How to develop a crop calendar
Using a crop calendar allows better planning of all farm activities and the cost of production.
A cropping calendar is a schedule of the rice growing season from the fallow period and land preparation, to crop establishment and maintenance, to harvest and storage.
The crop calendar allows a farmer to:
- plan for input purchase and use
- develop cash flow budget for year
- determine need credit and period requirement
- determine labor requirements and plan for peak usage times
- organize contractors for land preparation and harvesting
Create a crop calendar
- Determine the best date to plant. This information can be gathered from local experience, agricultural advisors and leading farmers in the district.
- Determine the time the variety takes from planting to harvest. The length of time from establishment to harvest is known for each variety. It may vary a little depending on the growing conditions especially water availability and solar radiation. Normally short duration varieties take 100−120 days, medium duration 120−140 days, and long duration 160 days plus.
- Most varieties take 60−65 days from panicle initiation to harvest.
- Mark on the calendar the date of planting and then when each other operation needs to be done (plowing, weeding, fertilizing, harvesting).
- Then determine how much labor, equipment and finance will be required at each step during the growing period.
- Pin the calendar in a prominent place to remind you when things need to be done.