Farmer Success Story: SIMAM FARM
News out of Africa
Simam farm, located in Uasin Gishu County Kesses location, is owned by Zipporah Simam and occupies a total of 130 acres of land.
SoilCares Africa talked with the farm manager, Timothy Kipngetich and this is what he had to say:
70 acres of Simam farm is set aside for crop farming, while the remaining 60 acres is mainly used for dairy farming. Simam has a total of 84 cows; 38 heifers and 46 milking cows.
Simam first learnt about soil testing in Tarakwo dairy, where they are a regular milk supplier. SoilCares Africa in conjunction with Heifer International gave the cooperative thorough trainings on soil analysis and after these training zipporah and timothy decided to have 31 acres of the soil tested.
Of these 31 acres, 15 acres was planted with wheat, which harvested 25 bags per acre summing up to a total of 375 bags. A bag of wheat was selling at 3000 Kenya shillings. On the remaining 16 acres they planted maize, which was harvested early and used as silage for cows. Timothy, the farm manager, confessed that after soil testing, he noticed remarkable changes: “The maize grew longer and healthier”. Initially he used approximately 29 acres for silage production, but after soil testing Timothy says 16 acres was enough to produce silage to sustain the cows even during drought.
With improved silage production Simam farm also increased its milk production; initially he was supplying 300 litres to the local dairy cooperative, which increased to 500 litres. They sold a litre for 30Kshs.
The farm plans to increase the number of dairy cows in order to double its milk production.
From the profits they bought a Friesian cow from Netherlands (a genetically superior bull) for 335,000 Kshs.
This he says will be great for sexed semen for their heifers, which will eventually lead to increased milk production.