LeGae La Banareng has 2 Agrico non-towable centre pivot covering a total 7ha of irrigation, this enables us to continuously irrigate 7ha all year round. This ensures that we do not have to rely on varying rainfall patterns for our crops. This method of mechanisation is vital to ensure that crops that are planted get sufficient water for plant growth and transpiration. This technology enables us to rotate our crops yearly to protect soil health and prevent soil erosion and nutrient leeching. The main source for the irrigation system is an irrigation dam that has been furrowed from a river, we have back up water resources such as borehole systems that will serve as alternative water sources in the future.
The system uses a 5kw submersible borehole pump that is suspended in the irrigation dam. This leads into 160mm class 6 PVC pipes that run a total distance of 2.8km that connects both centre pivots to the water line. The size of the pump ensure that an average pressure between 2.8 and 2.1 bar is maintained at each pivot that allows and average of 25mm of irrigation per ha in 24 hours on 50%.
Maize is regarded as an important grain crop under irrigation, as it produces high yields. It can produce from 80 to 100 tons/ha green material and 16 to 21 tons/ha of dry material within a relatively short period (100 to 120 days). It is therefore one of the most efficient grain crops in terms of water utilisation. Maize is usually produced under full irrigation in order to obtain the highest yields.
Yellow maize and white maize is used for the human consumption and the production of animal feed. Maize can be sold per cob which is a popular carbohydrate source for many households. Yellow maize is also an alternative source of food for livestock especially in winter periods when forage is limited in dry areas or areas that do not produce nutritional winter forage.
LeGae La Banareng has planted 8 ha of yellow & white maize under irrigation. This yellow maize will be harvested green and packaged for fresh maize and animal feed. Some of this feed is kept on the farm to supply winter feed for the cows, sheep and goats on the farm. We expect to harvest the maize at the end of May. The harvesting method is unique as we harvest, cut the maize stalk on sight, spray the maize residue with molasses and seal the maize mixture in ton bags on sight.
The maize project is a partnership with a local farmer that has been a successful journey thus far. This partnership has opened access to market and allowed us to have refined skills and an experienced farmer working on the project