Silage production training held for Lupao farmers

Thru the collaborative project of Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), farmer-cooperators acquired another promising income-generating activity out of silage commercialization.

A training in support of the Project titled “Commercialization of Grass/Forage Corn Silage for Dairy Buffaloes in Lupao through Technomart” was held on June 6-7 at the PCC, National Headquarters and Genepool, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. It encompassed lectures, actual silage-making demo and planning workshop among farmer-participants.

The two-day training was participated in by 14 farmers from barangay Parista, Lupao, Nueva Ecija.

Resource persons during the training were Dr. Eric P. Palacpac, R&D coordinator and Project Leader, Dr. Daniel L. Aquino, PCC’s Animal Nutrition Head and Technical Expert for the Project, Mr. Allan Nieves, manager of Dupont Pioneer of National Agronomy, Mr. Napoleon M. Liloc, VP operation of MCONDRY Plastic Products Inc., and Mr. Honorato M. Baltazar, PDO III of PCC and Business Organization Representative for the Project.

According to Dr. Palacpac, one purpose of the training was to fill in the necessary gaps of dairy farming such as forage scarcity, poor management practices by traditional farmers, poor body condition score (BCS), low milk yield, and poor reproduction.

Expected outputs and outcomes of the Project include commercialized silage, reduced forage scarcity and additional income generated among dairy buffalo farmers.

“When you commercialize silage, siguradong dagdag kita para sa inyo yan. Ang pagpoproduce kasi ng silage ay malaki ang potential hindi lamang sa domestic market maging sa labas ng bansa (You will surely have additional income, if you commercialize silage because silage production has a big potential not only in the domestic market but also abroad),” Dr. Palacpac said.

He added that the project activities have three phases; first is the capacity building for farmers, second is the product development and packaging and the last is the promotion, distribution and marketing of silage.

A hands-on demo on silage making followed the lectures using napier grasses and sorghum as silage materials. The participants chopped the said grasses using a mechanized forage chopper then sealed them in plastic silo-bags.

“Malaki ang naitulong ng training sa’min. Nagtatanim kasi kami ng napier, kapag marami ang ani, pwede naming buruhin at maging pagkain ng kalabaw. Kapag may natira sa binuro namin, pwede pa namin ibenta kaya kikita talaga kami (The training helped us a lot. We are planting Napier so if we get more yield, we can ensile those as feedstuff for our buffaloes. We can also sell the extra napier we harvested, so we can earn money),” Isagani Cajucom, team leader of Lupao farmers, said.

The technomart for silage is a three-year project of PCC and PCAARRD to help farmers not only to improve the milk production performance of their buffaloes but also to provide dairy buffalo farmers a way of getting additional income.

Farmer’s training highlights the value and benefits of UTRS

Farmer-cooperators can now have a possible means of getting additional income and improved milk production performance among their buffaloes thru the preparation of Urea-Treated Rice Straw (UTRS).

A training on the topic was held on June 4-5 at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), National Headquarters and Genepool, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija as part of a collaborative project of PCC and Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD). It involved lectures and actual UTRS preparation as well as the proper ensiling with the use of plastic bags.

Dr. Eric P. Palacpac, Dr. Daniel L. Aquino, Mr. Honorato Baltazar, all from PCC and Mr. Napoleon M. Liloc, VP Operations, Macondray Plastics served as resource speakers and facilitators in the training.

The training was participated in by 22 farmer-cooperators from LLanera, Nueva Ecija, 12 of which were from Punla Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC), Bosque Llanera, while 10 were from Kapitbahayan sa A. Mabini Producers Cooperative, Mabini, also in Llanera.

According to Dr. Daniel L. Aquino, project leader and Animal Nutrition Head, the purpose of the training was for the farmers to engage in, adopt and utilize UTRS to improve the milk production performance of their buffaloes.

