Diseases – Farmers#Trend https://farmerstrend.co.ke New generation culture in agriculture Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:23:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 https://i1.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/logo-192px.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Diseases – Farmers#Trend https://farmerstrend.co.ke 32 32 107354252 Campaign to fight fruit fly on mangoe’s lunched in Makueni County https://farmerstrend.co.ke/campaign-to-fight-fruit-fly-on-mangoes-lunched-in-makueni-county/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=campaign-to-fight-fruit-fly-on-mangoes-lunched-in-makueni-county https://farmerstrend.co.ke/campaign-to-fight-fruit-fly-on-mangoes-lunched-in-makueni-county/#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:22:13 +0000 https://farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=7012 Kwa Kathoka, Makueni County – A campaign dubbed Komesha!Fruit Fly Ufaidike has been launched in Makueni County with the purpose of improving the production and quality of mangoes in the area. The campaign, which is […]

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Kwa Kathoka, Makueni County – A campaign dubbed Komesha!Fruit Fly Ufaidike has been launched in Makueni County with the purpose of improving the production and quality of mangoes in the area.

The campaign, which is set to run for two years, is aimed at ensuring that Kenyan mangoes meet the standards that have been set by importing markets such as the European Union market.

KEPHIS in partnership with the County Government of Makueni, Feed the Future Kenya Crops and Dairy Market, Rockefeller Foundation, Technoserve, United Nations International Development Organization, mango researchers, traders and innovators spearheaded the campaign against the fruit fly.

Speaking at Kwa Kathoka ATC grounds in Makueni, Dr. Oscar Magenya, representing the PS Agriculture stated that they would be establishing at least one modern pack house that would be fitted with hot water treatment equipment to deal with the issues of post-harvest losses.

He further advised the mango farmers, that in order to reap the benefits of adopting to the appropriate technologies, they had to work together. He added that Good Agricultural Practices would go a long way in increasing their farm produce and they would have high quality mangoes hence increasing their income.

Makueni Governor, Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, said that this campaign was necessary as the fruit fly had cost them huge losses both locally and abroad. He therefore called on farmers to work together and put into practice what they had been taught, and what they will continue to learn so as to regain the lucrative EU market that we lost due to interceptions of mango brought about by the fruit fly.

KEPHIS GM of Phytosanitary Services, Dr. Isaac Macharia began by announcing that 2020 had been declared as the International Year of Plant Health and it sought to provide a platform to raise awareness on the importance of plant health in addressing global issues such as hunger and poverty.Therefore the Komesha Fruit Fly Campaign was in line with the phytosanitary theme for the year.

He mentioned that fruit flies are serious pests that damage over 200 types of fruits and vegetables and Kenya in turn losses about KES 50 billion annually due to the pest. He stated that a pest free area is a geographical area, under which a specific pest does not occur or has been completely eradicated and can be demonstrated by scientific evidence and in which, where appropriate, this condition is being officially maintained.

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KEPHIS, the County Government of Makueni and other stakeholders in the mango value chain have been working to create pest free areas and other integrated pest management strategies aimed at mitigating the fruit fly pest in mangoes.

The fruit fly is a notorious pest that wrecks havoc in the fruit making it impossible to export. So, in the coming days, we aim to educate and inform our stakeholders though this platform on mango production and the importance to Kenya’s economy.

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Matatu man turns top farmer and uses music to milk 74 cows https://farmerstrend.co.ke/matatu-man-turns-top-farmer-using-music-to-milk-74-cows/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=matatu-man-turns-top-farmer-using-music-to-milk-74-cows https://farmerstrend.co.ke/matatu-man-turns-top-farmer-using-music-to-milk-74-cows/#respond Tue, 15 Oct 2019 06:53:58 +0000 https://farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=6071   Meet Evans Gitau, the former tout and matatu driver today owns a dairy farm in Ikinu village, Kiambu County. He has been in the dairy industry for the past eight years, collect over 750 […]

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Employees milk the dairy cattle in Gitau’s dairy farm; Gita Farm in Kiambu.

Meet Evans Gitau, the former tout and matatu driver today owns a dairy farm in Ikinu village, Kiambu County. He has been in the dairy industry for the past eight years, collect over 750 litres  every day earning him between Kshs. 27000 and  Kshs. 28,500 a day. Farmers Trends shares his story.

“I am the first-born in a family of seven, I dropped out of primary school and did menial jobs in the village before becoming a tout and a driver along the Githunguri-Kiambu-Nairobi route and in Eastleigh and Dagoretti but quit the job after working for four years (in 2001) due to police harassment,” he begins his story

He then returned home to help his widowed mother take care of her four cows and his responsibility was to feed them and deliver raw milk to Githunguri Dairy Co-operative Society, a job which also did not please him.

Gitau, “I did not like the job because it required me to do a lot of work but the returns were little since the animals only produced less than 30 litres of milk per day.

