DONG NAI (VNS) — Farmers in the southeastern province of Dong Nai are earning higher profits by planting two rice crops and then one corn crop on the same field over a 12-month period.
Tran Thi Minh Thao of Lang Minh commune in Xuan Loc District said that farmers began this practice 13 years ago after experiencing poor rice harvests during the winter-spring crop when there was little rain.
Since that time, the commune has expanded this practice to a total of 450ha of rice fields.
Most farms in Lang Minh's Tay Minh hamlet have been yielding about nine tonnes of corn per hectare, according to Thao.
Farmer Ly Phat Sinh of Tay Minh hamlet said that higher incomes had helped many farmers build concrete houses and buy motorbikes and televisions.
Tran Quang, chairman of the Xuan Tien Union of High-Yield Clubs in Xuan Loc District, said the revenue earned from corn was two times higher than that of rice.
Rice crops yield up to VND35 million ($1,600) per hectare per crop, while corn brings up to VND70 million per hectare per crop.
Tran Hai Son, director of Dong Nai Province's Agricultural Extension Centre, said the winter-spring corn crop had brought other benefits, including the prevention of rice-disease outbreaks and more fertile soil.
Corn cultivation on rice fields during the winter-spring crop in Dong Nai Province now totals 8,800ha. In 2000, it was 2,900ha, and in 2005, 5,000ha.
Son said the Agricultural Extension Centre would expand the rotating corn/rice crop model of cultivation to other rural and remote areas in the province.
Over the last decade, the centre has offered high-yield corn varieties to farmers so they could increase productivity and earn higher incomes.
Dong Nai, the country's largest animal and poultry producer, has great need for corn.
The province, which has the largest corn cultivation area in the south, has a total of about 60,000ha of corn and corn-rice fields. — VNS