“Ituturo sa kanila ang tamang paggamit at pagbuburo (UTRS), then later on makikita natin yung epekto sa milk production. Dagdag income din ito sa farmers, ‘pag natuto silang gumawa, isang opportunity yun para magkaro’n sila ng business (We will teach them the proper use and ensiling of UTRS, eventually we will see its effect on the milk yield. It is also an additional income for farmer-cooperators; if they learn how to make silage, then that would be another business opportunity for them),” Dr. Aquino said.

Rice straw alone is a poor quality roughage, as it has low crude protein and low digestibility, thus alkali treatment using urea is encouraged.

Rice straws are treated with urea solution, to improve its crude protein, digestibility and voluntary intake by buffaloes resulting in increased milk production performance, and income of dairy buffalo farmers.

“There are tons of rice straw in Nueva Ecija and it is not good and wise particularly to the environment to just burn them. There are other beneficial uses of rice straws, such as mulching materials, culture media for mushroom production, and more importantly as feedstuff for ruminants,” Dr. Eric P. Palacpac, R&D coordinator, said from his presentation.

Among other topics covered were production and utilization of UTRS, plastic bags for ensiling and economics of UTRS.

During the actual preparation on UTRS, farmers from both cooperatives were tasked to perform the proper ensiling of UTRS (1,000 kg) using plastic bags. Applying the accurate amount of urea, molasses and water was also done.

“Yung UTRS, pang supplement sa pagkain ng mga kalabaw, para hindi mamayat. Dapat maibigay mo yung pangangailangan ng kalabaw mo at yung sustansiya ng pagkain niya para makapagbigay siya ng magandang gatas, give and take process dapat. Pwede pa naming pagkakitaan ang pagbuburo dahil mabebenta namin ng dalawang piso kada isang kilo ang magagawa namin, (UTRS is actually a food supplement among buffaloes to keep them healthy. It should be a give-and-take process. As you require a good quality of milk from your buffalo, in return, you have to ensure that they also receive proper care and nutrition),” Epitacio Arcega, Barangay Captain of Mabini LLanera, said.

UTRS has to be ensiled for three weeks to one month before opening so as to let the steam or gas drop-off. One thousand kilogram (1,000 kg) of ensiled UTRS can be fed to a single buffalo for one month.

“Marami akong natutunan, unang-una ang tamang paggamit ng UTRS, dati kasi ang pinapakain lang namin ay puro ginikan at damo, nagkukulang sa sustansiya yung kalabaw, kaya para mas maging masustansiya yung kinakain nila, itinuro samin yung UTRS at pagbuburo. (I learned a lot, first is the proper use of UTRS. We used to feed our buffaloes with weeds as forage thus they lack nutrients. So to improve the nutritive value of feedstuff, we were introduced to the use of UTRS and silage),” Herminia Mallari, Chairman of Kapitbahayan Cooperative, said.

MOA on dairy chain model formed up in Pangasinan

In an effort to further promote a profitable carabao-based enterprise among smallhold farmers in Eastern Pangasinan, the Philippine Carabao Center partnered with several organizations thru a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to showcase a complete dairy chain model for the province.

The project titled “Complete Dairy Chain Model for Eastern Pangasinan,” demonstrates a chain of interdependent processes needed for local dairy development. It also provides technical know-how necessary for a successful carabao dairying to smallhold dairy producers.

The formalization of the MOA was facilitated by the PCC at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University in La Union, headed by Director Gloria M. Dela Cruz.

Collaborating with PCC in this project is the BUDHI ng Pilipinas Foundation, Inc. which is a non-profit, non-stock corporation operating in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan; Tulong Dairy Farmers Association (Tulong DFA) which is an organization of smallhold dairy farmers in Tulong, Urdaneta City; and SHAHANI GATAS ng KALABAW Products Inc. (SGKP), a dairy processing and marketing entity in Urdaneta City.

