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Seaweed additive can boost rice yield by 65% – gov’t scientists – Rappler, 11/13/15

“Carrageenan, a substance found in seaweed, can help Filipino rice farmers earn and save more, according to government research”

Government research into how a substance from seaweed can increase the productivity of rice fields across the country has paid off.

Carrageenan, a carbohydrate found in edible seaweeds, was found to increase rice yield by 63.6% to 65.4%, according to scientists from the National Crop Protection Center (NCPC) at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, the country’s premiere agricultural school.

The findings were the result of a field trial conducted in Bulacan. The trial showed that adding small portions of carrageenan to fertilizer led to higher grain weight, thereby increasing rice yields.

The team led by Gil Magsino of NCPC found that adding 20 milliliters per liter of carrageenan to 3 to 6 bags of fertilizer per hectare led to an increased grain weight of 450 and 455 grams. This is compared to 275 grams of grain weight produced after applying 9 bags per hectare – the usual practice of Filipino farmers.

The research was funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology.

Previous studies showed that when carrageenan is degraded or reduced to tiny sizes through irradiation technology, it can promote growth in rice plants and make it resistant to certain pests. Thus, at very small doses, it becomes an effective natural fertilizer.

Read more from the source: Rappler