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Impact of no water

Felix Chaudhary
Saturday, October 28, 2017

THE Sugar Research Institute of Fiji says farmers should ensure their fields are well-maintained in anticipation of rainfall towards the end of the year.

In an advisory issued by SRIF this week, cane growers were advised against being complacent because of the prolonged dry weather spell affecting the Western Division.

"The past three months has seen the sugarcane belt areas experiencing a meteorological drought," said SRIF in the advisory.

"Normal rainfall is favoured across these areas during the November 2017 to January 2018 period.

"The predicted weather will favour rapid weed growth and growers must go for zero tolerance to weeds by adopting integrated weed management practices that includes manual weeding followed by weedicide application.

"Fertilisers must be applied by the end of the year for all plant and ratoon cane so that it can be taken up by the plants progressively.

"The field and main drains in and around the farms should be cleaned to allow easy drainage of excess water from the fields in order to avoid water logging conditions."

Sugar Ministry permanent secretary Yogesh Karan has called on growers to only plant cane if they had access to sufficient water because of the impact the dry weather spell was having on new cane crops and ratoons.

Dry weather has resulted in the Fiji Sugar Corporation revising its 2017 cane production forecast down from 2.1million tonnes to 1.8million.

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