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Late planting affects Katsina soybean farmers

Some soybeans and rice farms in Katsina State will be adversely affected as the rainy season rounds off this year. The two crops require ample rainfall to give the desired yield; hence the farmers were advised to plant them early.

According to the farmers, in the state, the rains normally set in from the middle of May and end in October, but some of them planted their soybeans in late June or early July this year.

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One of the affected farmers, Umar Sani Kokami, said indecision was what led them into planting late.

“We were worried about the low market price of farm produce, coupled with the high cost of fertiliser at the time of planting. Therefore, it took some of us weeks to decide what to plant before we settled on soybeans.

“Unfortunately, we are likely to reap nothing out of it as the rain may stop before the crop matures,’’ Kokami said.

He further said he relied on the benefit of mixed cropping as the sorghum he planted alongside the soybeans has a good prospect.

Another farmer, Iliya Amadu Danja, said lack of adequate knowledge of the rice variety led them to late planting.

“Rice is of different varieties, There are those that take four months to mature and those that take less time. Farmers’ knowledge to differentiate among rice seeds is the solution to the problem of late planting,’’ he noted. He also said first-timers in rice production were the most affected.

“Old-timers were abreast of different varieties of rice seeds and how long they take before harvest; they hardly get trapped like us that bought our seeds at random in the open market,’’ Danja said.

An agricultural extension worker and plant breeder, Mu’azzam Sani, said local farmers should be oriented on the nature of crops and how long they take to mature.

“Soybeans, for example, needs four months to mature; and for high yield, it needs enough moisture, especially at its flowering and seed stages. Rice too requires adequate moisture, therefore, farmers should learn to plant them early to fully benefit from the rainfall,’’ Sani said.

He added that the best time to plant soybeans is from mid May so that it would mature at the right time with high yield.

 

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