Crop management refers to the agricultural practices used to improve the growth, development, and yield of crops during their growth. To obtain maximum yields, a potato farmer has to follow the management routine accordingly. Good potato management routine, involves; proper land preparation, weeding, earthing up, pests and diseases control, froze management and fertilization. Good potato management should begin immediately after crops’ full emergence.
Weeding of the potato crops should be done two weeks after full emergence of the crops, which is also accompanied by the first hilling/earthing up. Spraying against pests and diseases begins immediately after full emergence and continues after every seven days throughout the production period. Second hilling should be done two weeks after the first hilling. Good potato management also involves; the use of potato specific fertilizer for planting and during top dressing.
Top dressing for potato crops should be done at flowering stage. Good management also involves regular farmer scouting for pests and diseases. If a farmer follows the management routine appropriately, the crops will obtain vigorous growth habit and will be good looking which will then lead to higher yields.
A photo of a well-managed potato crop in Molo, Nakuru County