A word from…Jerry Mthombothi
By the end of August, farmers would have already finished harvesting their crop. After selling their maize, farmers should compare the expenses (that is the money that they have used for buying of inputs and on machinery and other expenses during the previous season) with the money that they have received after selling their produce to check if they have made a profit or not.
If the costs are more than what they get in, they should perhaps consider another crop or to try to improve on the mistakes made during the previous planting season. He or she should reflect back on the production processes and try to determine where they can improve.
WHAT SHOULD FARMERS DO IN SEPTEMBER?
As we are now in September, farmers should make sure that they:
- Service their implements, clean them, keep them under shelter, and make sure that they are in good working condition.
- They should take soil samples if they did not take them the previous month and send them to the laboratory.
- If they know which fertilisers to buy and how many bags/ha to apply they can start placing orders for fertilisers and other inputs like seeds and chemicals.
- If lime was not applied during August, it will be a good time to apply it.
- Decide which crops to be planted and which fields will be used, as we always encourage farmers to rotate their maize crop with legumes.
- If there is a need, the farmer can rip his arable lands if his soils are not deep enough.
- Write down all the activities and the dates that will be taking place, for example, from planting late in October or early November, spraying of pre-emergence herbicides, top-dressing of N-fertilisers and spraying of post-emergence chemicals etc.
Publication: September 2020