The 12th Annual Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Philippine Society of Soil Science and Technology, Inc. (PSSST) was held at Eden Nature Park, Toril, Davao City last May 21-22, 2009. About 140 members from the different international and local institutions, agencies, and state colleges and universities participated in the said event. With this year’s theme titled “Enhancing Soil Productivity and Environmental Quality”, scientists, researchers, extension workers, and students presented their paper and posters to help in finding solutions to issues like soil erosion, decreasing soil fertility and climate change; and to achieve better soil productivity for our country’s sustainable food production program.
The keynote address on “Rice Science for Food Self-sufficiency” was given by Atty. Ronilo A. Beronio, Executive Director of PhilRice. He discussed the rice self-sufficiency program to be achieved by 2013 and challenged soil scientists to educate farmers on how to make soil productive, to lead and preach the science of managing available farm and soil resources, and to effectively explain the synergistic effects of various fertilizers on plant growth.
The three plenary papers were: (1) Integrated Soil and Crop Nutrient Management for Vegetables in the Southern Philippines by Dr. Christopher Dorahy of ACIAR,
The technical session was divided into three categories: junior, senior-competing, and senior-non-competing. For the junior category, three PSSST scholarship grantees presented their undergraduate thesis and competed for the best paper. At the same time, ten papers /presentations competed for the senior category while five others presented for the non-competing (senior) category. Moreover, 19 posters were presented and judged for the best poster award.
Best Paper- Effects of Varying Soil Moisture Levels on the Growth and Development of Lakatan (Musa acuminate Colla.) (Kathy Tafere)
Best Paper – Studying the Effects of Drought on Rice Production in Nueva Ecija Using Remote Sensing Technology (Judith Carla P. dela Torre)
Best Poster – Can we use commercially available fertilizers for Soil NPK test? (Julie D. Elijay, Constancio A. Asis, Jr., and Jesiree Elena Ann P. dela Torre)
Third Place – PALAYAMANAN Model in Rainfed Rice Ecosystem in Nueva Ecija (Jesusa M. Rivera, Rizal G. Corales, Leylani M. Juliano, Sandro D. Cañete, Ailon Oliver V. Capistrano, Jeny V. Ravis, Jehru C. Magahud, and Madonna C. Casimero)