The 37 years old returned to Nairobi and got a job as a truck driver operating between the city and Mombasa which he also quit in 2011 citing poor pay, returned home and decided to concentrate on dairy farming, which was already flourishing after the establishment of the co-operative society.

He recalls, “I presented a proposal to the Sacco, which is owned by farmers, and I was advanced Sh240,000 to buy three Friesian cows. I disposed of the others that were on the farm. Milk output increased significantly, enabling me to repay the loan.”

Came 2013, Gitau used the title deed of their family land to borrow Kshs. 2 million and bought 17 Holstein Friesian cows from local farmers at Sh100,000 each. The animals were between two and six months in-calf and with the balance, he leased a 10-acre farm in the neighbouring Kiambaa sub-county where he farmed napier grass and maize for silage preparation.

Gita farm (Music)

The weather is hot as workers on the dairy farm manually milk cows. Mounted on the walls of the stone-walled cowshed that hosts 74 cows are two speakers through which a rhythm-and-blues tune filters in.

One may think that it is the workers on the 100 by 100 feet Farm who are enjoying the music as they milk the cows. However, the music targets the cows. Gitau notes that the cows enjoy different genres of songs throughout the day, depending on the moment, to make them relax and produce more.

Gitau, “When the music is on, the animals stay so calm and relaxed that, from outside, you can’t tell this is a dairy farm with several cows. when it is switched off, the cows moo and bellow,” says Gitau.

From 4am to 11am, the animals listen to gospel music, between 11am and 4pm rhythm and blues (RnB) and reggae, and local songs rule the waves in the barns. Thereafter, the radio is switched back to gospel music until 9pm when the system is put off.

He says, “When I was in the matatu sector, I realised that depending on the time of day, passengers relaxed when listening to different genres of music. In the morning while going to work, they enjoyed gospel music. In the afternoon and evening, RnBs, soul and local music. This is the schedule I borrowed because animals are like human bings.”

He says before he introduced the music, most cows would produce between 20 and 25 litres a day, but a majority now average 30 litres, he says.

“Cool music relaxes the hormones of a cow and enhances milk let-down, adding that the practice is common on big farms globally,” says Joseph Mureithi, the principal of Waruhiu Agricultural Development Centre in Githunguri, Kiambu.

 

 

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Cage fish farming reaches farmers in Nyeri https://farmerstrend.co.ke/cage-fish-farming-reaches-farmers-in-nyeri/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cage-fish-farming-reaches-farmers-in-nyeri https://farmerstrend.co.ke/cage-fish-farming-reaches-farmers-in-nyeri/#respond Thu, 18 Apr 2019 08:25:56 +0000 https://farmerstrend.co.ke/?p=5637   Chinga is a Fishing Group of 15 members. With the support from the county government, it is running a cage fish farm in Chinga Dam in Othaya. “We have 10 cages carrying about 200,000 […]

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Fishpond
Fishpond

Chinga is a Fishing Group of 15 members. With the support from the county government, it is running a cage fish farm in Chinga Dam in Othaya.

“We have 10 cages carrying about 200,000 fingerlings. The cages are assembled on the side of the dam with the assistance of county government officials and experts,” says  Ezekiel Wachira, the chairman of Chinga Fishing Group.

He continues, “We make the cages using plastic rails that hold the nets and measure approximately 15 feet and one metre deep placing them two metres apart. We then fit  the cages with at least six empty 20-litre jerricans each. The plastic containers are filled with ballast to anchor the cages on one spot in water to make them float.

“The group feeds the fish at least 5kg of feeds a day, with a 50kg bag going for Sh,500 and we are expecting to start harvesting about 10,000 tilapia monosex fish by December this year, when the fish will have attained the right weight by the time and be able to sell a kilogramme at Sh300.,” says Wachira.

According to the Chairman, with cage fish, the farmers expect their production to rise, and they will sell the fish to Wamagana Fisheries, open air markets and Gekomba Market which is one of the biggest markets in Nairobi.

The Technology (Cage fish farming technology)  is aquaculture model where fish is reared in cages in large, deep water bodies like lakes or dams, the natural environment where it normally lives.

The county government of Othaya has invested Sh1m in the project since  the group began keeping fish in the dam in April 2018

 

 

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Government to license egg importers -CS https://farmerstrend.co.ke/government-disburses-kshs-1-9b-for-cane-farmers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=government-disburses-kshs-1-9b-for-cane-farmers https://farmerstrend.co.ke/government-disburses-kshs-1-9b-for-cane-farmers/#respond Fri, 15 Mar 2019 08:27:45 +0000 https://farmerstrend.co.ke//?p=5491 By Malachi Motano The government is taking radical measures to protect local poultry farmers from unfair competition. According to Cabinet Secretary in charge of Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri, the Ministry will now be issuing clearance to […]

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Eggs traders in Kisumu
Traders at Upper Railways estate in Kisumu sorting out eggs from Uganda before releasing them to markets within the city

By Malachi Motano

The government is taking radical measures to protect local poultry farmers from unfair competition.

