Conservation Tillage Practices for Corn Production [Philippines]

"Tipid Saka"

technologies_1021 - Philippines

Completeness: 67%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:

Jasper Manalo

Monsanto Philippines


SLM specialist:

Edicer Ocampo Jr



Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Farming Systems and Soil Resources Institute, University of the Philippines Los (Farming Systems and Soil Resources Institute, University of the Philippines Los) - Philippines
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Monsanto Philippines Inc. - Philippines

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Conservation Tillage Technology (Zero Tillage) or "Tipid Saka" - A crop production system which focuses on soil conservation and reducing excessive tillage operations, reduces labor and farm inputs while increasing productivity and profitability

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Brief Description about Conservation Tillage Technology

Conservation tillage is the practice of planting seeds through the stubble of last season’s crop, rather than plowing and disking the field. The stubble protects topsoil against loss to wind and rain and reduces chemical run-off to streams. By not plowing, farmers also conserve soil moisture, which can reduce irrigation demands. Farmers can save fuel by reducing the number of farm machinery passes across their fields. In simple terms, Conservation Tillage can be said to lie along a continuum of two other techniques:

Minimum Tillage - mouldboard plowing is replaced by light tillage with tined implements, with or without a low toxicity non-residual herbicide to eliminate both perennial and annual weeds. 30% or more of the soil surface is kept covered by soil residues until final seedbed preparation. Conventional planting equipment can normally be used. Zero Tillage - planting is normally conducted without any preparatory tillage, or seedbed preparation. Normally, this technique requires specialized machinery for planting which can displace residues from the previous crop. A low toxicity non-residual herbicide application is recommended where growing weeds are present. There are numerous potential advantages of conservation tillage:

Farming Benefits
For farmers the primary benefits of CT, achieved with any loss of yields, include:
- More sustainable farming due to dramatic reductions in soil erosion caused by water or wind
- More efficient conservation and utilization of water under dryland conditions
- Improved energy efficiency as a result of reduced fuel requirements associated with fewer field operations
- Greater crop and farm profitability through reduced direct and indirect costs for chemicals, fuel and labor.

Environmental Benefits
At the same time, CT offers a number of significant benefits to the environment, these include:
- Greater biodiversity than with standard cultivation practices where the surface has no crop residues
- Reduces the build-up of soil sediments in reservoirs, drainage, ditches, etc. caused by soil erosion
- Less pollution of drinking water sources caused by run-off of soil, fertilizers and pesticides
- Reduced CO2 emissions due to increased soil organic matter level

Furthermore, crops grown without tillage use water more efficiently, the water-holding capacity of the soil increases, and water losses from runoff and evaporation are reduced. For crops grown without irrigation in drought-prone soils, this more efficient water use can translate into higher yields. In addition, soil organic matter and populations of beneficial insects are maintained, soil and nutrients are less likely to be lost from the field and less time and labor is required to prepare the field for planting. In general, the greatest advantages of reduced tillage are realized on soils prone to erosion and drought. Also achieved are greater water-stability of surface soil aggregates, higher microbial activity and earthworm populations and higher total carbon. Soil loss is less from sprinkler irrigation than in the plow treatment.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:

San Jose, Abra de Ilog, Sta. Cruz, Sablayan

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, specify area covered (in km2):


If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 100-1,000 km2

"Tipid Saka" is being practiced by farmers in the sites of San Jose, Mindoro Occidental since the dry season cropping (1999-2000) with the entry of UPLB Corn project and Monsanto Philippines, Inc.
Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 100 km2.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

Although the technology has long been practiced by farmers particularly in the upland areas, zero tillage practices for corn production after rice was introduced in the SWC sites of Mindoro Occidental by the UPLB Corn project through the "Tipid Saka technology of Mosanto Philippines, Inc.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied



  • Annual cropping
  • Tree and shrub cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • cereals - maize
  • tobacco
  • vegetables - other
  • rice
Tree and shrub cropping - Specify crops:
  • fruits, other
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2

Longest growing period in days: 150Longest growing period from month to month: Jun - OctSecond longest growing period in days: 120Second longest growing period from month to month: May - Sep


Major cash crop: rice, corn
Major food crop: rice, vegetables
Other: fruits, tobacco

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Continuous salinization due to intrusion of salt water and soil fertility decline. Loss of topsoil by water erosion seriously affects soil productivity, degrades water quality and causes costly sedimentation problems.

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): Soil productivity decline; need more inputs to maintain and increase crop yield.

Type of cropping system and major crops comments: Generally, first crop of rice is planted in early part of June nad harvest in mid October. Followed by green corn and/or vegetables in November and harvested in February. Yellow corn is planted in December and harvested in March to April.

