We finished transplanting almost all the plots by last Wednesday. It took 11 people 5 hours on April 8 and 9 people 4 hours on April 9. We coded all the plots and the layout is now like this:
The numbers correspond to the 7 different rice varieties we planted. 1~3 are varieties known and grown by the local farmers: Leonard, Schella (a low-yield but high-market value Haitian variety), and TCS10 (a high-yield variety developed by Taiwan). 4~6 are Madagascar varieties that the iF Foundation purchased from USAID: X360, X265, FOFIFA160. 7 is a Philippine variety the foundation have, but the staff do not know which exact variety it is. We decided to conduct some trials for it, but independent from the others, as shown in the picture. These 4 “Philippine” plots are each 6m x 21m in size. The plot that was supposed to be “3-Tra-B” (traditional TCS10 plot B) has a big mound taking over about 2/3 of the area. It was too difficult for people to remove it, so we did not plant in that plot. However, most farmers in the village are planting TCS10 this year, so we plan to collect yield data in some of their fields as another comparison in addition to Plot 3-Tra-A. As mentioned earlier, we have sowed extra seeds in the nursery for a couple of times to make up the loss. Most seedlings upon transplanting were at the age of 25~28 days. However, the last sowing was about 2 weeks later than the first, and seedlings developing from the latest nursery were not old enough yet to be transplanted into the traditional plots. The “Philippine” was planted at the last sowing and the seedlings were 11 days old on Wednesday, so we also transplanted its 2 SRI plots. By Wednesday afternoon, all the plots were filled except Plot 1-Tra-B, 7-Tra-A, 7Tra-B, which will be transplanted later when the seedlings for these plots are old enough.
(Transplanting traditional rice)
We hired some local farmers to help transplanting. They said that they planted 4-6 plants per hill in their own field. Since we do not have tons of seedlings available, we requested to plant 3-4 plants per hill, so we did not run out of seedlings.
(Seedlings of “Philippine” variety, 11 days old)
(Transplanting SRI rice)
Transplanting SRI plot of the “Philippine” variety. The Groundswell International Haiti has shown great interest in out SRI project, and an agronomist from the organization joined us learning and helping transplanting (the young man wearing orange-white-strip shirt in the photo).
After transplanting, we checked all the plots and found out that we seemed to have insect problems.
Many seedlings have such strips on leaves, and I suspected that the scars are caused by the insects shown below:
Almost every plant have 1-5 such insects sitting on the leaves, and we are trying to identify them.
Some seedlings have brownish spot on leaves, which looks like rice blast, but we are not sure.
And the weeds have come out. We scheduled to weed by next week. We have got 8 weeders of different types and will test how they suit the local condition.