Stuart Barden in Kenya

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Crazy Harvest and Grain cleaning finished

Finally after about 10 or 12 weeks of harvest and grain cleaning we are sending the last truck load off farm today (sat). It has been an intense time with harvest followed by our grain cleaner running 24/7 for a month and a half. The barley had to be cleaned 3 times to get us to 99% retention (above the screen).
Next season will be wheat and Mung Beans (green Grams) and a small commercial trial of both Desi and Kabuli chickpeas as well as a forage sorghum trial for potential pelletizing into the animal feed market.
Our whole team, Robert, Gideon and Samson are very happy to have a quite time for a while.
The short rains are almost here, they normally start at the end of Oct or start of Nov, it may rain 50mm over Nov/Dec or 300mm, time will tell.
Our soils are empty of moisture at present, our hope is that we can fill our moisture profile (the 1.25meters of black soil) up with the short Rains (Nov/Dec) then plant in Feb/March and have the long rains (April/May) falling in crop.
The average rainfall for April/May is around 155mm, so without moisture in our soil we would struggle to grow a viable crop.
On average we should be able to collect around 150mm of plant available water in our soils before we plant, i.e sub soil moisture.
This gives us a total of around 300mm with in crop and soil moisture, using a common water use efficiency method we would use the 300mm less 110mm which is 190mm then for wheat if we do it all right we should be able to achieve around 12 to 15kg of grain per mm. This should grow between about 2.3 t ha and 2.8 t ha.
Lots of talk of El Nino here in Kenya it means more rain than normal although as with all things climate, you just don't know what will happen.

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