Were farmers wrong in rejecting a recommendation? The case of nitrogen at transplanting for irrigated rice
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Since 1982, the Philippines government has recommended that rice farmers apply half to two-thirds their nitrogen fertilizer 'basally' to drained fields before final harrowing and transplanting, and the rest at panicle initiation. Few farmers apply N basally, however. More than 200 farmers in three irrigated areas were interviewed to determine their rice crop management for wet seasons 1990 and 1991. Farmers continually adjust practices to fit their field conditions; and overall, these practices agree with research suggesting that yields do not increase with basal-N applications, and that N is optimally applied at mid-tillering and panicle initiation. Research leading to the basal-N recommendation is summarized, more recent research is introduced, and the need to understand farmers' practices inconsistent with recommendations is discussed.
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