Soil fertility map reaches Ilocos Norte


LAOAG CITY — Ilocos farmers will no longer have to guess the amount of fertilizer to be applied into their crops as a color-coded soil fertility map is now available in Region 1.

Fanny Miguel of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Agriculture Office said Thursday, the map serves as a guide for farmers in identifying the kind and amount of fertilizers to apply. At the same time, it helps identify the crops which are suitable to plant in a specific parcel of agricultural lot.

It will also provide them access to significant information such as extent of area surveyed (in hectares), irrigated and non-irrigated areas and the level or status of soil fertility.

The output presentation and turnover ceremony of the map to the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan were held in San Fernando City, La Union Wednesday.

Miguel said this initiative is in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to the Agriculture department to conduct a nationwide soil analysis to determine areas most suitable for rice farming and optimize production with the use of effective soil rehabilitation and fertilization.

In 2016, the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) led the national soil sampling and testing project in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture-Region 1 and concerned local government units.

“Based on the color-coded map, there is a corresponding fertilizer recommendation for rice. But it can also be used for other crops but with the guidance of agricultural extension workers to compute for the fertilizer requirement of a particular crop or they can also consult the nearest soil laboratory,” she added.

Covering about 47 major rice producing provinces of the country, soil samples were collected and scientifically analyzed by the BSWM. Results were illustrated in a map for quick reference and understanding among target users.