According to Cabinet Secretary in charge of Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri, the Ministry will now be issuing clearance to egg importers in order to import their eggs

The CS outlined the measures during a response session to the agriculture departmental committee. Previously, egg import licenses were issued directly by the Director of Veterinary Services.

The Country’s annual egg production stands at 1.6 billion while annual consumption is at 1.2 billion, meaning that farmers are left with over 400 million eggs.

 

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Citrus Greening Disease: The New Threat to Citrus Fruit Farmers in Kenya https://farmerstrend.co.ke/citrus-greening-disease-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=citrus-greening-disease-2 https://farmerstrend.co.ke/citrus-greening-disease-2/#respond Fri, 04 Jan 2019 11:24:22 +0000 https://farmerstrend.co.ke//?p=5210 Scientists have put orange, lemon and tangerine farmers on high alert following the discovery in the country of a foreign pest transmitting the dreaded Asian citrus greening disease. Dr Sunday Ekesi, the head of research […]

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Scientists have put orange, lemon and tangerine farmers on high alert following the discovery in the country of a foreign pest transmitting the dreaded Asian citrus greening disease.

Dr Sunday Ekesi, the head of research at International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) says their researches in Kilifi, Kwale, and Taita Taveta counties have confirmed that the Asian citrus psyllid pest is on the prowl and has attacked orange,tangerinee and lemon orchards in the country’s biggest citrus belt along the Coast.

Icipe and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) conducted the studies informed by the 2015 discovery of the dreaded pest in Morogoro, Tanzania.

“The presence of the Asian citrus psyllid in Kenya means that citrus farmers are exposed to the dreaded greening disease,” Dr Ekesi, who is leading a study to map the pest’s footprint in the country and the region and developing and testing workable interventions, tells Seeds of Gold during a meeting in Mombasa.

The disease, which is also known as Huanglongbing or yellow dragon, is one of the biggest threats to the citrus industry worldwide.

It is caused by the bacterium Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus, which is transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, a tiny, wedge-shaped brown and white mottled insect.

Dr Ekesi says that Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus is also transmitted by African citrus psyllid, a pest which is largely responsible for the mild African citrus greening disease.

Though there is no case of the Asian citrus greening disease reported in the country yet, Dr Ekesi is concerned that “the multiple vectors means that citrus farmers in Africa are more exposed to the disease as compared to their counterparts in other parts of the world”.

Symptoms of the citrus greening disease include small leaves with yellow mottling, enlarged leaf veins, and small fruits which are green in colour even when they are ripe.

No market value

Fruits born of affected trees are misshapen, and produce little juice which is bitter, meaning that the produce has no market value as it cannot be used as a fresh fruit or for juice.

Sickly trees produce yellow shoots which dieback, wither and eventually die in years. Citrus farmers in the country have been grappling with African citrus greening disease, which has made the highlands unsuitable for growing the fruits.

The disease has been blamed for the increase in the cost of producing citrus fruits and reduction in yields in the country’s citrus belts.

Therefore, the possibility of the Asian citrus greening disease scares stakeholders as the disease is highly devastating and incurable.

The government imposed a quarantine against citrus fruits in 1995 in bid to defeat the African citrus greening disease.

“Citrus farmers in Kenya were advised to uproot their trees to insulate themselves from the greening disease that had devastated the crop in previous years and which had defeated known conventional interventions,” says Nichodemus Ngeka, the head of Agriculture and Food Authority in Makueni County.

Some farmers in the Ukambani citrus belt complied with the government directive, and stopped farming the fruit.

The Asian greening disease is more notorious and has devastating effects on the industry going by the experiences in China and the US, the world’s leading producers of citrus fruits.

Citrus greening disease

When it struck the Florida citrus belt in the US, it reduced the citrus yield by more than 70 per cent, according to Dr Susan Halbert, an entomologist who discovered the pest in Florida, 20 years ago, and who has studied it ever since.

There is no known cure for citrus greening disease currently, and this is why scientists recommend that farmers should act swiftly once the pest attacks their trees or as soon as they detect the symptoms of the disease. They recommend cutting down and disposing off the infected trees.

This leaves farmers with prevention and proper management as the only ways togo aroundd the threat the disease.

In the hard hit Kwale, the agriculture executive Joanne Nyamasyo says that the county government has been advising farmers against moving uninspected planting materials from one place to another to avoid spreading the disease, a strategy approved by scientists.

The disease spreads through infected citrus plants and planting materials such as seedlings, according to Dr Michael Njunie, the head of Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation station at Maguga.

Challenges in control

Something else which makes the disease difficult to control is the fact that it can take up to six years for it to show symptoms, according to Dr Halbert.

