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Friday, November 5, 2010

Food Crop Crop Calendar

Crop Calendar in agriculture defined as a written document that explain the farming activities that the farmers wish to carried out according to crop manual and follow package technology at the correct timing. Crop Calendar as a tool in farming activity and as a main references for farmers in managing their farm from the early stage of land preparation to the harvesting stage and next planting cycle. This article I would like to share knowledge about crop calendar in food production farming activity based on my lecture for ASEAN-JAPAN Technical cooperation training program.

Crop Calendar is a complete guide for farmers as a references and shows the farming activity by DAYS and WEEKS. The appropriate technology application and practices was written in the crop calendar with detail explanation. Crop calendar shows the farming activity and labor distribution throughout the farming activity. It was a fast and easy document for farming references. Commercial farmers able to use the crop calendar for proper production planning system and food crop. Below is a sample of crop calendar for cucumber showing the activities to be carried out in agronomic practices for almost 3 months duration.

Crop calendar for cucumber as a quick reference for farmers.

There was two types of crop calendar in agriculture technology extension system. There were ANNUAL CROP CALENDAR and INDIVIDUAL/SINGLE CROP CALENDAR. The Annual Crop Calendar showing the whole year crop pattern calendar for the nation or an large area from early January to December. This calendar will determine what type of suitable crop to grow following the climate or season such as weather , temperature, rainfall, dry period and other related factors. The crop pattern has to be followed by all farmers so that it will produce the best production level. For example the annual China (See diagram next) shoeing what type of crop in January (Winter wheat and Sunflower), May (Rice, Maize, Soybean, Cotton & many others) and in December (Sunflower & Winter wheat). The farmers in China has to follow the annual crop calendar released by Ministry of Agriculture China.

Single Crop Calendar is a calendar showing the activity of the individual crop from land preparation activity to the harvesting and replanting for the next season. The calendar able to show detail package technology by days or weeks following crop package technology. The calendar (as below - Refer diagram 2) for mustard (Brassica spp - sawi) shown in a diagram with detail explanation. This calendar has 8 activity box from sowing to harvesting in 28 days period. The crop calendar also shown in Table Form to show for more detail information (Refer Diagram 3).

Diagram 2: Crop Calendar for mustard (Brassica spp) in colorful diagram.

Diagram 3: Crop calendar in Table Form for Mustard (Brassica spp)

Components of crop calendar includes type of crop selected, Time Frame Bar, activity before planting, activity after planting, agronomic practices, harvesting and marketing activity. Determine what type of crop with a reference planting period and to package technology. Activity before planting indicated as land preparation activity until sowing or planting activity. Th bar colored and marked as MINORS (-) to indicate how long land preparation period. If indicated as "-7" means that it was 7 day before planting for land preparation activity such as ploughing, rotor, raising bed, removal of grass, plastic silver shine layering, basal fertilizer application and irrigation system installation.


For agronomic practices the crop calendar captured from sowing or planting to harvesting activities. It includes transplanting, thinning, replanting, watering, fertilizer application (Foliar fertilizer, Granules Fertilizer, organic fertilizer), weed control, pest & Disease control and pruning. This part may took few weeks as a vegetative stage. The final part in crop calendar were Harvesting Stage from first harvesting stage to the end of harvesting activity. This stage may include yield collection, cleaning, grading, packaging and finally marketing aspect.

The crop calendar should be seen by manager or farmers so that it will be available for reference in any time. If there was many crop varieties in the food crop farm (Vegetables and short term crop), all the crop calendar arranged in strategic manner. Farmers and workers has to check the crop calendar daily or weekly what to do in that particular period and time as shown in the crop calendar. There was some adjustment within the activity that the farmers may do adjustment for more efficient production plan. I hope this information able to provide all readers about the existence of crop calendar for vegetable production in our farm.


CROP CALENDAR....WRITTEN DOCUMENTS....
EASY TO READ.....ATTRACTIVE TO SEE....
PACKAGE TECHNOLOGY....INSIDE TO FOLLOWS....
BEST GUIDANCE....MORE PROFITABLE



By
M Anem
Room 123
COSMO Hotel
Luang Prabhang Road, Vientiane,
Lao PDR
(3 Nov 2010)



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