More than 300 farmers attended PANNAR’s Groblersdal Extravanganza in February where the focus was on introducing cultivars and cultivation principles to emerging farmers.
It was held on the farm of Jerry Sefoloshe, who also took a leading role in making sure that everybody understood what the representatives from PANNAR were saying.
These are some of the lessons learnt:
Weeds are in competition with your plants to get nutrients from the soil. It is very important to clean you lands by using weed killer (herbicide) or by taking out the weeds by hand or with a machine. It is always easier and better to control weeds early on in the planting season.
• Small weeds are easier to control because they absorb herbicides better.
• Herbicides are less effective when it is hot and plants are dry.
• Weeds that germinate and grow with your crop cause the most yield loss.
• You can lose 35% of your yield due to weeds.
• If your land is weed free for a 100 days in the growing season, you will have the best chance to get a good harvest.
• It is better to control weeds before they can compete with your plants.
• It is also better to destroy them before they make their own seeds, because then they will be a bigger problem next year.
There are different herbicides that you should use in different stages of growth, but it is better to kill weeds before your plants even begin to grow. It is also possible to make a plan to spray efficiently without using expensive equipment. (Read our series on rucksack sprayers for more information.)
Stages of growth of the maize plant
Before we look at planting and fertilising, it is important to understand the stages of growth of the maize plant. It is very important to get your timing right and to choose the right cultivar for the conditions.
Next month we will look at planting and fertilising your maize.