More than 400 hectares of wheat in the Middle Sabi are now being considered a write off after farmers failed to harvest their crop before the onset of the rains.
A myriad of challenges that include a record number of quelea birds that ravaged wheat fields and devoured over 40 percent of yield in the area, poor wheat seed variety and shortage of tillage equipment and combine harvesters affected wheat farming this season with the recent three wet spells resulting in about 400 hectors of wheat being considered a write off.
Middle Sabi Farmers’ Syndicate chairperson Skumbuzo Todhlana says the current wet spell has finished any hope by farmers to harvest their wheat with those attempting to harvest the soaked crop only getting an average of two 50 kilogrammes bags per hector with the yield failing to meet the harvesting expenditure alone.
Todhlana says those who harvested earlier only managed a paltry one tone per hectare.
He says for those who managed to harvest their crop, the quality of the yield was greatly compromised by the rains adding woes to the loss already incurred due to quelea birds considered by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation as some of the world’s worst destructive birds.