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Bungoma farmer increases maize yield 15% planting one seedling per hole

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Robert Omusula, a farmer in Bungoma has increased his maize production by 15 per cent by simply reducing maize seedlings from four to just one to two in every hole.

Kenyan farmers growing one maize seedling per hole get 24 per cent more in yield than those who put eight seedlings in a hole and 14 per cent more than those who grew four seedlings in one hole. 

The amount of maize harvested decreased with the increase in seedlings because the plants fought for soil nutrients, moisture, and sunlight.

“For the longest time, I thought that the more seedlings I had, the more harvests I would have. However, after a visit from a county agricultural extension officer, I quickly learned that thinning and spacing are crucial for a bumper harvest. Now I have quick-growing, healthy maize,” Robert said.

Thinning refers to uprooting the weaker maize seedlings to leave just one or two seedlings to grow to full maturity. It is done two to three weeks after the seedling emerges. If it is done when the seedlings are younger and fragile, they will likely break.

Wilberforce Wanderi– a government agronomist in Bungoma County– says while it might be tempting to leave the three maize seedlings to mature it often leads to poorer yields.

“During first weeding– about 18 days after the seedlings emerge– uproot the ones that are weak and not growing at the same pace as the rest and use them to fill holes or an area of the shamba where maize might have failed to grow,” 

Read more:

Green maize farmers double profits through transplanting

Busia looks to 5X maize production through subsidised tractor services

Meru farmer adds 5 maize bags an acre shifting from disc to chisel plough  

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