Though spraying citrus trees with various pesticides works, Icipe and its partners are currently studying the factors that influence the changes in the population of Asian psyllid, its geographical distribution in Kenya and beyond to develop control strategies that are less reliant on harmful pesticides.

The scientists are developing and testing the use of several non-synthetic-chemical alternatives such as intercropping citrus with guava, and the use of natural attractants and repellents of the pest, according to Dr Ekesi.

Control methods

Other methods identified for controlling the Asian pysillid pest is installation of wind breakers on the windward side of orchards, and the introduction of natural enemies of the pest such as the Lady bird which studies have shown to be a repellent to the Asian citrus pysillid.

One of the innovative strategies the Chinese use to fight the pest is to delay the seedlings in nurseries until they are 2-3 years before transplanting to the fields.
“Delaying the transplanting discourages the invasion of pests since they are more attracted to young plants than they are to older trees,” says Dr Yijing Cen, an entomologist at South China Agricultural University in Tianhe District.
Scientists, hope that with these interventions farmers will be able to manage the Asian citrus psyllid thus keep at bay the dreaded Asian citrus greening disease.

By PIUS MAUNDU
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Common Causes Of Infectious Abortions In Goats And What To Do When It Occurs https://farmerstrend.co.ke/infectious-abortions-goats/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=infectious-abortions-goats https://farmerstrend.co.ke/infectious-abortions-goats/#comments Tue, 24 Jul 2018 09:37:39 +0000 https://farmerstrend.co.ke//?p=4414 Abortions In Goats: Goat herds generally have a 2 to 5 percent abortion rate. Any percentage above this is a serious problem because abortions can lead to economic losses. Indeed, infectious Abortions In Goats herd […]

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Abortions In Goats: Goat herds generally have a 2 to 5 percent abortion rate. Any percentage above this is a serious problem because abortions can lead to economic losses. Indeed, infectious Abortions In Goats herd can be a public health concern because infectious agents that cause abortions in goats can also infect and cause diseases in humans. Infectious abortions in goats should be taken seriously by the producer and herd manager. Goat Farming in Kenya

Campylobacter (Vibrio)

This unpleasant infection is orally transmitted via infected faeces and is highly contagious to both goats and humans. The doe will generally miscarry in the last 6 weeks to a month before her due date and the kid will more than likely be stillborn or very, very weak. Once ingested the organism will work its way along the intestinal tract towards the uterus and, subsequently, the foetus. It will, in turn, cause the foetus’s body cavities to fill with fluid and eventually cause the foetus to abort. Mum will also be severely affected by diarrhoea, a vaginal discharge, possible depression, a uterine infection and a retained placenta.

To help prevent further spreading of the infection ensure that the herd’s water source is clean and away from any possible cause of infection, remove all material discarded after birthing such as the placenta, even in healthy goats, and provide an antibiotic treatment programme for the entire herd.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is spread through the faeces of infected birds and bloodsucking insects or parasites such as ticks. The kid will be aborted around 3 weeks before the due date and will more than likely be either stillborn or extremely weak. Once the bacteria enters the doe’s bloodstream it attacks the placenta, causing it to inflame, and preventing the foetus from receiving the sustenance and nutrients required for development. Around 3 days before the miscarriage the doe will exhibit a bloody, vaginal discharge and after she has aborted she will have a discharge which then contains the Chlamydia infection and will most certainly need treatment to prevent loss in further pregnancies as well as the spreading of the infection.

Toxoplasmosis

This is an incredibly dangerous disease which can also have the same outcome for a pregnant human female as it does the goat and is caused by ingesting anything that is contaminated by the faeces of a cat carrying T. gondii. The bacteria makes it’s way to the placenta of a pregnant goat where it will multiply and then be passed on to the foetus. This can result in still birth, the birth of very weak kids or even mummification of the foetus. The doe can also suffer some terrible side effects including muscle spasms, respiratory problems, gastroenteritis, jaundice and even inflammation of the brain.

Obviously it is not possible to prevent either yours or your neighbours cats from defecating on your grazing land but it is always a good idea to have your cats regularly tested for T.gondii micro-organisms for peace of mind and to also take the time to inspect your grazing and sleeping areas for any cat faeces and to carry out the removal in a sanitary manner.

It’s also well worth investing in ultrasound equipment so that you have a chance to detect these infections before they get out of hand. It may not be possible to save the infected foetus of even the doe but you can take steps to protect the rest of the herd and hopefully take the appropriate action before any further infection sets in.

