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PIA Press Release
2010/10/22

Lunar cycle can help control crop pests, DavNor agriculturist says

By Jean Duron-Abangan

Carmen, Davao del Norte (22 October) -- Have you ever heard your grandparents talking about planting based on movements of the moon?

We may have considered such talks as mythical but Provincial Agriculture Office (PAGRO) chief Dominador Encarnacion in an interview said, planting based on lunar cycle is scientific, and it even forms an integral part of Integrated Production and Pest Management (IPPM).

Encarnacion said lunar cycle planting is one of the means applied to control stem borers without using synthetic chemicals.

Usually feasting on rice, stem borers breed when the night is bright or during full moon, so farmers have to see to it that rice ripens after such moon cycle or when nights are dark to save their harvest from infestation, Encarnacion said.

Farmers practicing IPPM are also taught other means of pest management and control, but planting based on the lunar cycle plays an important role in ensuring good harvest, he said.

"It is not just talks of the olden days but it has a scientific basis," he said of lunar cycle planting.

Planting with the lunar cycle is said to be "a way to produce healthier crops and maintain beautiful, natural gardens year round."

"The moon's influence on the Earth's water table, as seen with the tides of the sea, affects everything on the planet, including the atmosphere, plants, animals and the entire biosphere. By planting with the lunar cycle one can determine the water requirements needed by crops, as well as the best times to plant," states a part of information culled from www.ehow.com

To do away with chemical-based farming, PAGRO has been advocating natural means of pest management to farmers through Farmers' Field School and through classroom discussions in public schools.

The provincial government of Davao del Norte yesterday (Thursday) marked the 16th Annual Integrated Pest Management and FFS Congress that was held at the Gymnasium of the municipality of Carmen, a rice-field town of the province.

Encarnacion said PAGRO had gone quite a long way in advocating IPPM among farmer and making them adopt such way of pest control and management using organic means.

In fact about 60 to 70 percent of the farming population in Davao del Norte are now applying IPPM in their crop production, he said.

PAGRO has also continued touching based with public elementary and high schools even after the Netherlands World Education project on integrated pest management ended in 2007.

IPM education in school involves actual planting of vegetables, identifying of friendly insects and pests, letting students decide when to apply chemicals and when not to apply such, and how to concoct organic substances to control pests, he said. (PIAXI) [top]

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