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Crop Field practices II - Agriculture Form 3

Suggested Activities


1. Visit some farms in your local area where beans and maize are growing in the field. During the visit identify the following ; symptoms /signs, disease/pest and suggest the appropriate control methods for the identified diseases and pests. Tabulate the finding as shown in the table below.
Symptom /signs Disease/pest Control



2. A group of students be given projects to produce to produce a crop from planting to harvesting. Different groups should be given different crops to grow and after harvesting they should compare the process of production for each plant they have produced(field practices they have carried out). The crops to consider for the projects include: Maize, beans, millet and sorghum.
3. A trip should be orgarnised to visit a rice irrigation scheme so as to enable the student to learn more about growing of rice and ask question about water control during the growing of rice.


4. The learner should harvest some of the crops such as cotton, sugar cane, coffee , tea or pyrethrum, in case they grow in the locality.

Background Information

Different crops grow under different environmental conditions. This was learnt in form one as one of the factors influencing agriculture.




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Glossary


Fine plucking: picking two leaves and a bud in tea.
Coarse plucking: picking of three leaves and a bud in tea.
Hybrid : these are crop varieties developed by crossing two pure line of the same crop
Composites : these are crop varieties developed by through repeated mass selection
Cultivars: these are variety of crops cultivated in a given area
Tipping: cutting off shoots that appear above the fitto

Buni: these dry coffee berries
Cherries: coffee berries that are ripe for picking
Safi: first grade cotton lint that is not contaminated with foreign materials
Fifi: second grade cotton that is contaminated with foreign materials
Fitto: A straight long stake used to guide the tea plucker on the plucking table
Tillering: sprouting of new shoots that arise from the main stem.
Plucker:A person who picks tea.
Aflatoxin: poisonous substances produced by fungi which develop on grains.

Topic objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to: a) describe management practices in crop production b) carry out management practices for a given crop c) demonstrate an appreciation of agriculture as an economically lucrative activity.
Under this topic the following will be covered. Maize production, Millet production, Sorghum production, Beans and Rice production.


Crop Production VI (Field Practices II)

Introduction

There are many crops cultivated in Kenya. These crops are grown for various uses such as the following. Staple food: Examples of staple food crops are maize, Bean and Rice.

Food security

Examples of crops for food security are cassava, millet, sorghum and sweet potatoes.



Export to earn foreign exchange

Examples of crops for export are tea, coffee, and pyrethrum.

Distribution of crops grown in Kenya

Maize production

Various uses of maize

Maize is used as a livestock feed. Maize stalk and other by-products of maize are used to feed livestock. Click the play button to see the video

Various uses of maize

Maize is a staple food in most Kenyan families because it is used in different forms. Examples are Githeri, roasted maize and Ugali

Ecological requirements of Maize crop

  • Maize rainfall requirement is 750-1250mm
  • Altitude 2000M ASL
  • Soil Freely draining fertile
  • Yield /hectare 3000-4500kg/ha

Varieties and composites


Various maize hybrids and composites have been developed to suit different ecological zones. Click on the ecological zones presented to reveal the varieties and composites suitable for the region.


Selection and preparation of planting materials
Seed companies in Kenya produce certified maize seeds that are availed to maize farmers throughout the country. The seeds are produced to suit varied agro-ecological regions.
Seed companies in Kenya produce certified maize seeds that are availed to maize farmers throughout the country packaged in various quantities.
Ag3-0820000Photo: packed maize seeds of various quantities by Kenya seed company.

Seed bed preparation

Ploughing: ploughing of land should be done during the dry season to kill the weeds. Depending on the condition of the land after ploughing, harrowing can be carried out to produce a medium tilth. Click the play button to see the video on ploughing

Planting

Maize seeds may be planted in farrows or holes. It should be planted at a spacing of between 75 to 90cm by 20 to 30cm.


The actual spacing depends on the annual rainfall, soil fertility and variety of maize selected.


Fertilizer application

  • Apply 100 to 150 kg of DSP fertilizer per hectare during planting.
  • Apply 200kg of ASN or CAN per hectare for topdressing when the crop is Knee high or 45cm high.

Weed control

The following methods of weed control may be used. Manual or mechanical cultivation. Click the play button to see the video

Pest control

Maize stalk borer. Makes windows on leaves, cobs and holes in the stem a photo showing leaves of maize plant attacked by maize stalk borer. Maize stalk borer makes windows on leaves, cobs and holes in the stem.
Controlled by use of appropriate insecticides and proper field hygiene.


Maize weevil. Make tunnels beneath the seed coat and circular holes on the surface of the grain.

Maize weevils make tunnels beneath the seed coat and circular holes on the surface of the grain. Weevils are controlled by dusting the maize with malathion and proper storage hygiene.


A weaver bird. They eat up the grains of maize on the cobs while still in the field. Birds eat the grains of maize. They are controlled by use of scare crows or covering the maize cobs using polythene bags.

