Management

Two main methods in controlling pest and diseases are a) chemical and b) biological. Chemical makes use of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc as a means of control. While biological means utilizes parasites and predators.

Harvest Management

For the purpose of obtaining high oil content in copra, the nuts should be harvested not earlier than twelve months after pollination. Harvesting using a "Halabas" (a sickle mounted on a bamboo pole) is much faster than climbing each tree. A picker can harvest 100 trees a day using the "Halabas" while only 25 trees a day for climbing each tree.


The active root system of a coconut palm is concentrated only within 2 meters from its base. Therefore, for a coconut plantation with a spacing of 8m x 8m leaves about 8,000 sq. meters space is left unproductive. To maximize the use of land and other resource such as manpower, machinery, fertilizer, pesticide, etc, intercropping is then adopted. Another reason why intercropping is practiced is the unusual fluctuations of the price of copra. Inclusion of other crops lessens the burden of the coconut farmer by giving alternative sources of income.

Two types of cropping pattern:

  1. Sequential crop - producing two or more crop in single stand one after the other on the same plot during the same year.
  2. Intercropping - growing two or more crop species at the same time in the same field.

Five ways of Intercropping:


  1. Mixed intercropping - simultaneous growing of two or more crop specie in an irregular arrangement, i.e. without a well-defined planting pattern
  2. Row intercropping - simultaneous growing of two or more crop specie in a well-defined row arrangement
  3. Strip intercropping - simultaneous growing of two or more crop species in a strip wide enough to allow independent cultivation, but at the same time, sufficiently narrow to induce crop interactions
  4. Relay intercropping - planting one or two crops within an established cropping pattern wherein the final stage of the first crop coincides with the initial development of the other crops
  5. Multi-storey cropping - coconut + black pepper + cacao + pineapple are planted so that each crop produces canopies at different heights.

One general rule in intercropping is to arrange to rows of intercrop in a way that these receive maximum sunlight throughout the day. With regards to selection of crops, the following factors must be considered:

  1. Market for the intercrop - coconut farmers must ensure they know where to sell the products of the intercrop. Alternate market outlets must also be determined in case pole vaulting happens.
  2. Competition it may offer to coconut as regards to sunlight, water and nutrient requirement. - Intercrops must be selected so as not to compete with sunlight, water and nutrient. Tree, root canopy must carefully be calculated so as not to cover other intercrop. In very tall coconut, sunlight increases as the height of coconut trees becomes taller.
  3. Microbial activity - Interplanting cacao between coconut palms showed success in many trials. Coconut-cacao intercrop improved the microbial activity of the rhizosphere. There was an increase in organic matter component of the soil caused by the periodic shredding of cacao leaves. Nitrogen fixing and phosphate solubilizing bacterial activity also increased. As a result, coconut yields were retained and cacao yields increased. Presently, PCA with funding from DA BAR will be spearheading an agri-business development project on Coconut-Cacao Intercropping project.
  4. Increase of pest and disease - some intercrop favor the build up of unfavorable pest and disease population. Observations on different trials are being documented for reference purposes. In other instances, however, build up of parasites and predators occur. This favors slow down of pest and disease population. In fact, some institutions like PCA and BPI are into direct research on rearing parasites and predators.

Another option in Coconut-based Farming System is Animals under coconut - the main benefit of grazing animals under coconut is for the removal of weeds. Manual and chemical process of weeding is done away with. Manure from the animals also helps in increasing the organic matter and nutrient of the soil. A disadvantage however especially for large animals is the over grazing which leads to compacted soil. Coconut roots are sensitive to aeration. To avoid this, cattle grazing must be supervised carefully.

Water Management

Palms are best irrigated during summer months in basins around the palm. The irrigation requirement varies according to the soil type and climatic condition. Generally, adult palms require 600 to 800 litres of water once in four to seven days. Irrigate in basins of 1.8m radius and 10-20 cm depth. In coastal sandy soils, sea water can be used for irrigating adult palms. Do not irrigate seedlings and very young palms up to 2 year with sea water. In irrigated gardens interruption of irrigation would lead to serious set-back in yield and general condition of palms. Hence, when once started irrigation should be continued regularly and systematically. Drip irrigation is the best suited method of irrigation for coconut. It saves water, labour and energy [Coconut Development Board, India].

