Feedback: Know how to curb whiteflies

Friday April 19 2019

A mango fruit with a spot indicating attack by white fruitflies.

A mango fruit with a spot indicating attack by white fruitflies. Pesticides and other methods can be used to control the fruitflies. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

SEEDS OF GOLD EXPERTS
By SEEDS OF GOLD EXPERTS
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CONTROLLING WHITE FLIES, TUTA ABSOLUTA

I am a farmer growing tomatoes and capsicum. My question is, which is the best fungicide to control white flies and Tuta absoluta in tomatoes?

Antony Mwangi

Whiteflies and Tuta absoluta are not fungi or fungal diseases. Therefore, you cannot use fungicide to control them.

They are pests, therefore pesticides and other methods can be used to control them.

Whiteflies can be controlled by:

•Use of biological agents like parasitoid wasps (Encarsia formosa), predatory mites, lace wings and pathogenic fungi like Beauveria bassiana.
• Use of chemical pesticides like Kingcode Elite, Presento and Taurus
• Use of plant extracts like neem and pepper.
• Crop rotation.
• Use of yellow sticky traps.
• Use of trap crops like mint and African marigold.

Tuta absoluta can be controlled by:

• Use of pheromones
• Spraying with pesticides like Runner, Radiant and Coragen at the caterpillar stage. However, the pests can develop resistance to pesticides.
• Use of tutasan water traps.
• Use of delta traps.
• Biological control by use of mired bugs.
• Destruction of infected crops and debris before planting again.
Carol Mutua
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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I NEED MARULA SEEDLINGS

I would like to grow the marula tree. It was at one time being popularised by Total Kenya. I have been to Total Petrol stations where they had said one can get seedlings but I have not received any positive feedback. Please help me get the seedlings.

Esther Gathoni

You can get the seedlings from Organic Garden. Contact them on [email protected] or +254 716598833.

Carol Mutua,
Department of Crops, Horticulture, and Soils, Egerton University.

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I WANT TO KEEP DORPER SHEEP ON FIVE ACRES

I take this opportunity to thank you for the fantastic work you do. I can assure that the wealth of knowledge and experience shared by your team of experts has been beneficial to many farmers.

I decided to venture into sheep farming, particularly the Dorper breed. I have purchased five acres in Ngeria, Uasin Gishu County, approximately 20km from Eldoret.

I have already purchased the starting stock of 14 animals, all ewes. I am currently shopping around for a good ram.

The venture will be up and running soon since I am finalising a few basic structures. My vision is to grow and attain pedigree animals and of course reap maximum returns from the investment.

I would kindly request your team to advise or share relevant materials on the care and management of Dorper sheep. Second, what is the carrying stock of five acres?

Robert K. Koech

Ideally, for an all-year-round sustainable pasture production, one livestock unit (LU) per acre is recommended. With regard to sheep, an average of seven mature sheep make up one LU, however, the Dorper sheep is well-adapted to arid and semi-arid areas.

Due to the prevailing ecological conditions of Eldoret, I would recommend 10 mature sheep per acre, translating to 50 on five acres.

Consider a mating ratio of a ram to 30 ewes and have three rams for mating. Paddocking the land would help to efficiently utilise the pastures.

Ochiel A.O.
Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.

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HOW DO I GROW GINGER AND GARLIC?

I need help on ginger and garlic farming. Please refer me to a document that I can read. I am from Homa Bay County.

Andrew Ondoro

Yes, you can get a document on ginger and garlic farming. Please contact me on [email protected]

Carol Mutua
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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FARMING SORGHUM-SUDAN GRASS

Please advise me on how I can feed my dairy cow Sorghum-Sudan grass. Is it advisable to cut it every month? What is the CP and digestibility of the Sorghum-Sudan grass?

Anthony Towett

Growing Sorghum-Sudan grass comes with many benefits that include high-quality forage, reduced soil erosion, low requirement for pesticides and herbicides, and lower susceptibility to drought conditions.

They are warm season grasses. Sorghum-Sudan grasses can be harvested using a strip grazing system, making silage, or cut and carry.

The first cut will be ready for harvest in about 60 days after planting. The plants should be over 65cm tall and harvest just before the heads emerge.

A second cut should be ready 30-35 days later. At cutting, the crop has about 70-75 per cent moisture and requires wilting before ensiling.

The crude protein is between 8-20 per cent with a total digestible nutrient of 55-70 per cent. Yield data is limited, but 5-7.5 tonnes per hectare is reported from research and farm experience.

Dennis Kigiri,
Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.

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STARTING DAIRY FARM

I would like to keep a dairy cow in Homa Bay. Kindly assist with a contact person.

Victor Ochieng

Kenya has one of the largest dairy industries in Sub-Saharan Africa and it is the single largest agricultural subsector.

With an estimated 5 billion litres of milk produced annually, the dairy industry is an important player in the economic and nutritional aspects of the Kenyan population.

I would like to encourage you to go full swing and do it. However, there are a few things that you need to consider.

Where will you get the feeds and water for your cows throughout the year? Which breeds of cows are best suited for Homa Bay?

What kind of infrastructure do you need? To answer these questions, visit the county livestock offices in Homa Bay for guidance.

Dennis Kigiri,
Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.

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BIRD’S NEST

I read the article, ‘Bird's nest that will cost you a fortune’ in Seeds of Gold on March 16. I have access to many nests, kindly connect me to the market.

Kiplangat Godfrey

Thank you for taking your time to go through the article. Edible bird’s nest is an animal product that is produced by swiftlets. The birds make it using their saliva.

Their main export markets are Hong Kong (50 per cent), China (8 per cent), Taiwan (48 per cent) and Macau (38 per cent). Prices differ in specific countries and the product is not yet available in Kenya.

For you to acquire it, you will need to make arrangements on how to import the same from producing industries.

More information on shipment charges and other logistics can always be found online. In case of further enquiries, feel free to visit the Food Science and Technology Department, Egerton University and you will be guided accordingly.

Daisy Lanoi
Egerton University.