PH partners learn about mechanized straw collection
To introduce the principle of rice straw baler as a technology option for sustainable rice straw management in the Philippines, members of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), and Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) were trained to operate and troubleshoot rice straw balers.
Rice straw is a major residue in Philippine rice farms. Due to lack of awareness about properly disposing rice straw, farm owners resort to burning tons of the material, which in turn exposes the environment to major hazards.
The negative effects of burning rice straw not only affects the farmers, but everything and everyone in the vicinity.
One of the major technological developments that makes rice straw disposal more efficient is the rice straw baler.
This machine can pick up and collect loose straw in the field, and reduce it into compact bales that can be easily handled and transported to areas where it can be used further.
Using this machine reduces labor requirement by 90 percent compared with manually collecting the rice straw spread out in the field.
Held at the International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI) Zeigler Experiment Station, the training includes lectures and hands-on exercises that helped participants understand principles of round and square rice straw baler machine and learn proper techniques in the operation and maintenance of rice straw baler.
The training was spearheaded by Carlito Balingbing, IRRI Senior Associate Scientist.
At the end of the exercise, participants were able to operate the baler machine and produce baled straw.