Pest and Disease Management

Rhinocerous beetle (bangangan)

Rhinoceros beetle can be controlled by removing all potential breeding sites (decaying coconut wood, sawdust, compost). Apply insecticide-treated sawdust on leaf axils no. 1-5 and green muscardine fungus (GMF) in breeding sites.

Slug caterpillar (pagi-pagi) and other sucking insects

Spray insecticide, e.g. Malathion or Diazinon, every fourteen days to control the larvae on young palms.

Aphids, whiteflies, mealy bugs and other leaf eating pests

Spray systematic insecticide e.g. Hostathion on underside of leaves every fourteen days.


Spray fungicide e.g. Daconil, Captan, Vitigran Blue every seven days for four weeks on affected leaves.

Bud rot

Dispose dead palm by burning and drench soil with fungicide e.g. Aliette.

Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research – Agrifishtech and Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research – Agrifishtech , Date accessed 24 March 2014




Known as the second most consumed beverage in the world, coffee occupies an important place in the world economy. Even the Philippines, as one of the exporting countries of coffee, have an existing production area of 123,269 hectares that produced a volume of 97,428 metric tons (MT).

Coffee grows in 70 countries, 60 of which are exporters. It has four varieties namely Arabica, Robusta, Liberica and Excelsa. Arabica, also known as 'Kapeng Tagalog' bears clean dry coffee beans in two to three years from planting, which is the earliest compared to the other varieties. While Robusta yield the highest volume of clean dry coffee beans. Excelsa , on the other hand, is resistant to drought unlike Liberica 'Kapeng Barako' can tolerate and grow in wider soil types.
(Source: Department of Agriculture – High Value Crops Program, Date accessed 24 March 2014)

For Cost and Returns, you may visit the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.

For further assistance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.


Cultural Management

Starting-up Need


The minimum soil depth for a coffee propagation is 15 centimeters. The soil must be highly fertile with medium texture and high moisture holding capacity. The optimum soil pH must be 5.5 to 6.5 and a temperature of 21 to 26 degrees Celsius.

Material Inputs:

A farmer must have the following in order to start a coffee plantation: coffee seeds, granular and foliar fertilizers, insecticides, and fungicides.

Labor Inputs:

Laborers are necessary for the establishment and maintenance of a coffee farm. Clearing, seed bed preparation, seed sowing and lay-outing are some of the tasks performed in establishing a plantation.
On the other hand, in maintaining the coffee farm, the laborers will be applying fertilizer, spraying chemicals, and weeding.

Seed Preparation

  • Gather seeds from disease and pest-free, high yielding trees;
  • Grow coffee plants in the nursery to produce better seedlings. They nursery be located in the plantation or nearby and accessible to water supply;
  • Three-fourth kg (i.e. 750 gm) of quality seeds is enough to plant a hectare;
  • A 50% allowance of seeds must be considered for un germinated seeds, poor seedlings and for replanting;
  • Select viable seeds, stir berries in a bucket of water and remove floaters. Those that sink are the good ones;
  • Remove pulp by hand or pulping machine, then soak beans in water for 24 hours to hasten the removal of mucilage;
  • Wash beans and discard floaters. Air dry in well-ventilated room for least 4 days;
  • Keep dried parchment in cool dry place or mix with charcoal to preserve its viability;
  • Germination bed must be 1 meter wide and of convenient length. To avoid flooding, raise bed 15 cm from ground level;
  • A 1 x 20 m plot can accommodate one ganta of seeds;
  • Sow seeds on shallow rows at ¾ inch deep and cover with fine soil;
  • Water the seedbed regularly but not too wet and partially shade plants from sunlight;
  • This out and prick seedlings (transplant to another seedbed/plastic bags) or when 2-3 pairs of leaves have developed.

Asexual Propagation

  • Coffee can also be propagated asexually.
  • Clone is used for coffee propagation. It is a part of a plant that is made to reproduce an offspring which carries all the qualities of its parents.
  • Split lengthwise into two halves of a finger sized vertical shoot of about one foot long with 4-6 nodes to produce a clone. Partially cut leaves before splitting;
  • Set modal cutting in germination box 1x2 inches apart and 1 inch deep, then place boxes in germination chamber. Nodal cuttings will produce roots and shoots within 45 days;
  • Prick seedlings into individual plastic bags with soil. Full-grown seedling with 4-6 pairs of leaves could be attained within 6-8 months;
  • Coffee plants raised from nodal cuttings bear fruits 18 months after transplanting

