With record precipitation across much of the Midwest in 2019, many fields went unplanted. Fields that were in a prevent plant situation last year may be at risk of a fallow syndrome in 2020. When managing fields prone to the fallow syndrome, a low rate of “pop up” starter fertilizer is the best management strategy.
Mt Kenya region is expected to suffer from its staple maize shortage following excessive rains that continue to pound the country, delaying harvesting and triggering aflatoxin contamination, several county ministers of agriculture have said. In Kirinyaga, Embu, Nyandarua, Murang’a and Meru, maize is yet to be harvested as farmers await rains to ease, but that appears not to be happening.
Farmers who have suffered extensive crop damage in the recent north-east monsoon have urged the State government to compensate their loss. Raising the issue in the grievance meeting here, farmer Maharajan of MDMK, by showing rotten corn to Collector Sandeep Nanduri, who was chairing the meet, said agriculturists, who had cultivated rain-fed crops, especially corn, had suffered extensive loss due to downpour during the monsoon.
The farmers should make proper arrangements for removal of weeds on priority basis as these badly affect the yield and cause reduction in wheat production up to 42 per cent. A spokesman for agriculture department said weeds not only reduced quantity of crop production but also played a major role for damaging quality of grains.
Nyandarua farmers are counting huge losses caused by the ongoing rains, posing a food security threat in one of the country’s food baskets. The most affected is maize which is ripe for harvest and is now rotting in farms. Maize farming is a second most important agricultural activity in the region after Irish potatoes.
The end of 2019 is looming, and many Corn Belt farmers are likely looking forward to putting the chaotic weather year behind them and moving on to 2020. The weekend before Christmas forecasts bring a rise in temperature across the Midwest. Meanwhile, the growing season in South America picks up, and the mostly dry start will be relieved with some needed rain.
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