Cloud seeding operations will continue for the rest of January to provide abundant water supply to farmers at the start of the planting season.
The cloud seeding team of the Bureau on Soil and Water Management (BSWM) started the first round onÂ January 13Â and willÂ continue for two to three weeks at a rate of two operations a day.
Majority of the farmers cultivating 55,850 hectares of ricefieldsâ€”26,151 hectares irrigated and 29,699 rainfedâ€”are still in the land preparation stage as of now that require abundant water supply, according to Larry Pamugas, OIC at the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, said
The BSWM cloudseeding team started in the morning of January 13 with one seeding flight, using 20 sacks or 500 kilos ofÂ vacuum dried fine salt loaded per flight.
In the initial round, the cloud seeding team reported to Gov. Edgar Chatto that â€œseeded areas included east north-east (ENE) of Malinao Dam, ENE of Bayongan dam, Dagohoy, and Alicia agricultural areas. Rainfall occurrence were observed after 2-3 hours in Pilar, Dagohoy area, Antequera, Maribojoc, Cortes, Corella, Sikatuna, Tagbilaran, Dauis, Panglao, Trinidad and Talibon.”
They were supposed to start the cloud seeding operations on January 11, but the BSWM team was only able to push through with the cloud seeding yesterday.
Pamugas said the BSWM and the AirForce postponed it to January 13 â€œdue to the change of wind directionâ€.
The wind direction on Tuesday was going east, leaving the areas of interest which are Malinao and Bayongan with nothing but blue skies.
The cloudseeding operations have also been intended for the four major dams in Bohol to store enough rain water–Malinao Dam in Pilar, Bayongan Dam in San Miguel, Zamora Dam in Talibon and Capayas Dam in Ubay.
Finally, they spotted cumulu-nimbus clouds and monitored the favorable wind direction on Wednesday last week and pushed through with the cloudseeding.
Pamugas also explained that in the new protocol, the cloud seeding operations utilize a two-engine aircraft to be manned by two Air Force pilots.
This is based on the advise of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) after the incident in Isabela wherein the plane conducting cloud seeding went down due to pilot error.
Leon Parac, agricultural technician of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, has been tasked to monitor the seeded.
The provincial government had allocated P2 million for the cloud seeding operation supposedly to start in August last year.
For the second phase,Â the BSWM also set aside funds so that the cloud seeding operations could continue from September to December last year.
However, rains brought about by the typhoons in other provinces pre-empted it.