Crop Establishment

Intensive clearing is necessary for newly opened areas (forest area). Plow and harrow twice open field to check weed growth. Mark places where holes are to be dug. Recommended spacing are as follows:

Variety Distance in meters
  Single Row Double Row
Arabica 3x1 to 3x2 m 2x2x2x4m double row
Robusts 3x1.5 to 3x3 m 2x2x2x4m double row
Liberica & Excelsa 4x5 to 5x5.5 m  



Coffee seedlings are ready for transplant when 6 pairs of leaves have been fully developed and with no lateral branches yet. Dig holes and transplant in the field at the start of the rainy season. This will give sufficient time for young plants to establish roots before dry season sets in. Dig hole wide and deep enough to accommodate ball of earth with roots intact. Return topsoil in the hole, then add tablespoons phosphorous fertilizer, and mix thoroughly.


Removal of unnecessary branches (excess, old and dead branches) and undesirable sprouts. Pruning regulates the height of the plants, facilitates harvesting and other field operations, promotes better aeration and light penetration. This is best done before general flowering or after harvest.

Nutrient Management

The general recommendation for non-bearing trees in the absence of soil and tissue analysis, is an equal amount of NPK and ammonium sulfate or urea from 250-300 grams per tree per year; and for bearing trees (7 years and above) 1 kilo of 14-14 per tree per year plus urea sidedness at the rate of 300 grams per tree per year.

Non-bearing trees (1-3 years old) make shallow canal furrow 5 cm deep around the plant; place recommended fertilizer in continuous band and cover with soil.

Bearing trees (7 years old)-localized placement is recommended for sloping land. Apply fertilizer in holes or trenches made around trees between outside of the crown and one-half meter from the base. Broadcast fertilizer 0.5m for level land.

Pest and Disease Management

Common Pests and Control

Coffee Berry Borer most destructive and hardest to control. Attacks all stages of fruit after berries become mungo-size. Infested young berries turn from normal green color to yellow orange and shortly afterwards, fruit falls prematurely. Presence of empty or partially filled fruits underneath tree is a sure sign of infestation.

Coffee Leaf folder larvae feed on leaves and sometime attack flowers and fruits. Adult is a small moth with light brown forewings. The eggs are laid in clusters on leaves. Development period is 5-6 weeks.

Control: Collect and destroy infested berries before and after harvest. Pick up all berries, including those that fall on the ground, to eliminate breeding and feeding sites of insects. Spray Endosulfan at recommended rates at 14 to 21 days interval or 4 to 5 times spraying during fruiting season. The first spraying should be done when the berries attain the size of a mungbean

Common Diseases and Control

Coffee Rust the most prevalent and destructive disease of coffee, Small, yellowish spots appear on lower surface of leaves; as spots enlarge, powdery yellow to orange spores are produced. Affected leaves drop and tree may die. To prevent, use resistant strains, spray susceptible varieties with copper fungicides at 2-3 week intervals at start of heavy rains.

Die-Back is characterized by drying of branches and twigs from to and downwards. Appearance of spots with concentric lines on both surfaces of seedlings, twigs, and berries. If severe affected, leaves fall, twig and branches dry. To control, maintain vigor of trees by fertilizing with the right kind and amount of nutrients at proper time; regulate plant growth to prevent overbearing by pruning and/or shade

Harvest Management

Maturity of berries is 6 to 8 months after blooming but varies on the environmental factors from region to region. In Mindanao, Arabica flower in January to May and berries are harvested in August to December. In Luzon, coffee trees bloom just after the first heavy rains in May and June, Arabica and Robusta berries are harvested in late December to March; Excelsa and Liberica later.

Individually pick berries (i.e priming) to avoid presence of pedicels. For quality beans, harvest only matured berries (i.e. berries turn red from its ground color.)

Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014




Corn ranks second to rice, not only in terms of area devoted to its production but it has been a staple food of about 20% of the total population of the Filipinos. Aside from this, the green corn, boiled or roasted, is a popular snack food and may also be cooked a vegetable or soup. Other by-products of corn include corn flour and syrup, sugar and oil. In terms of nutritive value, corn is richer source of vitamin A than polished rice. It contains high amounts of minerals such as calcium and phosphorous. Moreover, it is also a source of starch derivatives for oil, fibers and other industrial uses.

