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Cloud seeding starts in WV

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Over the next two weeks, the islands of Negros and Panay are expected to have rain showers, as part of the 15-day cloud seeding operations that started June 11, according to Manuel Lamata, president of the United Sugar Producers Federation (UNIFED).

In a statement, Lamata claimed that the rain experienced in Bacolod City yesterday was induced through cloud-seeding operations.

The base of operation located in Silay City, Negros Occidental, includes personnel from the Philippine Air Force and the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, who have set up equipment to monitor cloud formations conducive for cloud seeding, according to Lamata.

They gather satellite data to get GPS coordinates, which the pilots use to inject salt into the identified clouds, to produce artificial rain that is very much needed in sugar fields due to the long El Niño spell, he added.

“We, at UNIFED, worked hard to convince the administration that we needed cloud seeding despite the hesitancy of government agencies because we are in the thick of planting canes now,” Lamata said.

He also thanked President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr., and Sugar Regulatory Administrator Pablo Azcona for heeding their appeal.

The two airplanes of Lamata were contracted to conduct cloud seeding operations, both in Negros Occidental and Panay.

He said that the farmers, especially the small planters who do not have irrigation systems in their field, will greatly benefit from the cloud seeding operations, which he initially described as successful.*

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