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Feedback: Know seed and fertiliser rates per acre for potatoes and garden peas

FERTILISER AND SEED RATES FOR POTATOES

Kindly let me get expert recommendation on the seed and fertiliser rates per acre for potatoes (shangi variety) and garden peas.

I have read different accounts from different farmers. I farm in Olenguruone, Kuresoi South.
Kipruto Thomas

Your interest in potato farming is commendable given its role in food security and its great potential for commercial processing.

On your two concerns on seed and fertiliser rates for potatoes and garden peas, I have the following observations:

(a) Seed rate:

Seed rate largely depends on several factors that include but not limited to size, purpose of the crop, variety and ecology, among other considerations.

Given your location (Olenguruone), you will require about 16 bags of the large-sized seed potato, 9-12 bags of medium sized and between 6-8 bags of small sized seeds.

For garden peas, you need 25-30kg of seed per acre.

(b) Fertiliser rate:

Again will vary depending on soil fertility and type of fertiliser.

Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) requires that fertiliser rate be based on soil test results that will provide information on nutrient status and soil pH.

Use one of the recommended fertilisers like Yaramila-UNIK 17:17:17, 2-3 bags per acre and two bags per acre of Yaramila WINNER-15:9:20 + micro-nutrients (Mg, Zn, S, B, Mn and Mo) for planting and top dressing respectively.

For garden peas, 1½-2 bags of Yaramila UNIK for planting and a bag of Yaramila WINNER for top dressing per acre.

Note: The bags described above in both fertiliser and seed potato rates are of 50kg size.

Tom Charles Owino,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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WHERE TO SOURCE QUALITY POTATO SEEDS

I am planning to grow potatoes for commercial purposes. The buyer has insisted on the Dutch Robjin variety.

Where can I get seeds for the variety and I would also like to know whether Nyahururu is suitable for the crop?

Eric

Dutch Robijn variety does well in areas with between 1,600-2,600m above sea level.

Nyahururu lies at 2,303m above sea level hence stands in the range within which the variety can perform well.

potatoimg2 Feedback: Know seed and fertiliser rates per acre for potatoes and garden peas

A farmer inspects his potato crops in Eldama Ravine, Baringo. Dutch Robijn potato variety does well in areas with between 1,600-2,600m above sea level. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

For good seeds, get in touch with some of the certified seed growers like:

1. ADC-Molo ([email protected]);

2. KALRO-Tigoni ([email protected]) and

3. Kisima Farm 0716968766, [email protected]).

Once you get the seeds, the other things to check are soil conditions, which include fertility and the pH which are supposed to be checked through soil testing.

Contact experts (extension officers) for further advice on inputs to acquire and other steps on crop establishment and management.

Tom Charles Owino,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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GETTING INTO BROILER KEEPING

I am currently trying to venture into broiler chicken farming on large-scale and probably you might be having a few documents for assistance.

I am also looking for someone with broad knowledge in the craft, to hire and maintain the brood in the long-term as I am not well conversant with the trade. If you might know of anyone willing to work kindly refer them to me.

Ben, Ruai

Normally, more information is provided by chicken suppliers, so when you source, do not forget to ask for production booklets.

Some can be downloaded from Kenchic website, www.kenchic.com. Imagining your scale of investment, you need very dedicated personnel for management.

Broilerimg Feedback: Know seed and fertiliser rates per acre for potatoes and garden peas

A Nyeri poultry farmer inside his thriving broiler chicken agribusiness’ housing unit. When venturing into broiler farming, more information is provided by chicken suppliers, so when you source, do not forget to ask for production booklets. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Egerton University has graduates well equipped with theoretical and practical knowledge, farm management skills and needed experience in various fields of livestock.

Kindly drop us an email at [email protected] to link you with a person equipped with poultry management skills.

We also provide farmers with poultry and dairy equipment like automatic drinkers, in your case. Should you need site guidance when setting up, please feel free to contact us too.

Felix Akatch Opinya,
Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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BEST PIG BREEDS TO KEEP IN EMBU

Which is the best breed of pig to keep in Embu, Mbeere considering that it is hot and dry?

Nelson Muturi

Pigs, particularly lactating sows, are generally very sensitive to high temperatures.

When exposed to high temperatures above their thermo-neutral zone, they respond through physiological and behavioural mechanisms to facilitate heat loss or to minimise heat gain from the environment.

Consequently, when exposed to ambient temperatures below their lower critical temperature, they increase heat production through high feed intake to maintain body temperature.

Within their thermal comfort zones, pigs maintain their body temperature and increase heat losses through simple mechanisms with little efforts.

This means their performance like reproduction and voluntary feed intake get affected under heat stress, with some breeds even experiencing sunburns.

pigsimg Feedback: Know seed and fertiliser rates per acre for potatoes and garden peas

The most common and profitable pig breeds in the country are Large White, Landrace, Yorkshires, Duroc, Hampshire and the Saddle Back. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

These should, however, not deter you from keeping pigs since with modification of internal micro-environment in their housing, they can be raised anywhere in the country.

It involves adjusting pig diet, management procedures and seeking cooling systems that can relieve them the negative consequences of heat stress.

A more sustainable solution though would be to select pigs with robust performance even under heat stress.

The most common profitable breeds in the country are Large White, Landrace, Yorkshires, Duroc, Hampshire and the Saddle Back.

Each of this has advantages and disadvantages. Large White and Landrace in particular, have fast growth rate and are prolific breeders but are susceptible to sunburns, therefore, they are not suitable for outdoor rearing.

Felix Akatch Opinya,
Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

Farmers’ questions on farming and agribusiness answered by experts through: [email protected]

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