The Herald (Harare)

22 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Dry Spell Affects Crops

THE dry weather conditions have adversely affected crops in different parts of the country, Agritex has said. The early-planted crop is reported to be better off, while the late-planted crop, which is now at flowering stage has been severely affected. According to Agritex, crops in light soils are already showing signs of wilting, while those in heavy soils are in a better condition.

The situation is a sharp contrast with that obtaining in some areas, especially in the Mashonaland provinces where Agritex extension officers said some crops were yellowing due to the incessant rains the country has been receiving during the past weeks.

"The yellowing of the leaves is a sign of nitrogen deficiency," Agritex said in a statement.

"Farmers are failing to apply top dressing fertilisers because of the hot weather conditions."

Small grains are reportedly in good condition as they tolerate dry conditions.

Agritex said most tobacco growers were reaping, curing, grading and baling the crop.

In other areas, farmers were hand-pulling weeds as they could not cultivate due to the dry conditions.

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