Developing a maize planting decision support tool

Publication
This study demonstrates the potential of providing planting date decision support to farmers, based on real-time forecasts of soil moisture, combined with climatological information on rainfall and temperature seasonality.
By Emily Black, Dagmawi Asfaw, Alex Sananka, Stephen Aston
Climate resilience

Deciding when to plant is critical for smallholders. East Africa's variable climate renders farmers vulnerable both to germination failure because of lack of soil moisture, and insufficient rain to meet crop water requirement (also known as the water resource satisfaction index (WRSI)). If they plant too early, farmers risk seedling death if the rains are not established; if they plant too late, there will not be enough rain to sustain the crop through critical development periods.

Our study demonstrates the potential of providing planting date decision support, based on real-time forecasts of soil moisture, combined with climatological information on rainfall and temperature seasonality.

Keywords

Research