What to do when abortion occurs:

  • Never ignore abortions in a goat herd. Conduct a thorough investigation immediately.
  • Isolate the animal from the herd and keep it in a quarantine pen for further examination.
  • Consider many different causes of abortion.
  • Inform your veterinarian if you suspect infectious abortion in a goat herd; the veterinarian will refer you to a nearby diagnostic center.
  • Consult the diagnostic laboratory prior to submitting your sample. The diagnostic center should be aware of the infectious agent most likely to be present in the area. Note: Diseased tissue requires proper handling.
  • To facilitate the diagnosis, keep detailed records and accurately identify each aborting animal and the stage of pregnancy at which the animal aborted.
  • Refrigerate (avoid freezing) any fetus and placenta of an aborted kid to send to the diagnostic laboratory.
  • Work with the local veterinarian to draw blood and to send serum samples from aborting does to the diagnostic laboratory for immunological tests.
  • Consult your local veterinarian when you suspect infectious abortion in your herd. This might constitute a public health issue. Your veterinarian can guide you on the treatment and prevention procedure.
  • Ask for performance and health records before purchasing new animals.
  • Quarantine any new animals before introducing them into your existing herd.
  • Be aware that certain classes of dewormers administered to pregnant does can cause insidious abortion or stillbirths, which can be mistaken as abortions caused by infectious agents.
  • Be aware that certain poisonous plants can cause abortions in does. Identify plants in your area that can cause abortion and try to eliminate them from the pasture.
  • People who assist does at kidding or collect placental or fetal waste for disposal or diagnostic evaluations should be aware of the danger of infection and are advised to wear plastic gloves. The gloves should be burned to prevent environment contamination.
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds are satisfactory disinfectants.

 

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MELONFLY, The biggest challenge in watermelon farming and how to control it https://farmerstrend.co.ke/melonfly-the-biggest-challenge-in-watermelon-farming-and-how-to-control-it/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=melonfly-the-biggest-challenge-in-watermelon-farming-and-how-to-control-it https://farmerstrend.co.ke/melonfly-the-biggest-challenge-in-watermelon-farming-and-how-to-control-it/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2018 09:43:25 +0000 https://farmerstrend.co.ke//?p=4406 One of the biggest challenges in farming watermelon in Kenya is controlling the melon fly. In fact, if not managed, it can cause up to 80% crop loss. Ignore it at your own peril. Therefore, […]

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One of the biggest challenges in farming watermelon in Kenya is controlling the melon fly. In fact, if not managed, it can cause up to 80% crop loss. Ignore it at your own peril. Therefore, how does a farmer protect their crop?

Photo credit: https://pk-photography.blogspot.com

First things first, let’s learn about its life cycle. The melon fly (Bactocera cucurbitae) belongs to the Tephritidae family of fruit flies. The female fly lays its eggs under the skin of the watermelon. And after 2-4 days they hatch into larvae (maggots) and start to feed on the fruit flesh.

The maggots will then metamorphosis to pupae. The pupae will then leave the fruit and burrow 1-2 inches in the soil. It will take 7-13 days to mature into an adult.

In tropical and temperate conditions the life cycle of the melon fly is shorter. It averages 14 days. Hence, the cycle continues. Unfortunately, it continues to cause more damage to the young fruits.

However, all is not lost. This pest can be controlled. We are going to look at 4 ways on how to manage this pest.

1) Chemical control

This is the most popular method of control. It works by mimicking nature. Firstly, for reproduction to take place, the female secretes sex pheromones to attract the male. Therefore, using this biological trait, a vial is steeped in methyl eugenol (the attractant) to lure the male fly.

It is combined with an insecticide.

The male fly is attracted by the scent and ends up being captured in the trap. By eliminating the male, there will be no mating. Consequently, no eggs will be hatched. Eventually, the population of the fruit fly will be managed. Scientifically, it is called the male annihilation technique.

To ensure its efficacy, use 4-5 traps per acre. While installing, the trap should face the north of the plant. Additionally, the trap should be put 1 foot above the ground. This ensures the scent is carried further and attracts the males. Every 7 days the trap should be emptied. As for the wick, it is best to change after 14 days. However, in hotter climates it should be changed after 7 days.

Currently, in the market we have the Bactolure trap from Farmtrack Consulting.

2) Protein food bait

Whereas, the male annihilation technique targets the male, the protein food bait method focuses on the female.  For the young female fruit fly to reach sexual maturity it has to feed on protein.  It will also need it to develop eggs. They feed on protein found in the leaf and the fruit surface.

When the female start to lay eggs they stop consuming protein.

Just like the male annihilation technique, this method targets the behavior of the female. In this method a protein laced with a soft toxin is used to kill the fly. This method prevents the female from laying eggs. Hence, the population of the fruit fly is controlled.

Notably, at least two thirds of the captured insects are female and the other third are male.

For an acre, you will need 30 traps. The spacing from trap to trap should be 10 meters. The trap should be filled with 400 ml of the solution. Collect the catches every week and sieve. Just like the pheromone trap the changing of the solution should be done after 14 days. If there is a high rate of evaporation  change the liquid after 7 days.

If you want to use this method there is the Cera trap that is sold by Amiran and Fruit fly Mania from ICIPE.

3) Bio pesticides

Unfortunately, the over reliance on synthetic pesticides has caused pesticide resistance in many parts of the world. The melon fly is no different.

