By Albert Makendenge
All of us who took Geography classes in at O and Level will most certainly know of the Monsoons. The North East Monsoon, for instance, which is a seasonal wind which blows during the summer and brings rains to the Northern parts of Zimbabwe during the months of December and January. And all of us who love and love agriculture will most definitely know of wind pollination, the process (preceding fertilization) by which pollen grains are transferred, via the wind, from the anther unto the stigma.
The wind therefore holds very significant importance in agricultural circles and should be appreciated as such. Appreciated at least when it goes about its business as silently and calmly as possible and not so much when it’s noisy and speedy. Nothing is better than a calm and cool breeze blowing over our us and our animals and plants on a sizzling summer’s day but nature always has its way of showing us the extremes of its powers, with the windy month of August coming as close as possible to these extremes. At the very peak of its powers plants quickly run out water (as evaporation rates go up) if not blown down (worse so in the absence of windbreaks. And windy days are certainly not the time to irrigation especially with sprinklers as the most of the water will be misplaced and lost midair. Famers are also encouraged to take note of the wind direction and spray downwind most especially when using a knapsack sprayer. Out of whole list of the implications or effects of wind in farming, these are some of the simple things that farmers have got to watch out for as they go about their farm activities.
Much like the wind is as clearly shown above, everything, at varying levels of intensity, has its upsides and downsides and it takes a good understanding of these dynamics to tip the scale in one’s favor and avoiding clashing with the forces of nature. .