Feedback: Watch out, not all tap water is good for irrigation

Your questions on farming and agribusiness answered by agricultural experts through: satnation@ke.nationmedia.com

A farmer waters her farm using a hose-pipe. The most important factor to consider in any water for irrigation especially for vegetables is total soluble salts in it also known as Electrical Conductivity. FILE | NMG  

IN SUMMARY

  • Some water can be too salty to be used for irrigation.
  • Some tap water is also treated with too much chlorine that it may affect the growth of crops.
  • Besides having a good feed formulation plan or computer formulation programme, attending a short course is basic to help you learn and manage livestock feeding alongside understanding the roles of energy proteins, vitamins and minerals in animal diets.
  • Rabbit production has experienced a steady growth in the past years but the venture remains fully unexploited giving room for potential expansion.

USE OF TAP WATER FOR IRRIGATION

Is tap water good for irrigation, especially of vegetables?

Jackson Owenga

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Interestingly, tap water also has a source. Depending on the source, it can be good or bad.

The most important factor to consider in any water for irrigation especially for vegetables is total soluble salts in it also known as Electrical Conductivity (EC).

Some water can be too salty to be used for irrigation. Tap water from too salty source may affect the vegetable crop by causing what is known as reverse osmosis leading to plants drying after irrigation.

What you need to look at keenly is the source of the water. Testing it for EC would help you know if the water is good.

Some tap water is also treated with too much chlorine that it may affect the growth of crops.

Peter Caleb Otieno,
Department of Crops Horticulture, and Soils, Egerton University.

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NILE PERCH MARKET

I’d like to know where I can sell my 15 tonnes of fresh tilapia in bulk. They are in Mfangano Island and will be ready by November this year.

Omondi

Currently the supply of tilapia in the market cannot match demand. As a farmer, I believe you have records of the weights of individual fish through sampling that will help us in marketing the fish.

For more information on the necessary preparations, contact me 0718636413.

Alex Amuyunzu Akidiva,
Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University.

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BEST DAMLINER

Where can I get a dam liner in Murang’a County?

Julius Ngugi

You can access dam liners in Nairobi at a wholesale price. Depending on the size of the liner you want, the prices can be slashed by up to Sh200 per metre square.

A lined water dam in a farm in Maragua. FILE | NMG 

Still you can find the dam liner in most hardware shops in Thika though at relatively higher prices ranging from Sh250 and above. Contact Tembo liners at 0715628008.

Alex Amuyunzu Akidiva,
Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University.

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CONTROLLING TUTA ABSOLUTA

I wish to get in touch with an institution with the capacity to help me control tuta absoluta in my greenhouse using biological means

Kiplagat

Controlling Tuta absoluta using biological means is possible and one of the institution you can talk to is Dudutech.

Please contact Mr Attai 0717347580.

Peter Caleb Otieno,
Department of Crops Horticulture, and Soils, Egerton University.

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GROWING MAIZE AND POTATOES

I am interested in farming maize in Laikipia County and potatoes in Nyandarua County.

I would like to know all that is needed in the two farming areas, that is, when is the best time to plant?

What seedlings do well in the areas?

What is the pH level for both crops and where I can do a soil test?

Hellen

Nyandarua and Laikipia are renowned food baskets. Now, concerning growing maize in Laikipia and potatoes in Nyandarua, we have agricultural experts in the areas.

A farmer in his maize farm. FILE | NMG 

For maize, I will connect you with Mr Gutu on 0722915874 or Mr Muiruri on 0721925718.

For potato farming in Nyandarua, please get in touch with another expert on the ground; Gladys on 0720548682.

Peter Caleb Otieno,
Department of Crops Horticulture, and Soils, Egerton University.

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FOOD FORMULATION TRAINING

I am aware you do have short courses on food formulation. When is the next training and how much does it cost for four days? 

Enock Mogaka

Feed formulation is a concept that helps producers to not only cut costs on commercial feeds but also tailor-make feeds that best suit the needs of their herds or flocks.

Besides having a good feed formulation plan or computer formulation programme, attending a short course is basic to help you learn and manage livestock feeding alongside understanding the roles of energy proteins, vitamins and minerals in animal diets.

In the end, you get equipped with skills applicable in real life animal feeding such as selecting suitable raw materials of higher digestibility and nutritional contents, balancing feed in the most modern, scientific and economic ways and evaluating how animals respond to the finished feed.

Egerton University is currently working on a calendar for training workshops that will benefit farmers. Keep reading Seeds of Gold for dates and costs of respective training courses.

Felix Akatch Opinya,
Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.

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ARTICLES ON RABBIT FARMING

I am an avid reader of Seeds of Gold. I would like to request you to ran articles on best methods and timelines for rearing rabbits. 

Austin

Rabbit production has experienced a steady growth in the past years but the venture remains fully unexploited giving room for potential expansion.

Rabbits in a hutch. Rabbit keeping is a profitable venture and there are resources on doing it. FILE | NMG 

This is because of awareness on the benefits of consuming white meat and that rabbit meat is very tasty, highly nutritious and healthier source of protein.

Meeting this demand requires commercialising the business. Rabbit farming needs good management levels in all aspects from breeding, feeding, disease control to selling products.

All these aspects are covered in ‘A must-have start-up guide on rabbit keeping’ article available online on Seeds of Gold website.

Felix Akatch Opinya,
Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.

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