The use of bio pesticides derived from fungi can help the situation.  Metarhizium anisopliae is a form of fungus that occurs naturally in the soil. The fungi isolate strain 69 can be used to control the melon fly.

These fungi can be used as a soil inoculant or a spray. When applied to the soil, the granules of the fungi are raked in before fruiting. Since the pupae burrow in the soil before they mature into adults the fungi will kill them before they morph into adults.

The other way of using the fungi is through an oil based spray. When sprayed the fungus spores bind to the exoskeleton of the melon fly. Once the fungus enters the insect it grows rapidly and it dies. Insects that come into contact with the infected insect also become infected and die.

Available from Real IPM

4) Cultural control

To bolster the aforementioned methods, cultural control is important as well.  This can be done through field sanitation and planting a trap crop.

While starting your season plant a border crop like maize that will serve as the host plant for pests. The crop will also help in managing aphids; another troublesome pest in watermelon.

For the infected fruit ensure it is collected and destroyed. The fruit should be put in a plastic bag to kill the fruit fly maggots or they be buried in a 3 feet deep hole. Add lime to kill the larvae. This should be done at least twice a week.

Finally, rotate the watermelon with non host crops (non cucurbits) for at least 3 seasons before planting again in the same spot. Ultimately, there should be no build up of pests.

Conclusion

The choice of control will depend on the level of infestation, method of production (organic or inorganic), and costs. It is best to start control at flowering i.e. week 4. Strive for prevention to stop any economic injury. In conclusion, always seek for an integrated pest management approach. It is more chilled out on the environment.

BY: Hilda Munjuri

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Watch out for these diseases and pests that could threaten your garlic crop https://farmerstrend.co.ke/watch-out-for-these-diseases-and-pests-that-could-threaten-your-garlic-crop/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=watch-out-for-these-diseases-and-pests-that-could-threaten-your-garlic-crop https://farmerstrend.co.ke/watch-out-for-these-diseases-and-pests-that-could-threaten-your-garlic-crop/#respond Fri, 06 Apr 2018 09:40:57 +0000 https://farmerstrend.co.ke//?p=3827 Garlic farms are subject to many possible problems, and growing garlic could be a limited opportunity for each farm. If land has experienced disease or pest problems, farmers might not be able to plant garlic until […]

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Garlic farms are subject to many possible problems, and growing garlic could be a limited opportunity for each farm. If land has experienced disease or pest problems, farmers might not be able to plant garlic until after several decades of crop rotation. If either white rot or nematodes have caused serious problems with a crop, those fields are usually best left to non-allium crops.

White Rot

The most problematic disease of the garlic industry is white rot (Sclerotium cepivorum). This fungal disease strikes all allium crops, including onions and garlic. The leaves of white-rot-infected garlic plants yellow, die back partially and wilt. The roots also rot, allowing infested plants to be uprooted easily. In the soil, a white fungal mycelium develops and then produces a number of round black sclerotia, the size of pinheads. It is typical to see the development of white rot from mid-season to harvest.

White rot sclerotia can lie dormant in soil for 20 to 40 years, waiting to detect the scent of a growing allium root to break their dormancy. These sclerotia are not wind or water borne, but are most frequently relocated by farmers moving onions, garlic or contaminated soil or tools.

Small growers can avoid major trouble and keep the white rot under control by constantly looking out for and pulling any diseased plants that appear in their fields. Disease garlic plants have wilted and will usually be in sporatic groups of a few plants.

[bctt tweet=”“Very careful inspection of garlic in the early stages of infestation is an effective control practice, but it will likely need to be sustained forever, Once populations have built to moderate or higher levels, white rot is nearly impossible to control.”” username=”@FarmersTrend”]

Of course, strict sanitation and using disease-free planting material is also key. Some growers further combat white rot by applying garlic-scented materials to the unplanted fields. These odiferous treatments cause dormant sclerotia to emerge and then die when they find no plants to infect, but this treatment only works on fields that have not had an allium crop planted on them for at least six months.

Nematodes

The second nastiest and certainly the sneakiest of garlic problems is the stem and bulb nematode Ditylenchus dipsaci. This microscopic (adults are 0.9 to 1.8 mm long), worm-like animal is endoparasitic, meaning it lives inside its host. The nematode lives and reproduces inside garlic plants, eating parts of the stems, leaves and bulbs. It is capable of living without water and can survive for several years in the surrounding soil. Sometimes the growth of the garlic plant is not affected significantly, but the bulb quality is reduced due to tissue breakdown, deformation or discoloration.

The nasty part of garlic nematodes is that the populations of this pest usually build up for several seasons without visible damage. Healthy garlic plants can tolerate moderately large densities of these nematodes without a significant drop in production, then all at once, populations can reach a level in which the entire crop can be destroyed in a single year.

