By Latonia Akubuko

Nigerian farmers have been urged to take precautionary measures on this year’s farming season to avoid avoidable economic loses.

The Executive Director, Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Mohammad Faguji Ishiyaku, made this known in a press statement after a virtual meeting with the theme “Dealing with a changing climate in Nigerian agriculture” in zaria recently. Professor Ishiyaku said among other things requiring attention of agricultural stakeholders are the possible delay in onset and prolonged ending of rainfall to be expected this year in places like southern parts of Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue and Kogi, Osun Oyo, Ondo and beyond.

The statement explained that there won’t be any difference in the total amount of rainfall this year like previous years except that the number of rainy days this year will be reduced, thereby calling on farmers to plant crops that have medium maturity period to escape flood and harvest losses due to anticipated prolonged rainfall.

The statement warned that there will be excess rainfall this year that may cause floods and excessive water for maize which will lead to rot in plants and wash off fertilizer. The statement advised farmer to extend planting date of crops by at least two weeks beyond the normal planting dates or use medium maturity materials or delay in planting of early materials available to them.”

Nitrogen fertilizers (NPK 20:10:10) should be applied in at least three splits for cereal crops like maize, sorghum and millet in the region. Fertilizers should be applied during planting as first dose, then two weeks after planting as second dose and 6 weeks after planting”, the statement read

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