Soil erosion is one of the major causes of flooding in some parts of the country. Degraded land or sloping areas are more prone to flooding. And when flooding occurs, more problems are expected to come for the affected communities.
And to lessen this kind of problem, a research team headed by Gil Magsino of the University of the Philippines at Los Banos conducted a study that would about to solve the problems of soil erosion.
The team said that one way of controlling soil erosion is through the use of agricultural technology to conserve soil health and prevent erosion, especially during storms and floods.
The five-year study is entitled Sagip-Lupa: Soil Conservation Technology and Weed Management. The study is tracking the herbicide use over four years in demo sites in Benguet, Batangas, Quezon, Isabela and Nueva Ecija, and concluded that the use of herbicides dramatically reduced soil erosion by minimizing hand weeding and tilling.
Magsino said in their research that crops are only vulnerable to weeds during the first third of their life span, so when crops are already big enough, the presence of weeds is actually beneficial since their roots stop the soil from being easily eroded.
The study also focuses on the specific use of the herbicide paraquat at 3 liters per hectare in the demo sites. Results showed significant soil-erosion reduction in all Sagip-Lupa (SL) sites as compared with Farmers’ Practice (FP).
SL percent soil-erosion reduction over FP in Quezon over a period of four years was 62.59 percent, 61.42 percent in Batangas, 49.08 percent in Benguet and 64.47 percent in Isabela compared with FP.
With the results given, herbicide in action found to be useful in destroying some parts of the weeds and also in keeping its roots systems intact to hold the soil together that further prevents the dissipation of nutrients from the soil itself, thereby promoting the soil’s nutrient content and fertility.
And to benefit from the uses of this herbicide in preventing soil erosion, the use of paraquat should be handled by trained technicians and local distributors.
Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority is now working to the full compliance of its requirements in using the herbicide paraquat and make it available for some framers in Cordilleras. [via uplb.edu.ph]