Husbandry And Cultivation of Some Selected Crops

Cultivation of Cereals   Maize (Zea mays): Maize, commonly known as corn, is a member of the grass family (Gramineae). It produces grains, which serve as a staple food for both humans and livestock. The seed or fruit of maize is called caryopsis. Various varieties include sweet maize, flint maize, dent maize, flour maize, and […]

Cultivation of Cereals

 

Maize (Zea mays):

Maize, commonly known as corn, is a member of the grass family (Gramineae). It produces grains, which serve as a staple food for both humans and livestock. The seed or fruit of maize is called caryopsis. Various varieties include sweet maize, flint maize, dent maize, flour maize, and popcorn.

 

Rice (Oryza sativa):

Rice, another member of the grass family (Gramineae), is cultivated for its caryopsis. Different types include swamp rice (Toma) and upland rice (Agbede).

 

Land Preparation:

Land preparation involves clearing the land and creating ridges, which can be done manually or with mechanical assistance for both maize and rice.

 

Climatic Requirements:

Maize thrives in temperatures ranging from 26°C to 30°C, with a rainfall requirement of 75cm to 150cm per annum. On the other hand, rice prefers temperatures around 20°C, with upland rice requiring rainfall between 75cm and 120cm and swamp rice needing over 250cm.

 

Soil Requirements:

Maize prefers sandy-loamy soil with a pH of 6-7, while rice does well in loamy-clayey soil.

 

Method of Propagation:

Both maize and rice are propagated by seeds.

 

Planting:

Planting for maize involves manual or mechanical methods with 2-3 seeds per hole. Rice can be planted through broadcasting, sowing, or drilling.

 

Seed Rate:

The recommended seed rates are 20-30kg per hectare for maize and 65kg per hectare for rice.

 

Spacing:

Maize requires a spacing of 80cm between rows and 30cm within rows, while rice varies between 25-30cm depending on the variety.

 

Cultural Practices:

Both maize and rice cultivation involve supplying nutrients, thinning, weeding, fertilizer application, and pest and disease control.

 

Maturity Period:

Maize matures within 90-120 days after planting, while rice takes 4-7 months depending on the variety.

 

Harvesting:

Harvesting for both crops can be done manually using hand tools or mechanically with combined harvesters.

 

Processing:

Maize can be consumed boiled or roasted and processed into corn flour or flakes. Rice goes through sun drying, threshing, winnowing, parboiling, hulling, and polishing.

 

Uses:

Maize is consumed by humans and animals and used in brewery industries. Rice is consumed by humans and animals.

 

Storage:

Maize is stored as dried cobs in cribs or silos, while rice is stored in silos or jute bags in processed form.

 

Cultivation of Legumes

 

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata):

Cowpea, a member of the legume family, belongs to the leguminoseae family. It is rich in protein, and its fruit is called a pod.

 

Groundnut (Arachis hypogea):

Groundnut is a dual-purpose crop, serving as an oil and leguminous crop. It is mainly grown for its oil, with the seeds yielding about 40-45% excellent edible oil.

 

Varieties/Cultivar:

Cowpea has varieties such as erect type, creeping type, Ife brown, and Ife bimpe. Groundnut varieties include bunch or erect type, creeping type, Kano local, Kano 50, and castle cary.

 

Land Preparation, Climatic and Soil Requirements:

Similar to cereals, both cowpea and groundnut cultivation involve clearing the land and making ridges either manually or mechanically. Cowpea prefers a temperature of 27°C-35°C and rainfall of 60-125cm, while groundnut thrives in temperatures of 25°C-30°C and rainfall of 70-100cm. Cowpea grows well in well-drained sandy loamy soil, while groundnut prefers coarse-textured sandy loamy soil that is slightly acidic.

 

Method of Propagation and Planting:

Both cowpea and groundnut are propagated by seeds. Planting can be done manually or mechanically at 2-3 seeds per hole.

 

Seed Rate and Spacing:

Cowpea requires a seed rate of 20-25kg per hectare, and spacing depends on the type (erect or creeping). Groundnut has a seed rate of 30-35kg per hectare with varying spacing based on type (erect or creeping).

 

Cultural Practices:

Cultural practices for both include supplying nutrients, thinning, weeding, and pest and disease control. Groundnut typically does not require fertilizer application unless the soil is very poor.

 

Maturity Period and Harvesting:

Cowpea matures in 9-12 weeks after planting, depending on the variety. Harvesting involves hand-picking matured brown pods. Groundnut is ready for harvest when leaves turn yellow, and the plant is uprooted manually or mechanically, allowing for drying before pod removal.

 

Processing and Uses:

Processing for both includes sun drying, threshing, and winnowing. Cowpea serves as a source of plant protein, cover crop, forage legumes, and green manure. Groundnut is processed into oil, cake for human and animal consumption, and groundnut butter.

 

Storage:

Seeds of both cowpea and groundnut are stored in jute bags or silos, with precautions taken to prevent weevil attacks.

 

Cultivation of Roots and Tubers

Yam (Dioscorea spp):

Yam belongs to the Dioscoreacea family and is a root and tuber crop rich in carbohydrates. Varieties include water yam, yellow yam, white yam, bitter yam, aerial yam, and sweet cassava.

 

Cassava (Manihot spp):

Cassava is a root and tuber crop rich in carbohydrates, easily cultivated, and able to grow in relatively poor soil. Varieties include sweet cassava and bitter cassava.

 

Land Preparation, Climatic, and Soil Requirements:

Both yam and cassava cultivation involve clearing the land and making ridges either manually or mechanically. Yam requires a temperature of 25°C-30°C and rainfall of 100cm-180cm, with a well-drained sandy-loamy soil rich in humus. Cassava prefers a temperature of 21°C-35°C, rainfall of 150cm-200cm, and dried loamy soil.

 

Method of Propagation and Planting:

Yam is propagated by yam seeds or yam sets, while cassava is propagated by stem cuttings (25-30cm long). Planting involves placing yam sets in holes on ridges or burying stem cuttings in a slanting position.

 

Seed Rate and Spacing:

Yam has a seed rate of 3-5 tonnes per hectare, with a spacing of 90cm x 100cm. Cassava has a planting spacing of 100cm x 100cm.

 

Cultural Practices:

Cultural practices for yam include mulching, weeding, fertilizer application, staking, and vine training. Cassava cultivation involves weeding and fertilizer application, with ground preparation usually sufficient for its growth.

 

Maturity Period and Harvesting:

Yam matures in 8-12 months, depending on the variety. Harvesting is done by gently digging the soil to remove the tuber. Cassava matures in 10-15 months, and harvesting involves digging the soil gently around the tubers and pulling the stem manually or using a cassava puller.

 

Processing and Uses:

Yam can be processed into yam flour and is consumed by humans and animals. Cassava is processed into cassava flour, garri, or foofoo, also consumed by humans and animals.

 

Storage:

Yam tubers are stored in barns, while cassava is stored in processed form in sacks.

In conclusion, the cultivation of cereals, legumes, and roots/tubers involves various practices such as land preparation, climatic considerations, soil requirements, methods of propagation, planting, cultural practices, maturity periods, harvesting, processing, uses, and storage. These aspects are crucial in ensuring successful and sustainable agricultural practices for these essential food crops.

Related Posts:

Post-Planting Operations

Planting Operations

Cultural Practices

Classification Of Crops

Environmental Factors Affecting Agricultural Production

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