By Albert Makendenge
Variety selection is just as important as the actual in field agronomic practices such as fertilization and weeding and goes a long way to ease farm management and pest control. No amount of nourishment and care can really change the inherent features and traits of a particular variety. The challenge to make the right selection for a great produce can be tackled by the following tips.
Environmental (soil) and climatic (temperature and rainfall) basics are the first to start with. It is encouraged to go for soil sampling and testing in order to identify the best seed that can fit in that soil. Examining the soil’s texture, compaction, cation conversion and organic content will surely enable the farmer to choose the best seeds. The wrong choice will cost the farmer to use expensive fertilizers, frequent cultivation and using various planting methods for the seeds to fit the soil. The seed selected also has to be compatible with existing average rainfall and temperature patterns.
Pests and diseases are an unavoidable threat in farming as a farmer you have always got to be ready to deal with it. One of the best ways to address this problem is to deal with it right from onset of seed selection. Choosing those varieties that are most resistant to common pests and diseases in the area will give the farmer a better chance of harvesting more.
It is in the best interests of the farmer to make the choice of a variety bearing in mind the other crops that they are looking to plant on their farm. Choosing varieties that are beneficial to each other and can therefore be used successfully in companion planting will go a long way in enhancing both the quantity and quality of the final product. This is simply because of the collective action by the plants to, for instance, fight against insects and pests or to nourish each other in the growth and development process.
Looking back on past experiences with different varieties is also a very good thing to do during the selection process. Although it may turn out to have wonderful and unexpected benefits to try out some new varieties, farmers would rather go for that variety that has served them very well before. Past knowledge and experience around the variety will work significantly in the favor of the farmer.
For those that are in the business of farming for a profit, it is advisable and recommended that they look first at what the customers are demanding the most. The prevalent tastes and preferences of the market are very important when farmers will be looking to make good sales. Thorough market research will not only make the selection process easier, but will go a long way in ensuring that the marketing efforts will be faced with much less hurdles.
It may be quite difficult, however, to accommodate all of the above factors and farmers may end up just having to make a compromise and thus basing their decision on the key ones. Farmers will therefore have to make a choice that best serves the main goal that they are looking to achieve.