Maize diseases

Maize smut

Fungal disease. The fungi destroys grains and tassels of maize. Causes black powder deposit. Maize smut is a fungal disease. The fungi destroys grains and tassels of maize. It causes black powder deposit.


Maize streak

Maize streak disease. The virus causes yellow longitudinal stripes on maize leaves. The stripes run parallel to the leaf midrib.


Fungal disease. The fungi Causes red or brown postules on the leaves and stems of maize. It is a fungal disease that Causes red or brown postules deposits on the leaves and stems of maize. It is controlled by planting resistant varieties of maize.

 

Harvesting

Maize is harvested through the following methods Cutting the maize stalks and stacking them in the field to allow cobs to dry.


The cobs are then removed by hand and placed in the store. De-husking directly in the field without first stocking them.
Harvesting can also be done using combine harvesters.


Storage

Maize can be stored in form of dried maize cobs or bagged maize grains. It should be well preserved in a dry granary to prevent attack by toxic fungi such as aflatoxin.
National maize silos


Marketing

Farmers sell their maize through the following outlet channels
National Cereals and Produce Board
Local trading markets in form of green or grain maize.

Finger millet production

In Kenya finger millet is grown in western province also in uganda.
it is an important cereal used for preparing porridge and ugali.


Ecological requirement of finger millet production

  • Drought resistant
  • Rainfall 500-600mm
  • Altitude 0-1200M ASL
  • Soils Free draining
  • Neutral or alkaline pH

Varieties of finger millet

Various varieties of finger millet are ultra lupin and 518 oat. which are resistant to lodging and blast.



Various varieties of Bulsh millet are serere26/17,17, 26/9, 6A, 2Aand 3A some varieties have bristles


Selection and preparation of planting materialsHarvested heads are sun dried, threshed and grains winnowed then stored for use as seeds. Seed companies in Kenya produce certified finger millet seeds.


Seed bed preparation

Ploughing:

Ploughing of land should be done during the dry season to kill the weeds. After ploughing harrowing should be carried out to produce fine tilth.

Click the play button to see the video


Planting

Bulsh millet seeds may be planted in farrows or broadcasted. It should be planted at a spacing of 30cm by 5cm.
Finger millet seeds may be planted in farrows or broadcasted. It should be planted at a spacing of 30cm by 5cm.


Fertilizer application

Apply 125kg of ammonium sulphate per hectare for topdressing


Weed control

Manual uprooting of the weeds is done in established millet plot.


Pest control


Weaver bird feeding on grains on the head of the finger millet while still in the field.
Bird are the major pest. They eat up the grains on the head of the finger millet while still in the field.

Finger millet diseases

Fungal disease.

The fungi causes brown spots with grey centres on the leaves stems are affected below the inflorescence. It is controlled by planting resistant variety
A photo showing brown spots with grey centres on the leaves stems are affected below the inflorescence.

Harvesting

Hand knives are used for cutting of individual mature heads of the finger millet.

Head are dried, threshed and winnowed.

Storage and marketing of millet.

The grains are stored in bags after drying .finger millet is mainly grown for subsistence .only a little is sold to the local market.


Sorghum production

Various uses of sorghum

Sorghum is important cereal crop in Kenyan . the sorghum grain ground in to flour and used for making ugali porridge and brew. Sorghum is used as a livestock feed. sorghum stalk and other by-products of sorghum are used to feed livestock.

Ecological requirement of sorghum

In Kenya sorghum is grown in western Kenya along the shores of lake Victoria and ukambani eastern province of Kenya.

The requirement for growing sorghum include:

  • Rainfall 420mm -630mm
  • Altitude 1500M Above sea level
  • Soils Fairly fertile and well drained

Varieties of sorghum

There are two major varieties of sorghum namely Dobbs and Serena. Dobbs is mainly grown around the shores of lake Victoria and has brown seeds.

The variety mature in 4 months. serena is a cross between dobbs and varieties from Swaziland which has brown seeds. Some varieties Goose neck and compact panicle are resistant to damage by birds. those varieties with open panicles are not resistant to birds attack.


Seed bed preparation

Ploughing of land should be done during the dry season to kill the weeds.Land ploughing and harrowing is carried out to produce a fine tilth. Click the play button to see the video



Planting

Sorghum seeds may be planted in farrows or holes.It should be planted at a spacing of 60cm by 15cm.Click the enter button to see the spacing illustraton

 

Fertilizer application

Sorghum respond well to farm yard manure on moist soils.


Farmer applying farm yard manure during planting.

Weed control

Weed control is done manually using a jembe it is done early before tillering of the crop.
A person weeding on a sorghum plot using a jembe

Pest control

Sorghum stem borer feed on the funnel before it move to feed on other soft tissues of the sorghum it also make tunnel in the stem.


