Entries by Cropnuts

Link between Aflatoxin and Maize Nutrition

Researchers here in Kenya have established a link between the potentially harmful Aflatoxins, and poor crop health and nutrition in maize. Improved soil fertility, agronomy and soil testing can all help reduce levels of this carcinogen in grain. Aflatoxins are produced by a fungus which thrives on maize crops in poor health, and the recent […]

The Bountiful Benefits of Biochar

By Ruth Vaughan, Technical Director, CropNuts Biochar is the new buzz word in farming.  What is it?  Biochar is basically ‘charred’ agricultural waste created through slow burning of organic matter in the absence of oxygen (pyrolysis).  This creates a porous, high carbon, stable material that can be added to the soil to improve soil properties. […]

Sodium Strategies: The effect of high soil sodium

By Ruth Vaughan, CropNuts Technical Director In Africa, and especially in Kenya, high soil sodium is one of the major causes of yield losses, quality reduction and crop failure in irrigated agriculture.  So today, in our first newsletter, we are going to talk about sodium in the soil. Soils High With Sodium Soils with a […]

The Beneficial Effects of Leaving Crop Residue on your Fields

As defined by FAO, Conservation agriculture aims to achieve sustainable and profitable agriculture and subsequently aims at improved livelihoods of farmers through the application of the three CA principles: minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. Permanent soil cover can only be achieved if residue is left on the field after harvest. Leaving […]

Planning Your Crop Rotation

A sound rotation has many benefits; here we discuss a few key points when planning to improve the performance of your farm. All plants have favoured soil types and climates which need to be appreciated when choosing which crops to introduce into the rotation. Barley for example is very tolerant of Sodium Soils, Peas thrive […]

The Mighty Millipede: Friend-turned-foe?

By Ruth Vaughan The decomposers’ heroic deeds in farms are fast being replaced by a trail of destructive activities Have the beneficial worm Millipede turned predatory? This is the question scientists and some potato farmers are grappling with as the worms feed on tubers dealing a major blow to farm productivity in parts of Meru. […]