JULY 5, 2018-NEW HYBRID IS RESISTANT TO CORN EAR ROT
HAPPY CORN PLANTER – Merlinda Malicay is all smiles as she shows the big ears of NK306BtGT that she harvested from her farm in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City. Before planting the new variety, she usually got poor harvest from her corn crop because of the Diplodia ear rot disease that greatly reduced the yield of the old varieties. A new corn hybrid from Syngenta is proving to be the answer to a fungal disease that has been causing a lot of losses in previous years to corn planters in the upland areas in Bukidnon and other high elevation areas. The new hybrid is NK306BtGT which has been proven by corn planters in the uplands of Bukidnon to be resistant to the Diplodia Ear Rot or DER, a destructive fungal disease that causes what the local planters call “butikol” or “gaob”. The disease is characterized by a grayish or grayish brown mold in the ears or kernels, eventually resulting in the rotting of the ears. Rosalia Ragmac, 42, a corn grower from San Vicente, Sumilao, Bukidnon, recalls that for more than ten years now, their corn plants had been affected by the disease so that with their poor harvest they usually could not pay for the money borrowed to finance their five-hectare farm. Thanks to Syngenta, its new variety, NK306BtGT, is proving to be the answer to the corn growers’ problem of Diplodia Ear Rot. Duanne Makabudbud, Syngenta’s Corn Product Selection Lead, said that the new hybrid performs well in upland and high elevation areas and in areas where the DER disease is prevalent. It is recommended for both wet and dry season planting in Mindanao. The new hybrid is also resistant to stalk rot and foliar diseases. It is also known to perform well under poor soils and under adverse weather conditions. It can be planted at a density of 71,000 to 80,000 plants per hectare with a potential yield of 10-12 tons per hectare. Both financiers and corn planters are satisfied with the good performance of NK306BtGT with its high yield and agronomic performance. These include Marilou Pajal of Capinonan, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon (a financier), Randolf Leuterio, 58, a self-financed grower from Tamboboan, Claveria, Misamis Oriental, and Merlinda Malicay, 47.