- Each stage of the crop has different pest problems. This makes it necessary to spread the training over at least one entire season, covering all stages of the crop.
- Each stage of the crop has different requirements (water, fertilizer, mulching, weeding, thinning, pruning, etc.). Crop management therefore depends on the development of the crop.
- Some processes that need to be observed (population dynamics of an insect, disease epidemics, possible plant compensation, etc.) develop gradually over the course of the entire cropping season.
- The results of crop management decisions made during one crop stage can only be observed at a later stage of the crop. It is especially important to be able to observe how each action has an effect at the time of harvest (e.g. yield and quality, economic factors).
One or more seasons?
Only a season-long training can cover all the crop stages. But pest problems can also vary from season to season. A vegetable crop grown during the cool dry season (November-January) has different pest problems than a crop during the hot dry season (March-May) or during the rainy season (June-September). Therefore, in many cases even more time is required to become familiar with all aspects of the crop. Second and third season FFSs are advisable. The role of facilitators during these follow-up FFSs can gradually diminish as farmers become more experienced in the learning process.