Before you plant that crop

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Olusanjo Awotunde

The two major reasons for farming is food security and sustainable income. Therefore, farmers think of crops that yield good returns after their cycles. Many farmers get it right to know the best crop they are supposed to plant while some farmers select wrong crops to plant.

The selection is not based on how profitable the crop is alone, but should also be based on what the soil and your market need. These two factors are also determined by some other factors. This article will shed more light on some key factors to consider before selecting the type of crop you will be planting on your farmland.

The first factor you should consider is soil fertility. Is the soil you are using fertile enough to make crops germinate? What are the present nutrients in the soil? Some farmers plant the wrong seeds and yet complain of poor yield. Soil fertility is best determined by soil test. So, farmers should go for soil test before planting anything on it. This makes you know which plant will grow best on the land.

Another factor to consider is the season. Before you plant anything on your farm, know the season and know which plant does well in that season. Some plants only do well in the rainy season while some need little water to survive. Therefore, planting tomatoes (for instance) in the rainy season on an open field may not yield good results.

Also, your target market should be considered before planting. It is better to have your potential buyers before planting than to plant and start looking for customers. Be sure of the crops you can sell easily before planning to cultivate.

Duration of the plants is another important factor to consider before selecting the crop to plant. Some plants are harvested after three months while it takes some plants years before harvesting. This depends on your financial plan or situation. If you know you can’t cope with perennial crops, just go for short-time crops.

In conclusion, farmers should not just select a crop just because they were told about the profitability of the crop in an area. Location matters in farming, what sells fast in Kano may be abandoned in Ibadan. Put all these factors into consideration and be a better farmer. Don’t forget if you prastise agriculture, you may be poor, but if you practise Agribusiness, you will succeed.