In Summary
  • Pest and disease incidence has also increased, thanks to the cold and rainy weather in many parts.
  • This has made post-harvest practices such as threshing and drying difficult because the beans cannot be threshed when wet.
  • Necking is done by twisting the leaves where one cuts them off during harvesting. If the plant is still vegetative, you have to neck it to enable it dry so that you cut off the leaves later.
  • To avoid leaching of nutrients especially after using nitrogenous fertiliser that are highly soluble in water, use a nitrogen stabiliser to ensure the plants utilise nutrients fully.

Unpredictable weather conditions have affected farming in the country, with many farmers who rely on rains no longer knowing when and what to plant.

Pest and disease incidence has also increased, thanks to the cold and rainy weather in many parts.

For some maize farmers, whose crop is currently tasseling, the heavy rainfall currently being experienced in some parts of the country has come as a blessing. But for those harvesting beans and onions, the heavy rains have become a nightmare.

Jane, a bean farmer in Nakuru, is currently counting huge losses because the heavy rains have delayed the harvesting of the crop.

This has made post-harvest practices such as threshing and drying difficult because the beans cannot be threshed when wet.

The farmer has no choice but to uproot the beans because the rains will make them start germinating while still in the pods, resulting in losses.

Once uprooted, the beans should be sun-dried during the morning hours and stored preferably in a wooden store with proper ventilation to allow them to dry thoroughly.

For onion farmers, the medium-sized bulb is the most preferred by most consumers. However, the heavy rains normally result in more vegetative growth, leading to large bulb onions.

The rain is also affecting the curing of onions, making them sprout when harvesting. To avoid this, the farmer should neck the bulb onions for two days, uproot and store them in a dryer.

Necking is done by twisting the leaves where one cuts them off during harvesting. If the plant is still vegetative, you have to neck it to enable it dry so that you cut off the leaves later.

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