Extension trainings guide growers to report yields to improve produce sales

Extension trainings guide growers to report yields to improve produce sales

Extension trainings guide growers to report yields to improve produce sales

Talo'fo'fo farmer Glenn Takai shows how he separates his marketable from his unmarketable produce before weighing and recording his harvest. 
Jason Aflague, a Univeristy of Guam agriculture major and intern on Glenn Takai's farm, stands in front of rows of hot pepper plants as he gives other growers a tour. 
Extension Agent of Horticulture Joe Tuquero speaks with local growers at a March 26 workshop to introduce the concept of a centralized agriculture reporting system with the Farmers' Cooperative Association of Guam.

Local farmer Glenn Takai shared his methods for tracking his production yield with other growers at a UOG Cooperative Extension training on March 26 on his farm in Talo’fo’fo’. He also shared how it’s been beneficial for him to keep good records.

Photo of two individuals examining a long bean plantThe training was part of a Western SARE–funded initiative through UOG Extension to encourage farmers to submit their data to a centralized agriculture production reporting system with the Farmers’ Cooperative Association of Guam. The system — essentially a community spreadsheet — would report what crops farmers have planted, how much, and when they’re expecting to harvest it.

Takai demonstrated with eggplant how he separates his marketable produce from his non-marketable produce. He then weighs both and inputs the data to the spreadsheet immediately after harvest. Similarly, he tracks what he plants, the plant spacing, and the size of the field as well as the time it took until harvest and the duration of harvest. 

“What we see a lot of this time of the year is flooding of the market, where everybody is growing the same thing," he said.

That is what the central reporting system would help alleviate. By seeing in a database what other farmers have already planted, he said he can make a decision to plant something else, which will ultimately help his sales and the other farmers’ as well.

Photo of Jesse BambaUOG Extension Agents Jesse Bamba and Joe Tuquero encouraged the growers to participate in the database to help the Co-op with marketing and selling the produce.

“You can say, 'In three months, I’ll be harvesting X amount of eggplant,' and that’ll give the person who’s selling it three months to go around and open up that market,” Bamba said.

Takai said keeping good production records helps him in other ways as a farmer, too.

“The data tell you a whole story. You can really tell when your plants are not producing when they’re supposed to. If you don’t keep data consistently, it’s hard to tell [if something’s wrong],” he said.

In addition, he said his records were essential for claiming crop insurance after Typhoon Mawar. It also helps him plan more appropriately for future plantings. 

The Extension team will continue holding similar farmer-hosted workshops around the island throughout this year with the goal of training all 70 members of the Farmers’ Coop on the production tracking system.

To find out more, contact Jesse Bamba at (671) 735-2091 or jbamba@triton.uog.edu or Joe Tuquero at (671) 735-2085 or tuqueroj@triton.uog.edu