Sunday, 21 December 2014

How to develop a crop calendar

Using a crop calendar allows better planning of all farm activities and the cost of production.
A cropping calendar is a schedule of the rice growing season from the fallow period and land preparation, to crop establishment and maintenance, to harvest and storage.
Create a Crop calendar
The crop calendar allows a farmer to:
  • plan for input purchase and use
  • develop cash flow budget for year
  • determine need credit and period requirement
  • determine labor requirements and plan for peak usage times
  • organize contractors for land preparation and harvesting 
  1. Determine the best date to plant. This information can be gathered from local experience, agricultural advisors and leading farmers in the district.
  2. Determine the time the variety takes from planting to harvest. The length of time from establishment to harvest is known for each variety. It may vary  a little depending on the growing conditions especially water availability and solar radiation. Normally short duration varieties take 100−120 days, medium duration 120−140 days, and long duration 160 days plus.
    Growth duration diagrams
    crop-calendar-growth-tpr      crop-calendar-growth-dsr
    Transplanted rice     Direct seeded rice
  3. Most varieties take 60−65 days from panicle initiation to harvest.
  4. Mark on the calendar the date of planting and then when each other operation needs to be done (plowing, weeding, fertilizing, harvesting).
  5. Then determine how much labor, equipment and finance will be required at each step during the growing period.
  6. Pin the calendar in a prominent place to remind you when things need to be done.

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