Weed control an integral aspect of crop production

Weeds can negatively affect the growth of crops and vegetables grown in crop fields by competing for essentials such as water, nutrients, sunlight and air.

13 January 2021 | Economics

HANKS SAISAI

Crop production is a form of primary agriculture that provides many Namibian households with staple food. In most rural areas of Northern and North-Eastern Namibia, staple grains such as maize, pearl millet commonly known as mahangu and sorghum are milled into a powder that is used as a staple porridge in many homes.

Gratefully, Namibia continues to receive adequate rainfall in most parts of the country ensuring that soil moisture is readily available to support plant growth.

When growing crops, it is of great importance to note that as soil moisture is maintained there will be an emergence of other unwanted plants amongst crops grown by a farmer. Undesired plants that grow in a crop field or garden are known as weeds.

Weeds can negatively affect the growth of crops and vegetables grown in crop fields or gardens by competing for essentials such as water, nutrients, sunlight and air. When crops are deprived of the essentials needed for growth, they experience stunted growth.

Moreover, some weeds are hosts for pests and diseases that can attack the vegetables or crops grown by farmers. It is thus of great importance that weed control is practiced by farmers who cultivate fields in order to successfully grow crops.

To ensure that crops are grown successfully, it is the farmer ‘s responsibility to apply weed control measures as soon as possible. On small-scale gardens, weeds can be manually removed by pulling them out of the soil by hand, but this must be done at a stage where the crops are about 40 mm to 50 mm above the ground. Weeds can also be controlled at the soil preparation stage whereby the soil is ploughed to loosen it using a digging fork or on commercial scale production basis a tractor.

Modern methods

In traditional crop fields that are popular in Northern and North-Eastern Namibia, weeds are removed by mechanical means of manual labour using hoes to cut and dig out weeds growing in between the Maize, Sorghum and Mahangu rows. Once the weeds are dug up, they are laid on top of the soil to dry and decompose. When operating big commercial plantations, manual weeding with hoes becomes an impossible task, hence the use of chemicals to control weeds becomes effective. Herbicides are chemicals that are mixed with water and sprayed on fields or gardens to kill weeds. However, when using herbicides such as 2-4D it is essential to use selective ranges that only target certain weeds such as couch grass. Moreover, herbicides should be ecologically friendly for them not to harm useful micro-organisms such as Ladybird bugs. Another effective way of controlling weeds is to introduce crop rotation practices to ensure that one crop is not grown on the same piece of land each year. When a farmer’s harvest maize from their field and decides to grow beans the next cropping season, they will break the life cycle of the weeds that attack maize in that field.

To ensure that crops can grow from planting to harvesting, it is essential to remove all the unwanted plants that will grow in the garden or field. Remember that weeds can be controlled by first preparing the soil well by loosening it with a plough or digging fork. When weeds are removed, crops utilize the essentials needed for their growth optimally with no interruptions.

Similar News

 

South Africa's mining industry to support vaccine rollout

19 hours ago | Economics

South Africa's mining companies will support government in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines as the nation battles a surge in infections, the industry body said...

Price monster continues to be gentle

19 hours ago | Economics

The annual inflation rate for December 2020 stood at 2.4%, down from 2.6% recorded in December 2019, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points.This brings great...

Kenya Airways plans more pay cuts

19 hours ago | Economics

Kenya Airways plans further pay cuts for employees of as much as 30% after the airline was hit by the coronavirus pandemic that has caused...

Namibian economy expected to continue bleeding red ink

19 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUAlthough most economies, including South Africa, rebounded in in the third quarter of 2020, Namibia’s economy remains into deeper recession.According to Indileni Nanghonga, the...

China remains a top market for Namibian exports

1 day - 18 January 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUTotal exports deteriorated in November last year by 3.9% when compared to its level of N$8.3 billion observed in November 2019.The top three countries...

Nudo supports striking Shoprite employees

1 day - 18 January 2021 | Economics

The National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) has thrown its weight behind employees of the Shoprite group who have been striking since December for better wages.Employees...

Vulnerable residents relocated to avoid flooding

1 day - 18 January 2021 | Economics

Residents of informal settlements who were relocated by the City of Windhoek (CoW) from riverbeds and other areas to lessen their exposure to flooding have...

Ivory Coast faces 100 000-tonne cocoa bean pile-up

1 day - 18 January 2021 | Economics

ANGE ABOAA pandemic-induced slowdown in global chocolate demand has led to a pile-up of about 100 000 tonnes of cocoa beans in Ivory Coast's interior,...

Nearly half-billion up for SME loans

4 days ago - 15 January 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUFast tracking the disbursing of loan payments is of critical importance to ensure that affected Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) receive funds on time...

TransNamib unable to meet wage increment demands

4 days ago - 15 January 2021 | Economics

TransNamib management said the company is currently unable to meet any wage increases due to its well documented weak financial position.TransNamib stated this while responding...

Latest News

South Africa's mining industry to...

19 hours ago | Economics

South Africa's mining companies will support government in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines as the nation battles a surge in infections, the industry body said...

Price monster continues to be...

19 hours ago | Economics

The annual inflation rate for December 2020 stood at 2.4%, down from 2.6% recorded in December 2019, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points.This brings great...

Audit firm ‘knew’ of Fishcor...

19 hours ago | Crime

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKStier Vente Associates, external auditors for beleaguered state fishing company Fishcor, only reported the suspicious Fishrot-related transactions to the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board...

Covid-19: Former Rundu mayor Ihemba...

19 hours ago | People

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDURundu mayor Gabriel Kanyanga has described former Rundu councillor Ralf Ihemba, who died from Covid-19 yesterday, as a hero and a loyal Swapo cadre.Kanyanga...

Creating change through gaming

19 hours ago | Youth

Enzo AmueleLothario Smith, a 17-year-old learner who is currently grade 11, recently launched his first game on both Android and IOS platforms after working on...

Kenya Airways plans more pay...

19 hours ago | Economics

Kenya Airways plans further pay cuts for employees of as much as 30% after the airline was hit by the coronavirus pandemic that has caused...

Namibian economy expected to continue...

19 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUAlthough most economies, including South Africa, rebounded in in the third quarter of 2020, Namibia’s economy remains into deeper recession.According to Indileni Nanghonga, the...

Blind loyalty is costing Namibia

19 hours ago | Opinion

Too many people confuse loyalty with blind obedience. When loyalty clouds judgement to the extent that one is ready to ignore their inner child’s voice...

Angola releases Namibians arrested for...

19 hours ago | Justice

NAMPARUNDUFour Namibians who were held at the Gciriku Post holding cells for illegally crossing into Angola have been released.Three boys and a man aged 23...

Load More