Seedcane, Demo Plots & Field Information Days
Mechanical Planting of grower demo trial
SRIF continues to develop new technologies through research and provide much needed technical support to Extension personnel and farmers. The Technology Transfer initiatives of SRIF include; training of FSC extension personnel, training farmers, meeting with key stakeholders, establishing demonstration plots, organizing field days, designing audiovisual aids, media publication, and establishing seed cane nurseries.
SRIF also utilizes new and introduced mechanical implements and provides feedback and recommendation on the use of mechanization on farms in Fiji. Click here and here for more information on mechanization.
Irrigating heat treated seedcane in the greenhouse
All three mill areas, Lautoka, Rarawai and Labasa have the hot water treatment plants for treatment of seed cane. The major disease that threatens the quality of seed cane and can lead to yield loss is ratoon stunting disease (Leifonia xyli subsp. Xyli) which is prevalent in Fiji (Johnson et al, 2006) and can cause loss up to 27% annually (Johnson and Tyagi, 2010). Treating seed cane kills the bacteria and avoids its spreading from one farm to the other as this is one of the modes of transmission. Farmers should use clean equipment to harvest this seed cane before taking it for planting in their field. Planting is one of the most expensive farming operations when growing sugar cane. It has an enormous impact on the long-term productivity of a plot. Ignoring timing, seed cane source, and good planting methods can lead to poor germination and gaps in the field; this will reduce crop yields, reduce the number of ratoons from the plot, and increase costs by additional efforts to control weeds. Good-quality seed cane is critical to successful crop establishment. Benefits of quality seed cane include;
• Germination percentage is more than 85%
• Better successive ratoons
• Increase in yield to the extent of 10% to 15%
• Reduction in the expense on plant protection measures
More on Seedcane....
SRIF Scientist discusses logistics with farmer before planting a grower demo trial
A demonstration trial provides an interactive platform to directly demonstrate the effectiveness and benefits of adopting best management practices to combat declining sugar cane production in Fiji. As the saying goes “seeing is believing,” farmers are invited to the demonstration sites to attend field days and see for themselves the results of effectively using our recommendations and its impact on enhancing crop yield and quality. Demonstration trials also provide an ideal opportunity to transfer knowledge to growers about implementing sustainable farming practices and educate them on mitigation strategies to overcome the negative impact of climate change on sugarcane production in Fiji.
Field Information Day on green manure
The traditional role of field days and exchange visits has been to introduce growers and agricultural professionals to new technologies and techniques so that the audience could see how these technologies or techniques could be practically used and applied. Based on this concept, field days are conducted to demonstrate new technologies in front of a large manageable group of interested farmers. Through this activity, technical experts, extension workers, and farmers are involved and learn from each other.
Incorporation of green manure
Continuous and conventional cultivation leads to a decline in soil organic matter content, affects soil nutrients status, resulting in a loss of soil sustainability. One of the ways to maintain sustainability in agriculture by restoring soil quality and reclaiming degraded soil is to increase soil organic matter content. Green manure plants are grown for improving the organic matter and nutrient contents of soils. Green manuring also improves soil physical, chemical and biological activity in soil, reduces soil compaction, increases soil porosity, water infiltration and rooting depth. Choice of green manure plants is important. Legume plants are preferred for green manuring as they have nitrogen fixing properties. Plants with large biomass, ability to form a cover over the land, easy to incorporate and fast decomposing are preferred.
Among the legumes, Black gram (Vigna mungo (L)) is preferred for green manuring due to its characteristics. Growers were provided with black gram seeds that were mechanically and manually planted. Demonstration plots planted in promotion of green manure through mechanical planter had 15 kilogram per hectare of seed requirement. Planting period for green manure is from November to December as this coincides with the rainy season, allowing fast growth for the green manure plants. Upon reaching its flowering stage the plants are incorporated into the soil using three-disc plough. Once the plants are decomposed, fields are harrowed, and sugarcane planted.
Download Fact Sheet on Green Manure
Watch our video on Green Manure
Technology Transfer Officer conducting hands-on training for Farm Advisors
SRIF also collaborates with stakeholders for workshop and training purposes. The objective of conducting workshops and training is to create awareness and equip stakeholders with research findings and techniques as well as to align SRIF's technology transfer initiatives with stakeholders, especially FSC's extension plan.
Contact Us for any future collaboration or training needs
Field Day - Reviving the Tokatoka Sautorotoro Trust Farm
Best Farming Practices
FFS Day at Nawaicoba
FSC Farm Advisor's Training - Labasa
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