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This is true, given the current recommended rates of organic

fertilizers applied. The rates often recommended range from eight to ten 50-kg bags per hectare (400-500 kg) with a moisture content of 35 percent. Since soil organic matter has a role in forming aggregate soil structure, it is unlikely that such a soil parameter could be improved in such a short period especially in rice soils where puddling is a common practice in the preparation of the land for planting.

Organic fertilizer is not the sole factor in improving the quality of the food product, such as increased antioxidant content.

A study in the US showed that it is not the application of organic farming alone that is the reason behind the increase in antioxidants (in this study, the antioxidants studied were polyphenols). Polyphenol content could even be higher in plants applied with inorganic fertilizers for as long as no pesticides were applied.

It cannot be denied, however, that organic materials benefit crop production. Farmers are still encouraged to apply organic materials especially crop residues and farm wastes like animal manure. Proper combination of chemical fertilizers and organic materials remain to be the wiser option.

Conclusion And Recommendation

Despite these disparities, soil organic matter has an important role in increasing the efficiency of nutrient use from chemical fertilizers.

A strategy that can be used to successfully improve and sustain the productivity of soils is to apply farm wastes (crop residues and farm manure) – which are organic – in combination with chemical fertilizers, taking as added consideration the alleviation of limiting micronutrients.

When organic fertilizers are applied with inorganic fertilizers, there is a greater chance for us to sustain fairly high yields and improve soil productivity.

Thus, when organic fertilizers are applied with inorganic fertilizers, there is a greater chance to sustain fairly high yields and improve soil productivity. But we continue to strongly advise farmers to return to the land all farm wastes, i.e., animal manures and crop residues, rather than rely heavily on commercial organic fertilizers. Through this, farmers could be assured of obtaining high yields required to feed the ever- increasing population in the country.

A note to contributors

All About Rice encourages submissions dealing with timely, relevant, and exciting issues and new developments on rice. This paper will come out quarterly. Submissions should provide additional information that will help readers understand specific issues, mobilize public support, and increase appreciation for this staple food and important cultural icon.

Please include a brief statement of the objective/s of the article, a short description of the issue being highlighted, and a discussion of the important points. Limit each submission to approximately three to four pages of double-spaced, typewritten text. Illustrations and photos are encouraged.

Send manuscripts, correspondence, and comments or suggestions by mail or e-mail to:

The Asia Rice Foundation Los Baños, 4031 Laguna Philippines Tel/Fax: (63-49) 536-2285 Email: asiarice@laguna.net Web site: http://www.asiarice.org

Disclaimer Contents and statements expressed in this publication are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the ARF.

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