Most wheat farmers around the country today made a last minute rush to plant and meet the 15 May deadline recommended for them to attain optimum yields.
While others have already planted, some are yet to plant as the planting season is in full swing.
Speaking to the ZBC News on his final planting day today, a Murombedzi farmer, Mr Emmanuel Mangisi said planting delays were caused by late receipt of inputs.
“We are rushing to conclude planting at this farm as today is the last day recommended for planting in order to get optimum yield,” he said.
SEEDCO wheat breeder, Dr Tegwe Soko said those farmers who had fallen behind schedule can still plant up to the 31st of May although research has shown that yields can fall by 50kg per hectare per day after the 15 May deadline.
“The highest yields are realised from the crop planted between the 1st and 15th of May but farmers can plant up to the 31st of May. Some farmers may even push up to 15 June for the very late crop,” he said.
Under the command wheat programme, the government availed inputs sufficient to cover 67 000 hectares of wheat which can yield 460 000 metric tonnes of the crop which is the national requirement per year.
Optimism is high that farmers will surpass last season’s record 168 000 metric tonnes of wheat thereby making the country wheat self sufficient.