Farmers
PHI
Spraying

Agronomist’s notebook: To reap long from the soil, work with it

Majority of the farmers do not have a soak pit where all the chemical residues should drain into, which means the spillovers drain into the soil. Excessive use of fertilisers also results in soil pollution.

This, therefore, means that chemicals should always be the last option. It’s ideal also for the farmer to observe the pre-harvest interval (PHI) of the chemicals to avoid the excessive use of it.

PHI is the time that must lapse after spraying the chemical and before the produce is harvested. Each active ingredient in a chemical has its own PHI.

Spraying another chemical before this period has elapsed results to toxicity in the soil due to the over use of chemicals and mixing different active ingredients at the same time.

Also, the mixing point should have a soak pit and running water to ensure that the chemicals are well-diluted hence harmless to the soil and any spillovers don’t end up in the soil.

Farmers should, therefore, embrace conservation agriculture to minimise the disruption of the soil structure, its components and biodiversity. This will help to maintain minerals and moisture within the soil and stop erosion.

Your article encouraged me more. I’m not quite sure about the season, but is it fine if I do before end of the year?

Before venturing into onion farming, you need to plan and consider the following factors:

• Variety

• Market demand and preferences.

• Weather condition due to climatic changes.

• Capital.

It is also important to do a soil test before planting to determine the nutritional status and the requirements.

Most of the varieties will take 3-4 months after transplanting. If the rainfall is reliable, you can do adequate planning and plant when there is rain. The cost of irrigation is quite high compared to the reliance on rain.

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