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Key management issues for success

March 2019

Grant Pringle, Product Agronomist, Pannar.
Send an email to grant.pringle@pannar.co.za

Farming for the future means building your farming operation on a long-term vision and objectives that will keep you in business for generations.

The following points summarise the key management issues necessary for success. These are handy to use in your planning phase for the next crop. PANNAR is proud to support farmers and to partner with them to maximise farming enterprise profitability and growth.

Use our expertise and service. We are passionate agriculturalists who take a personal interest in the success of your farm. We pride ourselves on providing honest, reliable technical advice, a complete seed line-up and management guidelines for optimised crop production.

Technical advice and guidelines

  • The most important element of crop cultivation is to get the basics right from the beginning. Once the basics are accomplished, practices can be fine-tuned to achieve top returns.
  • Secure marketing contracts before planting. Fulfil specific quality requirements of niche market end users.
  • Plant hybrids that have the desired characteristics for your conditions and targeted end use market.
  • Select a cultivar package. Take note of cultivar’s yield potential and yield reliability and match cultivars to a realistic field potential.
  • Land selection. Consider the field’s history regarding the previous crops harvested, harvested yields (water consumption), weed control and chemicals applied. Consider the possibility of chemical residue carryover as well as the expected weed spectrum to be addressed.
  • Set a target yield based on moisture availability and match inputs to the targeted yield (use the field’s history as a starting point).
  • Adjust the plant population and row spacing to match the yield target and environment.
  • Select the planting time to coincide with optimal germination temperatures and soil moisture conditions. Also, try to avoid early frost damage and extreme heat and drought stress during flowering.
  • For irrigated crops, calculate water budgets, matching the crop area to water allocation. Attempt to maintain optimal growing conditions during pollination and grain filling stages.
  • The planting process is the foundation of success and the goal is to achieve even emergence and minimise interplant competition. Adjust the pressure wheels to match the soil and soil moisture conditions.
  • Apply nitrogen, phosphate and potassium fertiliser based on target yields, soil tests and previous crop yields.
  • Use controlled traffic or conservation tillage to reduce soil compaction (maize is relatively susceptible to compaction), improve moisture management and reduce fuel costs, especially in the case with sandy soils.
  • Protect the yield potential. Where leaf diseases occur annually, use a fungicide spray programme to protect the maize ‘factory’.
  • Effective pest control – regular scouting for disease and insect pests is essential for success.
  • Apply quality control regularly and without exception and, if possible, take corrective action. By focusing on efficiency and timing it is possible to optimise growth and production for better returns.
  • Your footsteps in your fields are the best management practice that exists.

Partner with PANNAR, your success is our goal.

Publication: March 2019

Section: Pula/Imvula