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Agriculture

Strategic 12 Campaign: How to handle pests that attack Soybean

Dr Phinehas Tukamauhabwa of CAES explains to stakeholders’ the agronomy of soybean growing at the National Agricultural trade show in Jinja. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Several insects occur in soybean fields but few are of economic importance or have any significant impact on the crop, educates Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries.

However, from flowering onwards, soybean becomes attractive for pod-sucking bugs that can seriously reduce seed quality.

According to the ministry, the most important soybean pest in Uganda is the Stink Bug which pierces the pod pericarp and sucks the sap from the developing seeds. “This attach by the pest causes seeds not to develop and at times causes pods to drop.”

“The plant compensates for lost pods by setting new ones but pods in infested plots have fewer and smaller seeds,” added the ministry.

It’s said that when pods are damaged by the Stink Bug, the plants retain their leaves and their stems remain green after maturity.

The presence of these green stems among mature plants make harvesting difficult.

To eliminate insect pests, a single spray of Cypermethrin + Dimethoate 10 EC at the rate of 100 Ml in 15L of water is recommended.

Last week, the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries through the Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP2), the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Makerere University through the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and other partners highlighted a number of varieties farmers can grow to maximise profits.

According to the ministry, the improved soybean varieties that have been released in Uganda to boost the productivity of Soybean include Maksoy 1N, Maksoy 2N, Maksoy 3N, Maksoy 4N, Maksoy 5N and Namsoy 4M.

The ministry says these varieties are high yielding, early maturing and disease resistant.

“The National Soybean Breeding Programme alone which is based at Makerere University has bred, developed and released four improved soybean varieties that are high yielding (can yield between 2000 and 3000kg per hectare), early maturing (can mature within 95 to 105 days) and disease resistant,” revealed the ministry.

Quality planting materials for these varieties can be accessed at centres of the partners listed above and certified seed companies.

Buyers are advised to only buy seed from outlets certified by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.

Earlier alone, the Ministry took efforts to educate the public on standard guidelines for planting soybean for maximum output as developed by the Vegetable Oil Development Project.

Through their Strategic 12 Campaign, the ministry said that soybean is an annual, leguminous, normally bushy and erect plant that takes 90 to 105 days to mature.

“Soybean produces a number of small pods containing one to four seeds that are usually round and either yellow or black in colour,” said the ministry.

It is also preferred as a contributor to nitrogen fixation that improves soil fertility.

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