Planting and post planting operations in agriculture

planting and post Planting operations in agriculture, what is post planting operation? is planting operations in agriculture same post planting, planting. planting and post planting operations include transplanting, nursery practices, weeding activities, thinning, mulching, fertilizer application, harvesting and storage practices. each of these activity has their operational process but in this post let us look at post operation and planting operation in agriculture and farming. read how to store fertilizer here

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so what really is planting and post planting operations in agriculture?

These are activities carried out by the farmer after land pre-planting operation. planting and post planting operations in agriculture are farming activities the farmer should do or ought to be prepared to aware of while the seeds, seedlings or planting materials are being put in the soil.

explain the term post planting operations in agriculture

Post planting operations are the series of activities carried out in a farm management system between the period of planting and harvesting. They are necessary to achieve a reasonable yield.

planting operations
planting and post Planting operations

Examples of post-planting operations in agriculture

are:
Fertilization
Weeding
Crop protection
harvesting
irrigation and drainage
Capping/mulching
fumigation
staking

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Weeding as a post planting operation in agriculture

:
Of course, weeding is the most important post-planting operations. If you do not weed your farm on a regular basis, you are likely to have a very low yield.

Weeds are unwanted plants that grow alongside with your crop.

Weeds are genetically more viable and aggressive than your crops; they compete with your crops for nutrients, air, and water.

They also harbor pests that can reduce the quantity and quality of your crops. Your crops may find it very difficult to outwit the weeds if you do not intervene; your intervention is in the form of manual or mechanical weeding or using herbicides.

Herbicides are used to control weeds

fertilizer application type  post planting operation in agriculture

Fertilization
Apply fertilizers after every weeding. It gives your crop the full access to the fertilizer, thus, enhancing efficiency.

Crop protection
Harvesting

What a farmer should know and before Before planting operations in agriculture

(i) Planting materials such -as seeds, seedlings, cuttings, sucker and so on should be taken from healthy plant sources.
(ii) They should be free of diseases and pest infestation.
(iii) They should be viable and properly stored before use.read about farm storage here

(iv) Planting materials of high quality should be bought and collected from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Agricultural Development Project. Research Centres. Agro-Service Centre or Seed Multiplication Units.

The activities’ associated with planting operations include planting dates, planting dates, seed rate, nursery and nursery practices, capping, transplanting and planting depth

SEE MORE ACTIVITIES HERE

cultural practices in agriculture

Weeding, fertilizer applications, irrigation and drainage and so on…all other operations that will contribute to the well growth or development of planted plants

 Date of planting in planting operations in agriculture

This refers to the period of the year at which a particular crop sown in order to produce well. It is usually after the First rainfall in the year for most crops except where irrigation is practiced.

However, planting date varies for different crops. This is due to types of the crops. For example, some grains and legumes require little rainfall for growth and production, and a dry period for the grains and and pods to get dried, Vegetables, especially the leafy types require wet period for their growth and production.

This is why specific period of the year is recommended for the growing of various crops in the different parts of Nigeria and West Africa.

for example, early maize is planted in the South between late February and April, late maize in August/September while it is planted June in the North. Cotton is planted in June.

Late yam is sown between March and yearly June or November around the riverine areas as early crop. Cassava is cultivated between March and October for good harvest.

The actual date of the day planting is done, is referred to as the sowing date. For instance, maize is grown between February and April but the actual day of planting a plot could be 28th of February, which becomes the sowing date.

The observation of correct date of planting enables crops to escape pests and diseases, failure of crops and maintain high yields.

  1. Planting distances or spacing
    This is the distance given between one stand of cultivated crop and another. It varies from one type crop to another.

When correct planting distance is observed, it enables crops to have high yields, as the nutrients and water available would be enough for the crops. It also allows space for carrying out cultural practices such as weeding, fertilizer application, pest control, and so on.

It ensures that land is not wasted because only the number of plants that the land can take is planted. It prevents over crowding of crops which may result in poor Yields.

general planting operation on some crops

The recommended_ planting distances for some common, garden crops are:

(a) Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentun): 40cm to 60cm between rows and 30cm to 50cm between ‘plants or stands

.
(b) Okra (Abelmoschus): 60cm – 90cm between rows and 30cm between plants or within row.

(c) Cow-pea (Vigna unguiculata): 80cm between rows and 30cm within rows.

(d) Yam (Dioscorea spp): I’m between rows and 1m between plants

(e) Maize (Zea Mays) 90cm between row and 30cm along rows.

(f) Cassava (Manihot esculenta): 1m between rows and 1m between plants or along rows.

(g) Carrot (Ducus carrota): 40cm between rows and I cm to 15cm along the rows,

(h) Rice (Oryza sativa): 30cm between rows and 15cm along the drills or broadcast.

(i) Guinea corn (Sorghum spp): 60cm apart for tall varieties and 20cm to 30cm apart for the dwarf varieties.

(j) Groundnut (Arachis hypogea): 25cm apart and along rows.

 Seed rate options in planting operations in agriculture

This is used to describe the amount of planting materials required to plant one hectare of land. It is usually expressed in kilograms per hectare, when seeds are used for planting. If plant parts are used. it is expressed in numbers of stands per hectare.

  1. Planting depth
    This refers to the depth of the holes in which a seed or seedling or planting material is put or planted. It is advisable not to allow the holes to be too deep, as it will affect the emergence of the planting materials.

If too shallow, seeds could be picked and eaten up by pests such as rodents READ ANIMAL PESTS OF CROPS HERE •

  1. Capping/mulching
    The practice of using dry grasses or pieces of wood to cover the spot where yam sett or seed yam is planted either on ridge, mound or1 flat is called capping or mulching.