Getting clean planting material is the first step in the fight against nematodes. Because garlic seldom produces seed, cloves or bulbils must be used to propagate the crop, and these always have the possibility of carrying nematodes. Commercial growers can use sources that rigorously screen the seed fields for nematodes, but small-scale growers have a harder time finding guaranteed nematode-clean stock.

Thrips

Onion thrips are a garlic plant’s most common insect pest. Thrips rasp the leaves to acquire sap, causing damage that slows growth and bulb production. Severe thrip damage can cause the plants to wilt and die. In general, thrips begin to enter garlic fields when the weeds in neighboring fields start to dry. Growers usually monitor thrip migrations with sticky traps in their fields.

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Reasons why some hens walk like penguins https://farmerstrend.co.ke/reasons-why-some-hens-walk-like-penguins/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=reasons-why-some-hens-walk-like-penguins https://farmerstrend.co.ke/reasons-why-some-hens-walk-like-penguins/#respond Thu, 29 Mar 2018 10:11:31 +0000 https://farmerstrend.co.ke//?p=3801 Egg yolk peritonitis is a fatal condition that affects any species of birds. There are two types of egg peritonitis; septic peritonitis caused by bacterial infection (E. coli) and non-septic peritonitis, which is caused by […]

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Egg yolk peritonitis is a fatal condition that affects any species of birds. There are two types of egg peritonitis; septic peritonitis caused by bacterial infection (E. coli) and non-septic peritonitis, which is caused by other factors.

Causes of egg peritonitis in layers include:

• Ruptured oviduct: These birds will always ‘lay’ eggs internally.
• Reversed peristalsis brought about by breakage of thin shelled eggs or by E. coli infection.
• Early stimulation of birds to lay when their oviducts are not fully developed.
• Genetics: Hens that mature too many large egg follicles at once and develop a condition called erratic ovi-position and defective egg syndrome, where the yolk inside the hen becomes infected with E. coli bacteria forcing the yolk to be deposited internally instead of within the egg.
• Stress during ovulation.
• Double-yolked eggs.
• Hypocalcaemia and other nutritional deficiencies.

Once a bird has reached maturity, she releases ova from the ovary and this egg is then passed through the oviduct to the vent area from where it is laid. This occurs over a period of 24-26 hours.

In cases where the bird develops egg peritonitis, the egg doesn’t enter the oviduct. It instead goes directly into the abdominal cavity where it causes inflammation of the peritoneum hence the term egg peritonitis.

The egg is said to have been laid internally. This egg becomes a good medium for bacteria especially E.coli that make the condition worse.

The bird then shows the following clinical signs:

• Swelling of the abdomen and vent.
• Penguin like stand and walk.
• Weight loss.
• Ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdomen).
• Difficulty in breathing.
• Depression.
• Matting of vent feathers with egg-yolk coloured droppings.
• Pain
• Lack of vocalisation
• Sudden death

Treatment

This condition can be managed through surgery if detected early, done by draining all the egg content within the abdominal cavity.

In cases of septic egg peritonitis caused by bacterial infection, antibiotic treatment may be prescribed by a veterinarian.

Prevention

Provide clean drinking water as contaminated one predisposes birds to bacterial infections especially e-coli.
Avoid supplemental light in the poultry house especially with young layers.

Feed a high quality diet, and supplement the birds with Di Calcium Phosphate (DCP) in feeds and Stressmix in drinking water.

Avoid overcrowding, that is, provide layers with adequate room to move around for exercise. Space required is 2 square foot per bird.

Maintain sanitary conditions and change the bedding litter when required.

Provide adequate ventilation as ammonia build-up, and dry dusty environments predispose the birds to stress.

Dr Muchibi is the animal health manager at Elgon Kenya Ltd.

Credit: Seeds of Gold

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Causes and treatment of retained placenta in dairy cows https://farmerstrend.co.ke/causes-treatment-retained-placenta-dairy-cows/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=causes-treatment-retained-placenta-dairy-cows https://farmerstrend.co.ke/causes-treatment-retained-placenta-dairy-cows/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:33:57 +0000 https://farmerstrend.co.ke//?p=3636 Retained placenta is one of the complications associated with delivery in dairy cows and other livestock species such as pigs, goats, sheep, horses and donkeys. Under normal circumstances, the placenta should be expelled within 24 […]

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Retained placenta is one of the complications associated with delivery in dairy cows and other livestock species such as pigs, goats, sheep, horses and donkeys. Under normal circumstances, the placenta should be expelled within 24 hours of giving birth, especially in
dairy cows. There is reduced uterine contraction (the reduced force to push it out) 24 hours after calving, which results in retained placenta. It may take several days before the placenta attachment to the uterus decomposes to allow it to drop.

In a herd of dairy cows, cases of retained placenta should not exceed 10% of all calving cows; figures above that indicate that there is a serious problem within the herd. A farmer with one cow may experience the problem of retained placenta after his cow has calved up to ten times. The condition is easy to recognize since part of the placenta can be seen hanging from the birth canal after a cow gives birth. In some cases, the whole placenta may remain inside the uterus thereby making it difficult to notice the problem. However, a keen farmer who observes their cow well during calving would know that the cow has not dropped the placenta.