Corn has also been used as an important ingredients in animal feeds. Corn may be planted anytime of the year provided there is adequate soil moisture. However, it is best to plant from May to June during the wet season and from October to November during the dry season. (Source: Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 25 March 2014)

For Cost and Returns, you may visit the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.

For further assistance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.


Cultural Management

Land Preparation

Prepare a well-pulverized field for uniform germination and good root development. Plow at a depth of 15-20 centimeters when soil moisture is right. That is, when soil particles 15 cm below the surface separate and only thin portion sticks to the finger but no ball is formed. Harrow twice with 2-3 passings to break the clods.
If a disc plow is used, plow under corn stubbles at a depth of 18-20 cm. The use of dusc plow enables a farmer to utilize corn stubbles as additional source of fertilizer. Clayey and weedy fields require tow or more plowings and several harrowings.

Crop Establishment

1. Planting
To attain an optimum plant population density of 50,000 - 60,000 about 16-18 kilograms (kg) of hybrid seeds or 18-20 Open Pollinated Variety hybrid seeds per hectare is needed. Space the furrows with 75 cm interval/ Plant sees about 3-5 cm deep when the soil moisture is just right for planting, then cover the seeds with soil.

Thin seedlings to one plant per hill about 7-10 days after emergence.

Success in corn production depends on proper care and maintenance of the crop throughout its life cycle. Refer to the Management Guide for the Various Growth Stages of the Corn Plant.

2. Cultivation
Cultivation improves soil tilts and control weeds. Off-bar between furrows to aerate medium-textured or heavy soils 22-25 days after planting. Hilling-up 27-30 days after planting or just after side dressing the remaining recommended amount of nitrogen.
If the field is weedy, use an inter-row cultivator (paragut) or employ line weeding.

Nutrient Management

The rate of fertilizer should be based on the results of soil nutrient analysis. Soil samples may be submitted at the Municipal Agriculturist Office in the area or at the regional soils laboratory. Negotiate with the agricultural technologist in the area to determine the general fertilizer recommendation.

Otherwise, use 4 bags of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) per hectare as basal application in the furrows and cover the fertilizer with a thin layer of soil, about 2 cm thick. After 25-30 days of planting, side dress with 4 bags of ammonium sulfate or 2 bags of urea. Cover the fertilizer immediately by shallow hilling up.

During wet season, split application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer is recommended. Apply all the needed phosphorous and potassium and half of the recommended amount of N in the furrows before planting. Side dress the other half of N at least 4-5 cm away from the base of the plant 20-24 days after emergence or immediately before hilling-up when there is a right soil moisture. To attain higher yields apply animal manures and crop residues just before land preparation.

Due to the possibility of drought during the dry season, apply all the recommended amount of fertilizer in the furrows just before planting to provide all the needed nutrients to the plants. However, if supplemental irrigation is available, follow the application of fertilizer for the wet season. Cover the fertilizer with 2-4 cm soil to prevent seed injury. Organic fertilizer or compost may be applies in addition to the recommended inorganic fertilizer.

Weed Management

To optimize yield control weeds during the critical period - at 28-35 days after planting, should be removed. After this period, weeds may no longer reduce yield significantly.

Weeds can be effectively controlled by combination of two or more practices. It depends on weed species present, availability and comparative cost of control to be employed.

Some of the common weed control are:

1. Physical control

  • Thorough land preparation
  • Off-barring 17022 days after planting can control weeds and loosen the soil. Hilling up to 25 to 30 days after planting also reduce weed population.)
  • Inter-row cultivation
  • Hand weeding (or line weeding is recommended if necessary) Or a combination.
  • (Weeds can also be eliminated by cultivation before planting. Remove weed seeds before they produce seeds to reduce sources of weed seeds in the succeeding cropping season.)

2. Chemical Control

  • This can be employed through the use of selective and non-selective herbicides. Non-selective herbicides kill all vegetation they may come in contact with. Apply this kind of herbicides before crop emergence or immediately after planting or spraying between planted furrows.
  • Pre-emergence herbicides are effective against grasses and to some extent sedges and broad leaf weeds. However, it is not advisable to walk or roam around the sprayed area because weeds will grow on the footprints.
  • Apply post emergence herbicides when both the crop and weeds have already emerged.


