2013-14 Minimum Input Small-holders
The objective of these dryland cotton demonstration trials was to demonstrate to cotton farmers the difference between the rip-on-row production method (1 meter inter-row spacing
and 30 cm intra-row spacing – Solid rows) and the double skip row production method where two rows are planted and two skipped. No cultivation is done except for ripping 25 – 30 cm
deep on the plant rows only. The cotton cultivar PM3225B2RF from Monsanto/Deltapine was planted under dryland conditions in three different farmers’ fields on the Makhathini Flats.
These farmers are Amos Khumalo, Doris Nhlebela and Doris Gumbi. Half of the cotton demos on each of the farms were planted in the 1 meter inter-row spacing and the other half
in the double skip row spacing. The intension was to harvest four rows of 30 meter each in the 1 meter inter-row spacing and the mass compared to that of two rows of 30 meter length
in the skip row spacing. Calculations were to be made of seed cotton yield per hectare in kilogrammes. Unfortunately the planting at Doris Gumbi was destroyed by stray goats that
entered the trial area through a hole in the fence over the Festive season and a hailstorm on 25 February 2014 severely damaged the two trials at Amos Khumalo and Doris Nhlebela.