Danger posed by retained placenta

In dairy cows, retained placenta may be the cause of serious economic loss to the farmers due to the following reasons:

  • Cows with retained placenta may develop bacterial infection and become ill and thus reduce production. Some may even die.
  • Milk from cows with retained placenta is unfit for human consumption and therefore cannot be sold. The fertility of dairy cows is affected when most cows in the herd suffer from retained placenta. This causes a direct loss to the farmer due to delayed calving leading to a lengthy period between births (calving intervals) and hence low milk production. It is unhygienic to milk a cow with a decomposing afterbirth hanging on it.

Causes of retained placenta

The problem is caused by the following factors:

  • Abortions and premature calvings. The birth may occur normal but the placenta may not detach itself from the uterus lining thereby causing the problem of retained afterbirth.
  • When the cow produces twin calves, the uterus becomes weak, causing retained afterbirth.
  • In cases of milk fever, the lack of muscle power can weaken the animal and reduce its ability to push out or expel the placenta.
  • Difficult calving may also stress the uterus after the calf has been delivered.
  • Dirty cattle shed may lead to early infection of the placenta that may cause inflammation and hence delay or reduced chances of placental separation and expulsion. It is important
    to note that it is unnecessary to assist a calving cow before it is confirmed that the cow cannot give birth on its own.
  • Lack of Vitamin E or selenium deficiency may lead to reduced muscle power in the uterus during calving.
  • Other conditions such as poor feeding, liver flukes and copper deficiency may lead to general weakness and hence retained placenta.
  • Over-conditioned cows; excessive corn silage fed to dry cows (over 50% of forage dry matter intake).
  • Overfeeding grain to dry cows (greater than 0.5% of bodyweight).
  • Excessive calcium from too much legume forage fed to dry cows (over 25-30% of forage dry matter intake).
  • Calcium and phosphorus deficiency; inadequate supplementation for dry cows.
  • Excessive vitamin D (over 50,000 to 100,000 units daily).

Treatment requires a qualified vet

A farmer should always bear in mind that the uterus should always be hygienic since it is the house of a future calf and determines the future milk yield. Therefore whenever there is a problem of retained afterbirth, the affected cow should be attended to by a qualified veterinary doctor.

  • The vet first removes the placenta, then administers the right treatment.

When removing the placenta, care should be taken not to tear the placenta or leave pieces in the uterus. Most vets would leave the animal for three to four days without treatment to allow the placenta to decompose. However, this would depend on the health of the cow.

  • Antibiotic tablets are inserted through the birth canal into the uterus to stop infection.
  • Depending on the level of sickness and the presence of a large volume of stinking fluid, a veterinary surgeon may drain the uterus using a length of tubing with warm saline water.
  • Full treatment with the use of injectable antibiotic may help the animal to recover quickly.
  • However, for effective control, proper recording of all calvings would assist he farmers to establish the cause of high incidences of retained afterbirth in their animal herds.

Suggestions

  • Minimize stressful conditions during dry period and at calving.
  • Prevent milk fever.
  • Evaluate dry cow ration.
  • Provide 0.3 part per million selenium in total ration dry matter for both milking and dry cows. If the problem affects the entire herd, submit blood samples from six to 12 dry cows for calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium (glutathione peroxidase), vitamins A and E, carotene and BUN analysis.
  • If special supplementation is not used for dry cows, administer 50 mg of selenium and 680 units of vitamin E as an injection about three weeks before calving.
  • Ensure adequate vitamins A and E equivalent intake:
    1. Provide about 135,000 total units of vitamin A for dry cows and 150,000 for milk cows; 2,000 to 3,000 units of vitamin E for dry cows and 1,000 to 1,500 units for milk cows total daily from all sources (natural and supplemental) with 1 mg of carotene equivalent to 400 units of vitamin A.
    2. Provide cows with fresh forage as green- chop or pasture for at least four to six weeks each year.
  • If there are numerous abortions, test the herd for brucellosis, neosporosis, IBR, BVD, leptospirosis and non-specific infections.
  • Prevent cows from becoming over-conditioned.

Dairy cow management after birth

Apart from the problem of retained placenta, dairy cows that have just given birth could develop infections. About 90 per cent of the animals have some form of bacterial infections during the first week of delivery.

Some animals with a strong immune system can resist bacterial infections of the uterus after delivery. Others require antibiotic treatment. Although the use of antibiotics can solve the problem in some animals, studies show that some animals can still overcome the problem without treatment through proper diets that restore their health. Milk from animals under treatment should not be consumed for a period of up to 72 hours. Some antibiotics such as oxytetracycline can persist in the animal’s body for longer periods.

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