While the crop monitoring might be frowned upon since it can be a tedious task, this is an activity that brings about the core results in research. It is therefore important to be in the forefront of monitoring to acquire quality data. When it comes to crop monitoring it should be initiated right from the crop germination and as frequent as possible to collect data from the different crop stages. Monitoring further allows one to catch-up any discrepancies such as pests and diseases problems and correct them before they can cause significant damage to crop and yield losses.

ARC South Africa team monitoring field experiments

Crop monitoring has been ongoing at the different study sites in the Free State ever since crop germination. This was to monitor and identify serious outbreaks of disease and pests and apply control measure when necessary. Overall, the farms seem to have done well, having good crop density and in good condition. However, other farms have encountered challenges, such as hail storms, water logging and pest infestations. The pests were managed using pesticides.

Hail storm damage (A), water logging (B) and pest damage (C) in experimental plots