Achim Dobermann's blog

Achim Dobermann's blog

Dr. Achim Dobermann is IRRI's former deputy director general for research. Achim talks about about his challenge to personally grow rice following recommended best practices, test these out, and try and see things better from the farmers' side. He and his sidekick, Leigh Vial, are now on their second season of IRRI's first reality show, the IRRI Agronomy Challenge. Read more.

Apr23

IRRI agronomy challenge: when to harvest?

Written by // Dr. Achim Dobermann Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: when to harvest?

Our crop is getting close to maturity and now we have to decide when to stop irrigating and decide on the best time to harvest it. 

Feb28

IRRI agronomy challenge: stemborer dilemma

Written by // Dr. Achim Dobermann Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: stemborer dilemma

We applied more fertilizer in preparation for flowering and we won't apply insecticides to control stem borers - hopefully its the right decision!

Jan30

IRRI agronomy challenge: another tricky choice... water management

Written by // Dr. Achim Dobermann Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: another tricky choice... water management

Unlike any other major food crop rice just loves to grow in fields with standing water, but our goal is to grow rice with a good yield yet use 15-30% less water.

Jan11

IRRI agronomy challenge: seeding isn't that easy

Written by // Dr. Leigh Vial Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: seeding isn't that easy

After a failed attempt to use the drum seeder in wet and muddy conditions, we resorted to broadcasting our rice seed.

Jan04

IRRI agronomy challenge: how do you do agronomy?

Written by // Dr. Achim Dobermann Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: how do you do agronomy?

As a scientist and research leader I have been involved in rice research for 25 years. But there is something that I keep wondering about: why is it that many of the research findings and technologies developed by scientists don’t seem to be used by ri

Apr09

IRRI agronomy challenge: flag leaves and false smut are good signs

Written by // Dr. Leigh Vial Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: flag leaves and false smut are good signs

Two things are pleasing me: our crop has vigorous flag leaves, which means the plants are still actively photosynthesizing, and we have false smut, which conventional Filipino farmer wisdom says is a good sign.

Feb19

IRRI agronomy challenge: scruffy but growing

Written by // Dr. Leigh Vial Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: scruffy but growing

Our field is looking scruffy, but it is growing well and we've been assessing the severity of the biotic stresses like weeds and diseases.

Jan20

IRRI agronomy challenge: how much fertilizer

Written by // Dr. Achim Dobermann Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: how much fertilizer

Now we've sown the rice, we need to think ahead and figure out how much fertilizer we should apply. Not an easy decision to make, but we have a great new tool to help us with that.

Jan09

IRRI agronomy challenge: choosing the right variety

Written by // Dr. Achim Dobermann Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: choosing the right variety After some debate we’ve settled on growing the rice variety NSIC Rc222, which is a modern rice variety released in the Philippines in 2010. It’s also known here as Tubigan 18, but it’s actually a variety bred by IRRI.

Mar13

IRRI agronomy challenge: a little bit more nitrogen

Written by // Dr. Achim Dobermann Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: a little bit more nitrogen

All major crop management decisions have been made, but I decided to apply a little more nitrogen after assessing the crop using IRRI's Leaf Color Chart.

Feb07

IRRI agronomy challenge: don't spray unless it's necessary

Written by // Dr. Achim Dobermann Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: don't spray unless it's necessary

Many farmers still spray too many insecticides at the first sign of insect damage, but we don't need to. The insects we found in our field are OK at the moment and it's pretty amazing to see the biological microcosm in the paddy.

Jan17

IRRI agronomy challenge: birds, rats, and more rain

Written by // Dr. Leigh Vial Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: birds, rats, and more rain

After seeding we're now tackling birds and rats, but we're grateful for all the rain that has helped establish the seedlings!

Jan06

IRRI agronomy challenge: level the field

Written by // Dr. Achim Dobermann Categories // Achim Dobermann's blog

IRRI agronomy challenge: level the field We need a level field for rice to grow better, and it'll be much easier for us to manage it too. But we've already learned our first lesson...

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