From the Editor
The cropping season is predicated not to be as rosy for some farmers in region I and II who expect to receive normal and above-normal rainfall, I would like to urge farmers to be cautious of rainwater management i.e., drainage in the farm fields. Rainfall patterns are an external influence perspective termed a Risk /Opportunity Perspective in the whole farming system or agroecosystem analysis concept.
Its importance as a risk factor to farmers in Zimbabwe is reflected by the frequency of both drought and heavy rainfall in short periods of time. In the recent past, some areas of Zimbabwe have been experiencing crop losses due to the increased frequency of cyclone induced floods for example, Cyclone Idai of 2019 and Tropical storm Ana in 2022. In field crops heavy rain may bring with it effects of water logging and leaching.
In the words of Nyakudya I.W. 2014, “Rainfall in Zimbabwe can be low or erratic; the dilemma is to balance between two vital but opposing requirements with respect to water management. On one hand, there is need to harvest and conserve every drop of rain in order to mitigate effects of dry spells; on the other hand, there is need for safe disposal of excess water caused by heavy storms or vimbai incessant rains in order to conserve soil and protect growing plants. Water management for rainfed maize in semi-arid Zimbabwe. Wageningen: Wageningen University, 2014. 148 p A manmade waterway/storm drain draining excess rainwater away from a field in Bindura. Despite the challenges that may be faced this cropping season, Will Rogers encourages us saying that, “The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer”. This issue is packed with information not only on summer cropping (maize, tobacco, chemical control of pests, weeds and diseases) but on livestock and the use of drone technology – all articles from specialists in the industry who want to help you farm better and manage the risks brought about by nature.
Yours in farming