The ideas in today’s sharing about how to achieve high crop yields are mainly drawn from the “Think Agronomy” newsletter published by the Kenyan-based Centre of Excellence for Crop Rotation.
In a simple experiment last year it was possible to produce 11.84 tonnes of barley from one hectare although the average yield rate in Kenya for the crop stands at between 2.5 and 3 tonnes per hectare.
We have to take interest in the steps taken to achieve this extraordinary success because if they are followed by any farmer growing other crops like peas, beans, maize, and groundnuts here in Uganda, high yields can be achieved.
Before planting the seed the soil was tested to establish what nutrients were missing.
This is what every farmer can do by involving the area agricultural services extension provider who is trained to do soil testing and to advise what fertilisers to apply.
Crop rotation was practiced. Barley was planted where in the previous season another crop, canola, had been grown. One good natural way to fight pests is to do crop rotation.
The right crop variety was planted. Farmers must take time to look for the highest yielding crop varieties to produce big volumes.
It is also important to go for disease and pest resistant crop varieties and to ensure that the seeds are genuine and of good quality.
The seeds have to be planted well following the right spacing and actual number of seeds per hole.
Unless there is a provision for irrigation, it is important to plant early in the rain season.
Agricultural research stations and district agricultural information centres usually have demonstration gardens where they showcase the performance of the latest bred crop varieties. Farmers should find time to visit the demonstration gardens.
Keep weeds out of the garden and always remember that the soles of a farmer’s boots are the best manure for the crops.
Inspect your farm regularly to see and to access the growth of the crops and to ensure that nothing goes unchecked.
And, lastly, make sure you have a devoted team of people working on your farm.