Signatories of the MOA were former Senator Leticia V. Ramos-Shahani (SGKP proprietor), Anastacio A. Millar, Sr. (President, Tulong DFA), Ester C. Lomboy (President, BUDHI Foundation) and Dr. Libertado C. Cruz (Executive Director, PCC).
Under the agreement, PCC will provide necessary technologies and trainings to members of the Tulong DFA and other smallhold dairy producers in Pangasinan thru the establishment of a “Dairy Farmers School.”

PCC is also committed to help acquire appropriate milk processing equipment and provide fund for the construction of a processing cum product outlet facility named “Best Dairy Product Outlet” (BDPO) which aims to scale-up the present dairy business operation into a more competitive and self-liquidating entity.

Members of Tulong DFA, on the other hand, will support the project thru practicing technologies taught at the Dairy Farmers School. The cooperative is also responsible in encouraging the adoption of carabao-based enterprises among other smallhold farmers in Pangasinan.

Moreover, based on the agreement, SGKP will purchase its raw milk requirements from Tulong DFA members and other smallhold dairy farmers in Pangasinan. It will also build market linkages for the distribution and marketing of carabao’s milk and milk products.

According to Dr. Annabelle Sarabia, operations chief of PCC, the agency committed to establish an SGKP product outlet along a section of McArthur Highway near Urdaneta City to demonstrate the complete supply chain in the area.

With appropriate training facilities and demonstration farm, BUDHI Foundation, for its part, will host the Dairy Farmers School. It will also assist in mobilizing educational institutions to promote carabao’s milk products.

“It is a model of dairy chain from production up to market with farmers using best practices on carabao management and dairying,” Dr. Sarabia summarizes the project.

It is hoped that the project will be replicated in other regions to strengthen and hasten the development of carabao-based enterprise in the country.

Research on use of matured oocytes taken from slaughter-house wins award

A completed research study titled “Buffalo and Bovine Embryo Development from In-vitro Matured Oocytes Derived from Slaughter House through Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Technique (ICSI)” won the best paper award in the recent R&D In-House Review of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).

The study tackled the ICSI technique in facilitating the genetic improvement of livestock. It was conducted to develop skills using the technique and to establish ICSI procedure for buffaloes.

The study was also meant to examine the development of buffalo embryos after ICSI and to establish efficient activation protocols.

Dr. Prudencio B. Pedro, scientist and researcher of the PCC’s Reproductive Biotechnology Unit, led the team that conducted the study. Other members of the team were Dr. Eufrocina P. Atabay, Dr. Edwin C. Atabay, Dr. Flocerfida P. Aquino, Dr. Lerma C. Ocampo, Dr. Excel Rio S. Maylem and Dr. Libertado C. Cruz.

Dr. Pedro presented the study in one of the sessions of the in-house review held last May 29-30 at the PCC National Headquarters and Genepool, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

Dr. Pedro also romped-off with the best presenter award.

The holding of the in-house review was coordinated by the Research and Development (R&D) unit of PCC under Dr. Eric P. Palacpac.

“A total of 32 research studies, 18 of which are undergraduate student thesis while 14 are PCC led, were presented during the in-house review,” Dr. Palacpac said.

The student thesis was conducted under the guidance and supervision of particular researchers.

The study titled “Effectiveness of Computer Game in Improving Elementary School Pupil’s Intake of Fresh Buffalo Milk”, won the award for best undergraduate student research. The student who conducted the research was Ian Kim P. Gahoy as supervised by Rotacio S. Gravoso from the Visayas State University. Mr. Gahoy also presented the paper during the event.

Their study measured the effectiveness of a customized computer game in children’s intake of fresh buffalo milk. It was also designed to promote milk drinking to children for nutritional purposes.

The in-house review, Dr. Palacpac said was participated in by PCC scientists and researchers who have on-going or completed research studies. The students, on the other hand, were from the PCC regional centers’ host universities who conducted their undergraduate thesis.

Information generated from the completed researches are expected to be used or applied in continuing efforts for carabao development in the country.