In Rizal, 90 percent of palay areas were already harvested. In Pililia, Baras and Morong, harvesting of watermelon and muskmelon was in peak season.
In Cavite, some palay farmers fully recovered from the effects of rice black bug (RBB). A prominent palay farmer with almost 100 hectares of palay under his stewardship said his harvest for April reached 100 cavans per hectare. He normally attains this feat during the second quarter harvest prior to the onslaught of RBB. However, most of the farmers in the area were not yet fully convinced that the problem from RBB was over. Some speculated that the drop in RBB infestation was just because of the very hot weather condition experienced this summer and the RBB infestation may rise again during the rainy months of July and August. To boost farmers' confidence, the DA distributed free supply of metarisium to affected farmers in the area.
In Laguna, harvesting of palay in most areas was over except for few places with late planting. Other farmers started land preparation, particularly, those with irrigation. In Galalan, Pangil, one (1) hectare of organically produced chili pepper (hot Asia variety) was harvested. The new hot chili pepper variety originated in Korea.
In Quezon, harvesting of irrigated palay was on-going. Production of palay in Infanta decreased by 15 percent due to frequent rains during maturing stage. Production of okra, pechay, stringbeans, eggplant and ginger increased owing to good weather during growing stage while area planted for these vegetables was down this month because of hot weather.
Harvesting of calamansi was on-going in Rosario, Batangas. Production decreased as number of bearing trees harvested dropped.
In Rizal, the abundance of natural food in Laguna Lake resulted in bigger sizes of harvests which caused a positive growth in inland fishing.
In Dolores, Quezon, harvesting of tilapia increased. The stable water temperature favored the growth of tilapia, thus, its lower mortality rate.
Most aquafarm operators and fisherfolk in Laguna are expecting bigger production for the second quarter due to good weather condition.
In Laurel, Batangas, harvesting of 45 fish cages was noted. About 6,000 to 7,000 kilograms of tilapia were harvested per cage. Meanwhile, supply of Indian sardines (dumpilas) was abundant at the Batangas City Public Market.
3. PRICES AND MARKET SUPPLY
In Quezon, prices of backyard hogs for slaughter were stable. Inventory was low.
In Rizal, prices of tomato and calamansi increased with limited supply.
In Quezon, prices per kilogram of okra, radish, pechay, stringbeans, eggplant and ginger decreased by P5.00 to P7.00 as a result of increased production while prices of tilapia and marine species were still high because of high price of fuel.
Retail prices of fish at the Imus Public Market dropped compared with last month's records due to limited supply. Prices per kilogram of bisugo decreased by 13.46 percent or P206.21 to P178.46; sap-sap, 5.24 percent or P197.00 to P186.67; salay, 4.70 percent or P167.14 to P159.20; and talakitok, 9.91percent, or P308.83 to P277.78.
Still in Cavite, prices per kilogram of pork lean meat and chicken dipped by 5.10 percent and 2.07 percent, respectively, compared with last month's record or from P196.00 to P186.00 and P134.08 to P131.30, respectively. Adequate supply was noted.
Price of hog liveweight increased due to low supply of fatteners. Backyard raisers sold their sows because of very low conception/pregnancy rate.
4. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, PROGRAMS, POLICIES AND GOVERNMENT INTERVENTIONS
The Provincial Veterinarian conducted vaccination of swine in Barangays Canlogan, Calero and Lanang, Rizal.
The Provincial Coconut Development Officer in Cavite reported the establishment of six (6) coconut nurseries at six (6) selected sites in the province. The nurseries were in Biga, Silang with 600 seed nuts sown; Trece Martires National High School in Trece Martires City with 400 seed nuts sown; Tambo Ilaya in Indang with 3,200 seed nuts sown; Talipus-ngo in Maragondon with 1,000 seed nuts sown; Urdaneta in Magallanes also with 1,000 and the DA Municipal Nursery in Gen. Aguinaldo with 1,108 seed nuts sown. Out of 7,308 seed nuts sown, 1,065 were germinated and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is expecting to attain a higher germination rate by June or July with the coming of the rainy season.
The establishment of Corn Post-harvest Processing Center in San Andres, Quezon was on-going. The project was funded by the DA-RFU IV-A and the provincial government.
The La Laguna Festival was conducted on April 20-29, 2012. The eventful festivity was participated in by 30 municipalities showcasing agricultural products and by-products in their respective booths.
In Laguna, Farmers' Field School on Palay Check/Techno Demo was held in Bucal, Calamba; Cabanbanan, Pagsanjan; Malaking Ambiling, Magdalena; Pagahan, Mabitac; and Isla, Pangilin with respective dates from April 3, 18 and 22, 2012. Likewise, the Integrated Pest Management/Techno Demo on Hybrid Rice was conducted in Victoria, Cavinti, Pagsanjan and Sta. Cruz covering a total of 7.2 hectares.
In Batangas City, 1,000 fingerlings of tilapia were cultured in marine fishcages as part of the demo project of BFAR Batangas. The demo farm was mainly for research purposes.
5. TRAINING, SEMINARS, WORKSHOPS AND MEETINGS
A cooperative seminar was held in Mabitac, Laguna on April 19, 2012 and was facilitated by the Philippine Cooperative Development Office staff led by Mr. Edwin Bautista. The pre-membership education seminar included lectures and open discussions about coop listing, values and principles and basic procedures from organizing to registering the coop to the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). Twenty six (26) participants attended the coop seminar.
Selected Municipal Agriculture Officers (MAOs) and Agricultural Technicians in Rizal attended rice production for other eco system and community seed banking at Los Banos, Laguna last April 11-13, 2012.
The Launching Program, Phase 1 of Corn-Based Farmers-Scientist RDE Training Program (FSTP) for Sustainable Agricultural Development in Quezon was held last April 23, 2012 in Catanauan and April 24, 2012 in Buenavista. The event was attended by prospective farmer participants, DA's partner agencies and the provincial government.
An Egg Festival coupled with the egg cooking contest was held last April 11, 2012 at the Lyceum of the Philippines in Batangas.
6. WEATHER SITUATION
Hot, sunny weather prevailed. The weather condition significantly affected the planting situation and schedule of vegetable farmers in the region.