My 2021 Farming Journal — Maize

Precision Farming with Capture™

(This document will be updated periodically; changes will be time-stamped)

LAND SELECTION

Choice location for farm is upland near Doma dam in Nasarawa state with low chance of flooding. Farm size is 3.2 hectares. Also, choosing upland for rainfed cropping season (as proposed) is still the least risky alternative to floodplains.

CLIMATE FORECAST

Planting window: April 29. (edit) This has been reviewed to May 17 as rainfall amount (and soil moisture) is not sufficient to sustain germination.

Harvest window: October 29.

ECOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE

Soil composition (Clay 20%, Silt 23%, Sand 58%):

pH Level (5.6, strongly acidic): This require us to apply liming materials in order to neutralise the soil’s acidity. Likewise, we will reduce organic materials (by reducing the amount of mulch or plant materials left on the soil surface after harvest) as well as use of ammonium based inorganic fertilizers. These measures will improve help reduce risks to yield potential before planting begin.

Carbon content (4 g/Kg), Organic matter (0.69%): The presence of organic matter influences almost EVERY aspect of the soil (such soil structure, nitrogen generalisation, microbial activities etc). Values below 2% are critical, we will use pre-emergence and apply compost to extra measures; the timing of both are somewhat a proprietary.

FARM INPUTS

  • Seed: 50 kg per hectare (exact amount to be determined later)
  • Fertilizer: (exact amount to be determined later)
  • Herbicide: 5-litres per hectare (exact amount to be determined later)
  • Insecticide: (exact amount to be determined later)

May 25: The rainfall is still not of optimal amount to sustain germination. Forecasts have not reflected reality on the ground, but we will continue to monitor the situation in order to respond just in time. Next window for planting is looking very likely to be June.

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