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Hybrid corn varieties show potential in Cebu’s Asturias

Three hybrid corn varieties of Bayer led by DEKALB 9118S topped a corn competition in Asturias, Cebu with a computed yield of 8.3 metric tons per hectare (MT/ha) and are seen to uplift farmers’ lives in Cebu’s biggest corn-producing town.

Developed to have good resistance against tough corn diseases, particularly foliar disease, banded leaf sheath blight (BLSB), and stalk rot disease, DEKALB 9118S seized the highest net income standing from the local government-organized corn derby in Asturias. On return on investment, it was pegged at 84.7% showing a net income of more than P45,000 per hectare.

The corn derby was conducted in a 4.5-hectare farm in Asturias, Cebu owned by Virginia Farms. The group co-hosted the competition with the objective of assessing the performance of different hybrid corn varieties available in the market.

The municipality of Asturias and the provincial government of Cebu is aspiring to raise corn production while also helping raise the livelihood levels of farmers.

“Asturias is now the biggest in the whole of Cebu province in terms of land area planted to hybrid corn. We are also the highest corn yielding town,” according to Asturias Municipal Agriculturist Jade Mesias who co-administered the corn derby.

While the Cebu is not a major producer of yellow corn in the country, the province has a huge demand and relies on neighboring islands for its requirements. Given that, Asturias’ target is to grow the corn area there to meet the needs of feed millers in the province.

“Agriculture is the lifeblood of Asturias’s economy. The impact will be very significant, both socially and economically if we’re able to plant more area with hybrid corn,” said Mesias.

From the corn derby, other Bayer varieties that ranked second and third were DEKALB 9919S and DEKALB 6919S, respectively. DEKALB 9919S had an ROI of 78.7% with 7.9 MT/ha, while DEKALB 6919S obtained 71.3% ROI at 7.5 MT/ha. 

“Aside from being the top performer in the Asturias corn derby, DEKALB 9118S characteristics include high shelling recovery at 84%, which indicates heavy grains once the corn ears are removed from the cobs,” said Erwin Vibal, Grower Marketing Lead of Bayer Crop Science. “This is advantageous for end-users who require high yield output from corn production.”

Virginia Farms itself has been eyeing corn area expansion due to the significant demand for this feed input. It supplies meat products not only to Cebu but to the rest of Visayas region. The corn requirement for Cebu is estimated at 20 million kilos every month for swine feed.

The Cebu provincial government announced last year its Enhanced Countryside Development program with a total budget of P15 billion for agriculture. It is reported that at least P28 million is already allocated for investment in four yellow corn post-harvest facilities to be situated in strategic areas, including Bantayan Island and Camotes Island.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) was also reported to be allocating P454 million for Cebu’s agriculture sector in 2021.

Topics: Hybrid corn , Bayer , DEKALB 9118S , Asturias , Cebu
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