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PIA Press Release

Cloud seeding starts as sectors feel drought

Tagbilaran City (6 February) -- Cloud seeding operations in the Visayas has started to save the billion peso sugar industry, says the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).

The operations started as soon as the farmers felt the slow arrival of El Niņo in the region, even as regions in the country's north have felt the searing heat, reports from the agriculture agency bared.

Around 230,560 hectares of rice and 202,471 hectares of corn in the Cagayan Valley Region has been affected, reports the Department of Agriculture.

In the Visayas, Negros Occidental, the country's Sugar Industry capital has already felt the drought that the local Agricultural Office of Negros Occidental has asked the BSWM cloud seeding operations support.

BSWM validated the reports and assessed 7,000 hectares of rice and 343 hectares of corn in its reproductive stages already affected there.

Around 28,000 more hectares of newly planted and rationed sugarcane in the municipalities of Magallon, Himaymaylan, Hinigaran and La Castellana are already threatened, prompting authorities to fly in.

Through the BSWM, cloud seeding operation commenced last February 1, 2010 and had already completed a total of 9 sorties.

Cloud seeding operations will continue in the next few months as the El Niņo phenomenon worsens. Initial reports showed that rains were already felt in some parts of the province.

The Bureau of Soils and Water Management is also facilitating the deployment of aircraft to conduct cloud seeding operations over Regions 4 and 11.

Right now, severely affected areas are Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon (CALABARZON) and Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte in Mindanao, reports said. (PIA) [top]

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