Thinning of Plantain Suckers

Unlike those of most other bananas, plantain suckers develop very slowly. After harvest, all suckers start to grow at the same time and most have to be eliminated to stop competition. The tallest is left to guarantee the follow up and maintain the density. Thinning usually has to be repeated a month later, as new suckers will have emerged by that time. Suckers are thinned with a machete. The sucker pseudo stem is cut off near its corm and the point of the machete is twisted in the growing tip,…

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Recommended Routine Activities on a Rabbitry Farm

THE IDEAL FEEDING PATTERN FOR RABBIT KITS

Throughout this issue, we have placed a lot of emphasis on security when constructing or purchasing your structures and choosing your equipment. Once you have a safe rabbitry in place, security should still be a priority. This security extends beyond protecting rabbits from outside threats and includes their safekeeping in all ways, from vigilant temperature control to regular feeding schedules. The best way to make sure your rabbits stay protected is to develop consistent routines. 1. Visitor guidelines A rabbit raiser called me up recently and said his does would…

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Important Tools and Equipment for Raising Rabbits

Expert advice on which tools and equipment for raising rabbits is absolutely vital to your success, plus some rabbit handling advice. We’ve covered basic housing options and the typical rabbit feed and watering options already. But what about all those extra tools that make running a rabbitry go smoother – the things you’d never think about until you were helping a buddy cull a few rabbits and you had one of those where-did-you-get-that-thing moments? And where should you draw the line between essential and nonessential? Read on, and we’ve got…

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Required Spacing for Plantain Cultivation

The recommended spacing is 3 m between the plantain rows and 2 m within the row (in other words. 3 m x 2 m). An alternative is 2.5 m x 2.5 m. If spaced 3 m x 2 m, 1 hectare should contain 1667 plants, but with a spacing of 2.5 m x 2.5 m, it should contain 1600 plants. Rows should be straight in flat fields to give plants the maximum amount of sunlight. However, on sloping land, rows should follow the contour lines in order to decrease soil…

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Selecting the site for Plantain Cultivation

The site should be easily accessible, especially if the establishment of a large field is being planned. It should be well drained but not too steeply sloped. Plantain cultivation is impossible if the land becomes flooded from time to time, or has a water table at a depth of only 50 cm or less. The soil should be rich in organic matter (black soil). Hence fields in a long natural fallow, under an improved established fallow or with a lot of mulch are recommended.

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Plantain Inter-cropping

Plantain fields are arranged in rows spaced 3 m x 2 m. As the canopy closes only some 5 to 6 months after planting, a fair amount of inter-row space remains un-exploited during the first months. This space can be used for plants which have a short life cycle and which do not compete with plantains. Groundnut, yam, cocoyam and maize are suitable inter-crops although maize effectively delays the plantain harvest by about 2 months. Cassava and cowpea are not suitable, because their yields are reduced under the shade of…

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Preparing the field for Plantain Cultivation

Fields are to be prepared with minimum disturbance to the soil (no-tillage farming). In consequence, manual clearing should be preferred to mechanical deforestation because bulldozers always remove topsoil with the important organic matter and compact the remaining soil. When an old natural fallow is cleared, the debris from the forest should be burned if plantain cultivation is planned for 1 or 2 cycles only. If perennial cultivation is being considered, planting should be done through the mulch .Young fallows of about 3 to 5 years or improved legume fallows should…

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Ways of Preparing of Plantain suckers

Suckers are separated from their mother plant with a spade or machete. The sucker corm must not be damaged or chipped. Consequently the corm should be carefully peeled with a machete. The pseudo stem of the suckers should be cut off a few centimeters above the corm. Peeling of the corm delays the development of nematode infestation, while cutting of the pseudo stem reduces bulkiness and improves early growth of the newly planted sucker. The peeling process is just like that for cassava. A freshly peeled healthy corm ought to…

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Method of Planting Plantain Suckers (PPS)

Suckers are planted immediately after field preparation. Plant holes are prepared with a minimum size of about 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm. Care should be taken to separate the topsoil from bottom soil. The sucker is placed in the hole and its corm is covered, first with the topsoil and then with the bottom soil. In the plant hole, the side of the sucker corm which was formerly attached to the corm of its mother plant is placed against the wall of the hole. The opposite side…

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