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

Also mixed rainfed - irrigated is common but less used than rainfed

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • minimal soil disturbance
  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)
  • cost reduction

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A3: Soil surface treatment
A3: Differentiate tillage systems:

A 3.1: No tillage


Main measures: agronomic measures

Type of agronomic measures: mulching, zero tillage / no-till

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
water degradation

water degradation

  • Ha: aridification

Main type of degradation addressed: Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion, Ha: aridification

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation

Main goals: prevention of land degradation

Secondary goals: mitigation / reduction of land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: low

Technical knowledge required for land users: low

Material/ species: crop residues, rice stubbles
Remarks: crop residues serve as mulching materials once killed by POWER herbicide

Zero tillage / no-till
Remarks: application of POWER herbicide 7-10 days after irrigation

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology area
Specify currency used for cost calculations:
  • USD
Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour vouluntarily and paid ha 1.0 147.6 147.6 100.0
Labour post harvest ha 1.0 200.0 200.0
Plant material seed ha 1.0 30.0 30.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides fertilizer ha 1.0 60.0 60.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides biocides ha 1.0 1.6 1.6 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides BIO-N ha 1.0 2.0 2.0 100.0
Other man person days ha 1.0 70.0 70.0 100.0
Other marketing: transportation ha 1.0 20.0 20.0 100.0
Other marketing: packaging ha 1.0 10.0 10.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 541.2
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 541.2

Duration of establishment phase: 0 month(s)

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. 1st side dressing, Release of trichogramma early vegetative stage / each cropping season
2. 2nd side dressing, Off-barring and hilling-up vegetative stage / each cropping season
3. Detasseling late vegetative stage / each cropping season
4. Spray POWER herbicide, Planting onset of rainy season / each cropping season
5. Retouch application of POWER herbicide, Replanting onset of rainy season / each cropping season

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)


Machinery/ tools: plow, harrow, hand tractor

Per hectare of land

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Land cultivation- zero tillage offset the costs incurred during land preparation. Labor costs for hand tractor and carabao-drawn plows are substituted by costs of spraying POWER herbicide which is significantly less expensive

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specify average annual rainfall (if known), in mm:


Agro-climatic zone
  • humid
  • sub-humid

Thermal climate class: tropics

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Landfroms: Area has generally flat topography located along wide plains.
Slopes: Small isoloated areas have slope of 0-2%

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil texture is medium andtextural analysis of samples show that the soils are silt loam.
Soil feritlity is low and the areas have high potential soil salinity problem.
The soil water storage has a capcity of 53.66% to 77.53%.

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
  • average
Level of mechanization:
  • animal traction
  • mechanized/ motorized
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Population density: 50-100 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 3% - 4%

and own 15% of the land.
5% of the land users are average wealthy and own 45% of the land.
70% of the land users are poor and own 25% of the land.
25% of the land users are poor and own 15% of the land.

Off-farm income specification: Carpentry, plumbing, business, offer of labor services to neighbors

Market orientation of production system: mixed (subsistence and commercia (Corn)l: Sold to feed millers, surplus is kept for next cropping.

Level of mechanisation: Rich farmers can afford to rent trators but Carabao-drawn plow is still dominant among averaged income farmers.

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • small-scale

2-5 ha also common but lowest ranked

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, not titled
Land use rights:
  • leased

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


crop production

Income and costs

farm income



Other socio-economic impacts

input constraints


Socio-cultural impacts

SLM/ land degradation knowledge


conflict mitigation


Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

excess water drainage


soil moisture


soil loss

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


soil compaction

Climate and disaster risk reduction

flood impacts


wind velocity

Other ecological impacts

soil fertility


6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:

very positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

very positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 11-50%
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

300 households

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 91-100%

20% of land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

300 land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

Comments on spontaneous adoption: estimates

There is a strong trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: Multinational company such as Monsanto Philippines, Inc. Continuously disseminate the technology through promotion of POWER herbicide

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Easy to establish and maintain
Improved production efficiency
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Easy to establish and maintain
Improved production efficiency
Increase soil water storage

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Soil compaction and flooding
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Soil compaction and flooding

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Labios, R.V. Et al. 200-2002," Conservation Tillage Practices in Corn Production After Rice: A Case in San Jose, Mindoro Occidenta"l. Pamhplet published by UPLB, DA-BAR, and National Corn RDE Network. P33

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Labios, R.V., Robles, A.Y., Javier, P.A., Garcia, M.U., Gonzales, P.G., Luis, E.M., Labios, J.D., Medina, C.M., Valencia, G.Z., Tamisin, L.L., Ocampo, E.P. Jr., Miciano, D.M. 1999. Annual Report. Enhancing Adaptation and Utilization of Location Sp

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Manalo, J.O. 2000. Tipid Saka Technology. Monsanto Philippines, Inc. 7th Floor Ayala Life FGU Center, Madrigal Business Park, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

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