2011-2012 Rainy season

Happy New Year!
This season has been tough for farmer across the board. Erratic and low rainfall has meant many farmers have had to re-plant or fill spaces where crops failed to germinate, our first rain over 20mm was on Christmas day – 21mm. It’s been an education for us and the lessons have been clear. Organic residues or loose soil as a ‘mulch’ to stop capillary action and moisture loss has meant the difference between a good crop stand and re-planting this year.
We have had a good chance to develop our dibble stick planting method which seems to make a lot of sense for farmers who want to realize the benefits of minimum or zero-tillage and want to plant quickly after a planting rain. We feel with the ‘dibble stick’ method, three people could plant 1ha of maize in a day in an average soil.
We’re also doing some trials with ground up velvet beans as a source of fertility for maize.

The early planted maize is looking good so far, let’s hope the rain continues to fall, at least every now and then!
Detailed reports and pictures to come!