Planning and timing: crucial success factors in cattle production
Lerato Senakhomo, the 2020 Agricultural Research Council's National Emerging Beef Farmer of the Year, runs her Nguni herd in a semi-intensive feeding system. She believes the keys to successful cattle production are proper planning and good time management. Siyanda Sishuba visited her farm in Gauteng.
Breakthrough ahead for SA honey industry
A group of South African beekeepers travelled to Australia during the first All-Australia Bee Congress and returned with a recommendations for improving South Africa’s local bee industry.
High-productivity hay and forage equipment
For most South African farmers, hay-making may not necessarily be crucial to their businesses. However, it still contributes to the revenue stream through direct sales or as a feed cost for a livestock unit. Stehan Cloete discusses ways to ensure quality feed and low production costs.
Tackling climate change and biodiversity loss
Climate change is inextricably linked to the accelerating destruction of nature. This report discusses how natural climate solutions, which include land management programmes that increase carbon dioxide storage and reduce carbon emissions, can help tackle both problems simultaneously.
NUTS: Growing cashews: Part 3
The final instalment of this series discusses cashew production from flowering to harvesting and oil extraction. The challenging process of shelling is carried out either by hand or mechanically in factories.
Carmingo apricots breathe new life into Koo Valley
The arrival of Carmingo apricot varieties enables producers to generate up to three times more income per season than with traditional varieties. Glenneis Kriel spoke to Pierre Burger and Sam Sieberhagen, two successful farmers in the Western Cape.
Succession planning: the time to talk is now
In this first article in a new series on how to run a family farm successfully, Trevor Dickinson, CEO of specialist consultancy Family Legacies, writes that the key to a profitable, long-lasting business is to start a family conversation about succession planning. And this needs to happen sooner rather than later.
Boom or bust for expanding orchards?
With prices remaining high, the citrus, avocado and macadamia industries have boomed in recent years and producers have continued expanding. This has left many wondering whether the situation is too good to be true and whether the bubble might be due to burst. Lindi Botha spoke to a number of industry experts.
The essentials of pruning
The pruning of fruit trees is a simple form of tree manipulation, yet many farmers overcomplicate the practice. Horticultural consultant Dr Nigel Cook explains to Glenneis Kriel how to maximise the value of pruning.
Adapting technology to tackle stock theft and other farm crimes
Property theft on South Africa's farms ranges from the petty and opportunistic all the way to well-planned, syndicate-led invasions, and profoundly affects incomes, production and the well-being of rural communities. but farmers and security experts are not taking this scourge lying down. Lloyd Phillips reports on how remote digital technology is being adapted to create practical, and highly effective, solutions.
Africa's women farmers need better access to information
Women play a vital role in Africa’s agriculture sector, growing about 70% of the continent’s food. Yet Africa’s smallholder women farmers come up against various barriers that limit their potential as growers. A climate-smart agriculture project aims to provide these farmers with the skills and resources needed to boost their businesses and succeed over the long term. Jeandré van der Walt reports.
Turning disaster into opportunity
After a fire destroyed the Tomis Group’s meat-processing facility, the owners decided to reinvent the business as a market leader in meat quality and safety. Managing director Laurie Terblanche spoke to Glenneis Kriel about the recovery and transition.
Silicon Valley start-up debuts electric tractor
In December last year, agriculture technology start-up company Monarch Tractor, which has been referred to as the ‘Tesla of the agriculture world’, introduced the world’s first single unit, fully electric, driver-optional smart tractor.
Cashmere is one of the finest fibres in the world and is considerably warmer than wool. Products made from this fibre are in great demand, especially in Western countries.
Growing a better future through farming
Vegetable farmer Mabel Dikobe’s story is a fine example of how equipping small businesses with the resources they require can empower them to support entire communities. Siyanda Sishuba reports.
Detecting an element deficiency in a crop can be quite difficult, but it is essential to know whether there are any shortages and treat the plants in good time. A deficiency can lead to a poor or failed crop, says Bill Kerr.
Eggless banana-and pecan-nut loaf
This moreish loaf is quick and easy to make, and requires only a few ingredients, says Prenusha Moodley. If you don’t like pecans, you can replace them with walnuts or even hazelnuts.
Bigger, better, Bester! Young producer wins with precision farming
As the TaU Sa Young Farmer of the Year 2020, Danie Bester epitomises the ideal modern farmer: energetic, curious, techsavvy and connected to his peers globally. While his precision farming techniques have yielded him a bumper soya crop, this ambitious producer plans to do even better. Lindi Botha reports.
Beware of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Spread by bont-legged ticks, this zoonotic disease can prove fatal to humans if left untreated.
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES-Eradicating fountain grass
A popular garden plant, Pennisetum setaceum has escaped cultivation and is today a declared invader throughout South Africa. Mechanical control is currently the only way of removing it.
Reversing the impact of soil degradation on livestock production
Livestock producers, particularly in arid climates, are struggling to remain profitable. Soil degradation and declining stocking rates have been identified as some of the main reasons for this decline. Colin Nott, a regenerative agricultural consultant from Namibia, spoke to Annelie Coleman.
Genetics forged in the Alps help Braunvieh excel in SA
Since its introduction to South Africa 114 years ago, the Braunvieh, with its good walking ability and non-selective grazing habits, has adapted well and can thrive under some of the harshest conditions in the country. Hans Bester and his three daughters run the Witbek Braunvieh stud on Sussiesdeel farm in Vrede, Free State, and spoke to Annelie Coleman about the advantages of this hardy breed.
Solve those crop problems yourself, and save thousands!
Find something wrong with your crop? Go through the planting and fertilising processes step by step on your own to see whether you can determine the cause. There’s a good chance you can, says Bill Kerr.
Stable mango yields: timing is everything
Achieving yield stability over many years is the golden standard in mango farming. But this is easier said than done: success requires a keen understanding of the demands of mango trees and excellent management. Award-winning mango producer Johann du Preez spoke to Lindi Botha about the science of tree manipulation
Dealing with heat stress in cattle
Hot, humid conditions can have a drastic effect on cattle, reducing their feed intake, milk production, and weight gain. They may also be more prone to disease. Some breeds, however, cope better than others.
AGCO launches global study on cover crops
Agronomists employed by agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO are set to conduct field research trials on regenerative agriculture in four countries, including Zambia. Their goal is to determine the best practices, and thereby optimise soil health and carbon capture.
How To Fight Water Scarcity And Pollution Through Irrigation
A recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on overcoming water challenges in agriculture makes it clear that urgent action is needed to make water use in agriculture more sustainable and equitable. Since irrigated agriculture remains by far the largest user of fresh water, the use of more efficient irrigation systems can go a long way towards mitigating problems such as water scarcity.
Warthogs: Unlikely Allies Of Livestock Farmers
New research has revealed a surprising benefit that warthogs may hold for livestock producers. according to two scientists involved in the study, these animals may act as sentinels for disease transmission in livestock. Byron Latham reports.
Drought Feed Provides Handy Income
Jan Blignaut of Hertzogville began planting prickly pears to act as a supplement for his cattle during drought. However, he found that the crop provided a steady income stream for fresh and processed fruit.
INVASIVE ALIEN PLANTS: Queen of the night cactus: Part 3
Last week’s article dealt with the cactus mealybug, one of two biocontrol agents used against queen of the night cactus. This week, the focus shifts to the second agent: the Harrisia cactus stem-boring beetle.