Met Department Commences Cloud Seeding
The (MSD) says it has started cloud-seeding in order to induce rainfall following a prolonged dry spell that has lasted for over a month in some parts of the country.
According to an online source, cloud seeding is a weather-modification technique that improves a cloud’s ability to produce rain by artificially adding condensation nuclei to the atmosphere, providing a base for raindrops to form.
MSD deputy director, Linia Gopo, on Sunday said cloud-seeding had started. She said:
It started last week. It can only be done when conditions are conducive.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union president, Shadreck Makombe, said in some areas, the late-planted maize has reached the permanent wilting point and will not recover even if significant rains fall.
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Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers’ Trust president, Depinah Nkomo said some drought-tolerant crops can still be salvaged.
According to the Head of the Plant Protection and Research Institute, Shingirai Nyamutukwa, the current hot weather conditions are conducive to the rapid spread of pests.
Nyamutukwa advised farmers to increase scouting frequency and apply pesticides as soon as there is pest infestation.
Agriculture expert and Agricultural Rural Development Authority board chairman, Ivan Craig, said:
Not everybody should give up. There are some crops that will survive when they receive rain.
In some cases, the maize is now a write-off and the cob has fallen. Farmers should not leave the crop to dry but should cut it into small pieces and make silage thus adding value to the wasted crop.
Besides silage, farmers can also make snap corn, taking the wasted maize and grinding it.
It is then mixed with salt or other feeds and fed to livestock. Farmers can also sell the snap corn to other livestock farmers and get money.