It prevents, direct heat of the sun. from diving up planting materials, and conserves moisture and optimum heat for germination.

Nursery and nursery practices during planting operation

A nursery is an area where seeds are first grown and tended till the seedling are strong or grown enough to be planted out in their permanent beds or fields. Consideration is usually given to crops with small seeds and those with less viability in nursery establishment.

Crops such as African Spinnach, Amaranthus spp, tomatoes lettuce cabbage, garden egg, pepper, citrus, oil and cocoa can be grown in a nursery. you can read more about botanical names of crops here

Advantages of nursery establishment
  1. Seeds loo small to be planted directly or at stake or in the site are produced through nursery.
  2. Seedlings too weak at tender age to compete with weeds are cared for in the nursery
  3. Proper care is given to crops so as to escape pests and diseases attacks.
  4. Only healthy plants are transplanted thereby reducing spread of diseases in crops.
  5. It gives uniformity in growth of field crops.
  6. As a result of the good start given to the crops, high yield is obtained.

Types of nursery:

These include:
1. Ground nursery or seed bed
2. Seed trays or boxes
3. Polythene bags
4. Baskets
5. Carton nurseries

The ground or nursery beds are not different from root beds used on the field to grow vegetables mostly, to maturity.

A standard nursery bed is 1,20m by 7.50m in size. In preparing the nursery bed. compost manure is added. About six (6) head-pans are added to every 9m2 of the nursery bed. The compost should be well rotted or properly decomposed.

Poultry droppings (Guano) can also be used. This should be mixed thoroughly with the soil. Where fertilizer is used, it should be mixed with the soil at the rate of 500g per 9m”.  bed should be mulched properly thereafter to avoid loss of essential nutrients and conserve moisture.

Seeds are planted after a few days in drills. The drills should be ell spaced to avoid root destruction during lifting for transplanting.

Good spacing in the nursery prevents the spread of diseases.

The method of nursery bed preparation also goes for root beds where the crop will grow to maturity.

The nursery is watered morning and evening during dry season.

A nursery should he mulled but not too thick to avoid the development tiny seedlings.

Avoid excessive watering in the nursery as this produces tiny seedlings which are easily attacked by diseases.

Seed boxes or trays could be used as nursery. The boxes or trays are perforated below to allow in air and excess water to drain out.

To provide a suitable growth medium, thee parts of good top soil, two parts of properly decayed compost (not hot) and one part of river sand are mixed together and put in each box.

The boxes are sometimes made to specification of 53cm by 9cm either with wood or metal.

Seeds are planted in drills or broadcast as the case may be. The boxes are kept under shade. Where polythene bags are used, seedlings are easy to transport to the permanent plot. Root destruction is reduced too.

Which ever method used in nursery preparation, even in green house, optimum condition for growth should be provided before transplanting is done.

Transplanting in post planting operation

This involves lifting seedlings from the nursery and planting them out in their permanent plot or field. Most tree crops and vegetables are raised in the nursery before transplanting.

Transplanting is done when seedlings are grown up to four or five leaves stage. It is advisable to transplant in the evening or during a dull day. Water the nursery before transplanting. Transplanted seedlings should not he allowed to wilt.

Therefore, water immediately after transplanting to enable the soil get in contact with the roots. The soil is checked to about 7.50 cm deep from the top soil. If not moist, then more, water should be applied. Only healthy seedlings should be lifted and ensure that the roots of seedlings are not damaged.

Transplanting could be carried out in two ways:
  1. The ball of earth system.
  2. The naked root system.

The ball of earth involves lifting seedlings with earth or soil around the roots. This helps to preserve the roots and minimize shock in seedlings.

A hand trowel is used in this method for transplanting. Before transplanting the stands are marked and opened on the field. Put in the seedlings and firm the soil around the roots. It is necessary to water immediately.

The naked root system involves lifting seedlings without soil attached to the roots. This is used mainly in rubber, fruits, and tree production.

Though, a farmer may choose to use it in vegetable production, but the ball of earth system is more advisable, root system may be necessary if seedlings are to be transported to far places.

Where die polythene bags are used, they should be cut off carefully before putting the plant into the ground.

 Post planting operations

These are activities carried out on the farm after planting has been done. These include thinning, supplying, mulching, manuring and fertilizer application, watering, weeding, pest and disease control, harvesting, farm level processing and storage.

Thinning is a post planting operation

This is the reduction in the number of plants per stand. extra seedlings are removed from a stand where man) viable seeds germinated. Thinning should be done when the soil is moist.

The weakest of the plants on the stand is usually the one to be removed. ( are should be taken not to damage the remaining plants on the stand. Press the soil around the roots of the remaining plants. It is practiced with vegetable crops and cereal such as maize.

Thinning practice reduces over crowding and crop competition for nutrients, space and sunlight.

 Mulching is an example of post planting operation

This involves the covering of the surface soil with any material to prevent loss of water or keep.down weeds. Sawdust, manure, straw, leaves, paper, plastic materials are used.

It is an effective way of checking evaporation in the soil or home garden. It helps to keep down weeds, thereby reducing transpiration from their leaves.

When organic mulches decay, they add to the nutrients in the soil thereby increasing production.

The decayed products increase the water-holding capacity of the soil. Mulching provides ways of utilizing waste products from crop production, e.g. stubble mulch.

Mulching reduces surface run-off and increases water infiltration and percolation. It also limits t effect of temperature fluctuation on crops.

Supplying in post planting operation
After planting pure stands at any species in the farm and some do not germinate, the ungerminated stands are replaced with some more of the same species. This is called supplying or beating up in forest management Supplies may be from the nursery or stored viable

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