Water Management

Insufficient or excessive soil moisture is a limiting factor in corn production. Excess in the rootzone within 36 hours injures the plants. Insufficient soil moisture during reproductive stage decreases yield from 20-30 percent. When there is no adequate moisture during tasseling stage, irrigate the cornfield by "flush irrigation" if available. Overhead or sprinkle irrigation may also be sued in elevated or sandy loam soil. In flat rolling furrow irrigation is advisable.

Pest Management

1. Corn Borer (Asiatic Corn Borer)


  • Eggs are flat, creamy, shiny and laid in mass (about 25-50 eggs/egg mass) in fish scale-like arrangement on both sides of the corn leaves. Incubation period is 4-5 days.
  • Newly hatched larvae are pinkish with black or brown heads. Later instars are creamy and brownish-yellow. It molts five times from 12-13 days.
  • The pupa is dark red and the pupal period is about 5-12 days,
  • Total development period from egg to adult emergence ranges from 27-52 days.
  • The adult is yellowish brown moth with waxy dark lines on wings with an expansion of about 35 mm.
  • Plant growth stages affected: Seedling to maturity


  • Pinhole lines lesions on leaves caused by first instar larvae.
  • Match head-size holes and elongated lesions on leaves and leaf sheaths caused by second and third instar larvae.
  • Broken stalks and leaves.
  • Premature drying of whole plant and ear

Control Measure:

  • Early and synchronous planting in contiguous areas using resistant varieties
  • Manual picking/crushing of eggs masses and larvae while inspecting the plants
  • Detasseling of clumped tassels one to two days after emergence or detasseling three rows out of four rows of corn plants
  • Trichogramma parasites at 33-35 days after planting (after hilling-up) at 3-4 days intervals.
  • Crop rotation coupled with weeds elimination.

2. White Grub (June Beetle)


  • The larval stage of the June beetle (simmawa or abal-abal) is fleshy, wrinkled and normally curved. It is white when newly hatched but turns light brown.
  • The full grown larva is pale yellow with blackish abdominal portion due to intestinal contents seen through transparent skin. The dorsal part is covered bu stout brownish and thickly setae. These are longer, weaker and fewer at the ventral surface along the sides of the body. The whole larval period lasts from 252 - 336 days.
  • Plant Growth stages affected: Emergence to seedling stage (especially during heavy infestation)


  • Larvae eats the roots of the corn plant
  • Irregular patches of stunted plant, yellowing or wilting plants

Control Measure:

  • Prepare land thoroughly before planting
  • Practice deep plowing in areas inspected to have chronic grub infestation
  • Seed treatment with chemicals
  • Incorporate corn stubbles (composted) in the soil for white grub to eat instead of the corn plant.

3. Corn Seedling Maggot


  • Eggs are elongated, peral-white turning dark when about to hatch, anterior and roundish, slightly curved and laid singly on the outer surface of the leaves. Incubation period is 2-3 days.
  • Newly hatched larvae are creamy white to transparent, elongated and taper towards the head end, becoming dark yellow in the last instar. Larvae undergo three instars from 8-18 days.
  • The pupa is ovoid and light to dark brown. Pupal period is 5-11 days
  • The adults are greenish-black with three blackish stripes on the back of the thorax and three pairs of black spots on the last abdominal segments.
  • Plant growth stages affected: emergence to early whorl


  • Leaf feeding lesions, curling and breaking of young leaves
  • Wilting, drying and rotting of central shoot
  • Infested seedlings show stunted growth and later may produce side tillers

Control Measure:

  • Synchronous planting in contiguous areas
  • Early planting in the growing season to escape high maggot population
  • Clean culture including the removal of alternate host plants
  • Seed treatment with thiodicarb or carbofuran ST before planting

4. Common Cutworms


  • Eggs are round and pale white and laid in mass on leaves or objects on the ground covered with yellowish-brown hairs. Incubation period is 3-5 days
  • Young larva is greenish with black band one-third of the length from head and a full-grown larva (developed from 20030 days) is green with bright yellow dorsal lone and lateral stripes with black spots.
  • The pupa is reddish brown and about 1.6 cm long. The pupation period in soil is from 6-10 days
  • The adult is about 20-25 mm long with wings (forewings are purplish-brown with numerous lines and spots and hind wings are whitish with narrow band along the center margins).
  • Plant growth stages affected: Emergence to Early Whorl


