Zeigler Experiment Station
Covering more than 200 hectares, the IRRI Zeigler Experiment Station (ZES) has 943 fields, 33 greenhouses (a total of 9,300 cubic meters), 25 screen houses (a total of 19,600 square meters), a new screenhouse for C4 rice research, and a phytotron building—a gift from the Australian Government, with glasshouse rooms and growth cabinets where temperature, day-length, and humidity can be controlled. These facilities are maintained and supported by 74 personnel.
The ZES is a showcase for some of the most advanced rice research in the world.
IRRI possesses an extensive infrastructure for all kinds of experiments with rice. More than half of its fields are used for breeding research to improve rice yield, grain quality, resistance to pests and diseases, tolerance of environmental stresses, and to reduce crop requirements.
One of the most technologically advanced rice farms in Asia, the ZES uses a range of the latest technologies, including laser leveling of fields, weather-based irrigation scheduling, modern recirculating dryers, and a rice mill. It features drive-on bunds for better field access and uses an auto-steer tractor and a modern 26-meter spray boom for liquid fertilizer and other applications.
Today, the ZES has programs to reduce the time and energy required to conduct field, irrigation, and postharvest activities—the same challenge faced in many rice-growing areas of the world. These programs include reducing tillage for land preparation, recycling drainage water from fields, and grain-drying with the use of waste heat and geothermal energy.
The Station has a modern rice mill that uses a recirculating dryer to immediately dry incoming paddy. Then, both abrasion and mist polishing take place, followed by color-sorting. These processes, when applied to timely harvested paddy rice, produce a high-quality milled product.
The facility is named after recently retired IRRI Director General Robert S. Zeigler