Adult sorghum shoot fly lays eggs on the under side of the leaves of a young plant .The eggs hatch into larvaes that which move into the funnel and feeds on the young stem.Click the enter button to see the illustraton

A weaver bird.

They eat up the grains of sorghum while still in the field .however some varieties like goose neck are resistant to the attack. coloured type have a persistently bitter coat that discourage the birds.


Sorghum diseases

Fungal disease. The fungi destroy grains and inflorescent of sorghum plant. Causes black powder deposit on the grain and the inflorescent.Controlled by treating seeds with organo-mercurio fungicide as a seed dress.
Sorghum grains and inflorescent with black deposit of sorghum smut disease should be removed from the field.


Fungal disease.

The fungi Causes oval, grey and thin lesions on the leaves.it is a fungal disease that causes oval, grey and thin lesions on the leaves. It is controlled by planting resistant variety.
Sorghum leaves with grey oval lesions.


Harvesting

Sorghum is ready for harvesting 3-4 months after planting. Hand knives are used for cutting of individual mature heads of the sorghum.
Head are dried, threshed and winnowed.

Storage and marketing.

Sorghum can be stored in form of dried sorghum heads or bagged sorghum grains. It should be well preserved in a dry granary to prevent attack by toxic fungi such as aflatoxin.

The grains are stored in bags after drying. It is mainly grown for subsistence .only a little is sold to the local market.


Beans production

Beans are major source of proteins. Some varieties are cooked as dry beans while others are consumed green.


Distribution of beans

Beans are well distributed in Kenya mostly grown where maize grow in Kenya.

Ecological requirement of bean crop production

  • Rainfall 625mm
  • Altitude 1000-2100M Above sea level
  • Soils Fertile alluvial or fertile loamy
  • Neutral or alkaline pH

Selection and preparation of planting materials

Seed companies in Kenya produce certified bean seeds that are availed to beans farmers through out the country packaged in various quantities. The seeds are produced to suit varied agro-ecological regions.


Beans Varieties

Varieties for dry beans are:Rose coco, Mwezi moja among others.
Varieties for french beans are primear, long tom and saxa.

.

Seed bed preparation

Ploughing of land should be done during the dry season to kill the weeds. Depending on the condition of the land after ploughing, harrowing can be carried out to produce a medium tilth.



Planting

Beans should be planted at a spacing of between 30 to 35cm by 15cm.2to4 seeds are placed per hole.

Fertilizer application

Apply 200 kg of DAP fertilizer per hectare during planting.

Weed control

The following methods of weed control may be used.
Manual shallow weeding using a jembe.


Pest control

Bean fly feed on the stem causing swelling of the roots and wilting of the bean. it is controlled by spraying the crop with insecticide.
Bean bruchid make dark circular windows on the bean grains in the store. it is controlled by dressing the seeds with insecticide.

Bean diseases

Bean anthracnose

Fungal disease. The fungi Causes brown or black lesions on the underside of the leaves, pod and stems. controlled by planting resistant varieties.


Bean rust

Fungal disease. The fungi Causes red or brown pustules on the leaves of the beans .Bean rust is controlled spraying with copper based fungicide.


Harvesting

Beans are harvested when the pods are dry by uprooting them .they are threshed and the grains are winnowed and sorted


Marketing

Farmers sell their beans through the following outlet channels National Cereals and Produce Board Local trading market.

Rice production

Rice is a staple food in most Kenyan families because it is used in different forms.


Rice husks are used as a livestock feed.

Distribution of rice growing areas

In Kenya rice is grown in large scale in various parts which include mwea tabere irrigation scheme, ahero pilot scheme in kano plains,Bunyara in Busia and Bura in Tana


Rice Varieties

Varieties for dry rice grown in Kenya include Basmati 217(pishori), Sindano 'IR8', 'IRI22' and 'IR79'.

Land prepration

Plots of 0.4hectare are made with bunds constructed around them and are flooded with water for four days.
On the fifth day rotavators or jembes are used to work the flooded plot to level it and the water is allowed to drain.

Fertilizer application in a crop of rice

Apply 125 kg of sulphate of ammonia just before transplanting and again 40 days after transplanting Apply 120 kg of DSP fertilizer per hectare during planting depending on the soil analysis results.

Weed control

Flooding control most of the weeds and the few that survive can be uprooted Manually

Use of herbicides such as propanil and Butchlor is also common.


Disease control

Use of resistant varieties and crop rotation are the best methods of controlling diseases.

Water control

For direct sowing water should be completely drained off the plot, but for transplanted rice, water level should be 5cm deep.

Water level should always be maintained at1/3 the height of the plant until maturity of the rice. Water should be allowed to flow slowly into and out off the rice field or the water should be replaced every 2-3 weeks.


Harvesting Rice

In small scale rice harvesting it done manually

Storage and Marketing

In Kenya most of the rice is stored and marketed in bags for wholesale or small packets for retail

Harvesting Rice Storage and Marketing

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