  • Scrapping of leaf tissues by young larvae, leaving irregular grayish white patches on the leaves
  • Older larvae may cut stems and leaves, including veins and midribs
  • Young plants may be completely defoliated by older larvae (third to sixth instars)

Control Measure:

  • Plow fields to remove weeds which may serve as alternate hosts.
  • Collect egg masses and crush them
  • Make small trenches around the field and put some cut grasses for shade. Collect hiding larvae during early morning
  • Chemical spraying if severe infestation (use pyrethroids)

5. Corn Semilooper


  • Eggs are pearl, white and spherical laid singly on leaves. Incubation period is 3 days
  • Larvae are greenish with lighter dorsal and lateral stripes and about 50 mm long. They have modes with lopping motion.
  • The pupa is light green then turns reddish brown later. The pupation period takes place either in silver cocoon on lower leaf surface or in the soil and lasts for 7 days.
  • The adult is brownish with golden bronze Y-shaped mark and white spot on outer wings.
  • Plant growth stages; Emergence (one leaf stage) top silking


  • Elongated lesions o shedding of leaves due to feedings on soft leaf tissues but sparing the veins and midrib
  • Corn silks are cut during silking stage

Control Measure:

  • Synchronous planting in contiguous areas.

6. Armyworms


Management for Various Grwoth Stages

The time of emergence at any of the critical growth stages of corn can be predicted in normally growing plants, based on the number of expanded leaves before flowering, the appearance of the reproductive organs and the kernel development.

The maturity stages start after the silking phase is about 115 days after emergence.
Growth Stages:

1. Emergence:

After sowing and under favorable conditions, the seeds swell and the embryo enlarges. The coleorhiza enclosing the radicle emerges first. The radicle elongates rapidly followed by the plumule.
About two to five seminal roots emerge at the base of the plumule. These roots and the radicle constitute the primary root of the young seedling. The first internode formed elongates to raise the plumule towards the surface of the ground. As soon as the coleoptile which encloses the plumule is exposed to light, it burst and two leaves emerge.
Adventitious roots develop at the node just below the surface of the ground. These become the permanent root system if the plant. Regardless of the depth of planting, the permanent roots develop only a few centimeters below the ground surface. The first internode between the seminal and permanent roots (mesocotyle) normally elongates to not more than five inches.

Management guide:
Depth of planting influences the length of time from planting to emergence. Seedlings from deep planted seeds have a greater depth of soil to penetrate. In addition, the temperature is cooler at greater depths and growth is slower.
Nutrients and food reserves in the seed generally supply the young plant adequately prior to emergence. Place the fertilizer in band to the side and slightly below the seed to allow the primary roots to easily get in contact with the fertilizer. Fertilizer placed too near the seed can result in salt injury to the young plant.

2. Leaf Stage

The emergence of two leaves marks the beginning of a new mode of growth of the plant. The roots at the base of the first two leaves elongate but have but yet branched or formed root hairs. However, the primary roots have many branches and root hairs.

Management guide:
Since the roots are relatively small, higher concentration of fertilizer nutrients is needed to stimulate early plant growth. However, the amount of nutrients required is relatively small. The fertilizer is effectively absorbed at this stage if placed in band where the primary roots get in contact with it. Roots are not attracted to this fertilizer band, so that the fertilizer must be placed where the root. It takes about a week from plant emergence to this stage.

3. Fourth Stage:

At this stage, roots of the first node branch develop root hairs. The primary roots grow very little, and usually die but new roots at the second node elongate. The tassel is initiated at the tip of the stem, but it is still below the soil surface. All the leaves and ear shoots have initiated.

Management guide:
Cultivating too near the plant after this stage destroys some of the permanent roots, Exposed leaves may be damaged but the plants may outgrow the damaged parts with minimal reduction in yield.

4. Sixth Leaf Stage:

The permanent roots of the first and second nodes are extensive and well-branched while new roots are elongating at the third node. The internodes of the fifth, sixth and ear shoots have been initiated and the growing point levels with the ground surface.

Management guide:
Since the nodal root system is now well-distributed in the soulm precise placement of fertilizer is less critical. However, the plant node begins to absorb greater amount of nutrients. Fertilizers should be applied in adequate amount to supply deficient nutrients in the soil.
Root worms may destroy the developing nodal roots and thereby restrict plant growth. Later, root development at higher nodes may result in plant recovery

Source: Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 25 March 2014

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