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A WORD FROM… Luke Collier

September 2021

The past year has been a whirlwind for most in both business and family life. There have been losses in lives and crops in many of the farming communities across the country. With this, hardship has come – one of the most prolific seasons, with rain many have not seen in several years.

By this time of the year both commercial and small-scale farmers have completed their harvests and will either be counting their profits or losses due to the recent ‘wet’ season we have had. Most have had great rains with not much damage to speak of. On the other side of the fence though many have lost up to half of their crop due to cob diseases (Diplodia and Fusarium) or yield reductions due to leaf diseases (grey leaf spot or rust).

However, as farmers we generally are a resilient type and thus tend to move on regardless of a great or poor season. The planning for the coming season should by now be complete, inputs acquired and soil corrections complete – if not we should be nearing the end. It must be kept in mind that most correctional products take time to become available to the plant and/or correct the soil, so the earlier we can apply them the better.

Finally, our equipment should be ‘game’ ready for the coming season. The last thing any farmer should be doing, is starting to repair and grease equipment a day or two before planting. It is around this time that our first rains will hopefully begin and this should mean the start of the tilling of the soil. Farmers need to be in a position to hitch their implements and go straight to the lands and begin working without any problems. This can only be achieved if pre-season maintenance has been done correctly. This will also apply to the balance of the equipment for the planting season. 

As soon as the rains arrive in October (hopefully) and you would like to plant, you need to be able to plant. The sooner you get your crops in the ground (in the smallest possible window), the better your chance is for a good yield. 

Let’s keep each other motivated during these tough times.

Publication: September 2021

Section: Pula/Imvula