Zimbabwe Farmers' Union

What to do with excessive rains

02 Mar 2017

Zimbabwe received normal to above normal rainfall characterised by incessant rains since November 2016.

 

The continuous rains that the country received for the past four months has caused flooding especially in the Southern parts of the nation.

 

Incessant rains are not ideal for crop and livestock production as they may lead to crop leaching also, prolonged humid conditions are conducive for pest and diseases.

 

To avoid yield and animal losses farmers can apply the following techniques:

 

Maize farmers should split application of top dressing.

 

Split application minimises the risk of losses due to leaching. Apply half the amount at knee height and half at half at shoulder height.

 

For maize farmers, as well, application of coated urea is encouraged.

 

Coated black urea unlike Ammonium Nitrate (AN) minimises nitrogen loss due to leaching and unlike the conventional urea, it also prevents potential crop burning in the event of unexpected rainfall break

 

Excessive rains can cause false ripening thus tobacco farmers are encouraged to apply calcium ammonium nitrate which delays ripening and so reducing reaping pressure.

 

Tobacco farmers should also scout for leaf spots and if need be apply fungicides

 

Soyabean farmers should apply foliar sprays for quick response.

 

 Farmers should also stick to the recommended routine fungicides application.

 

Incessant rains can cause flooding in livestock holding pens, cattle farmers are encouraged to construct more kraals for rotation to avoid foot rots.

 

Antibiotics should be administered for the affected animals

 

Tick borne diseases are prevalent with rains thus farmers should stick to the recommended weekly dipping. Farmers without dipping facilities are encouraged to use hand sprays and pour ons.

 

It is important that poultry farmers have structures that protect chickens from adverse weather conditions.

 

Inspection of fowl runs is key to check for any leakages or overflow rains that might cause losses

 

Above all farmers are also encouraged to take up insurance.

 

Insurance packages are available for both crop and livestock to cover against extreme weather conditions