39YEARS AGO The blowfly menace was deemed “about to reach a new watershed,” thanks to the release of two new pesticides:
Kwaaihoek's True Cross
In 1488, Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias erected a stone cross on the Eastern Cape coast. Within decades, it had disappeared and even its location was lost. In the 20th century, thanks to the determination of a dedicated historian, the cross, by then in thousands of fragments, was recovered and lovingly reconstructed,
A tractor for every application
Case IH introduced its brand-new, multipurpose JXE-Series tractors, suited for work in orchards and fields, at the Izmir AgroExpo 2020 in Turkey in February.
New Russian wheat aphid biotype highlights growing resistance concerns
Russian wheat aphid is showing increased cultivar and pesticide resistance, according to entomologist Dr. Astrid Jankielsohn of the Agricultural Research Council. She has identified a new biotype, bringing to five the Russian wheat aphid biotype highlights growing resistance concerns number seen in South Africa. Sabrina Dean reports.
Community farm's drive and discipline rewarded at last
Having suffered several setbacks in their efforts to make their agribusiness profitable, a group of hard-working land reform beneficiaries in KwaZulu-Natal at last got the help they needed from an agricultural transformation organisation. Lloyd Phillips reports on the Gugulethu community.
TECHNOLOGY AND ANIMAL WELFARE IMPROVE PIGGERY PROFITS
Pig stud breeder and farmer CP Kriek is convinced that contented pigs are more productive. For this reason, he has brought his operation, Taaibosch Piggery, in line with European standards of group housing. Coupled with the latest technology, this has resulted in increased production and higher profits. Kriek explained his system and management approach to Lindi Botha.
Water stress in lettuce
As a fast-growing crop with shallow roots, lettuce is susceptible to stress, which often shows up as angular midribs on the outer leaves, rather like elbows.
A New, Post-Pandemic Equilibrium For Agriculture
Due to agriculture being declared an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak, it should not suffer the same level of trade disruptions as other sectors. However, according to Dr Sifiso Ntombela, chief economist at the National Agricultural Marketing Council, the impact of the pandemic will be exacerbated by the fact that agricullture was already posting negative growth before the outbreak.
The convoy that saved Malta
Vice Admiral Edward Syfret’s superb planning and leadership qualities helped save the small but strategically crucial island of Malta during the Second World War, writes Graham Jooste.
NEW IRRIGATION SYSTEMS: making do with less
With dwindling water supplies and a greater emphasis on efficient use of resources, irrigation technology is evolving to make do with less. While the initial capital costs of the latest equipment and software may be high, its increased efficiency, higher yield and reduced water usage cannot be beaten. Lindi Botha spoke to experts about the latest advances in irrigation.
It is said that in boxing, one cannot make a successful comeback.
Constitutional amendment won't address poverty issues
Prof Ruth Hall of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at UWC says that the call to change Section 25 of the Constitution in an effort to allow for expropriation without compensation will not secure equitable access to land for all South Africans.
Is Data The New Soil In Agri?
With today’s rapidly evolving digital technology, farmers have many options, but at a high cost. Discerning between the hype and the useful is therefore crucial to buying the right tools to increase profit. Digital and technology experts Rudie Raath and Stehan Cloete spoke to Lindi Botha.
Agri Jobs: Why We Need To Be Practical
A lack of experience prevents many qualified young people from finding their first jobs in agriculture. Recruitment specialist Marianne van der Laarse explained the situation to Glenneis Kriel and called for internships and more practical exposure for students.
An App For Every Farming Task
Mobile applications make life more convenient for farmers while enabling them to be more productive. Glenneis Kriel reports on a number of apps that are changing the way farms are run.
Profit From Responsible Water Use
Variable rate irrigation has demonstrated water-use savings of up to 30%. At the same time, production costs are reduced and profitability increases, says Stehan Cloete.
Unlocking the potential of the Merino Landsheep
The Merino Landsheep is rapidly gaining popularity in South Africa due to the breed’s impressive performance in the feedlot as well as its value as a dual-purpose meat and wool sheep. Merino Landsheep stud breeder Ben du Plessis spoke to Annelie Coleman.
Township vegetable garden empowers women
The Siyazama Community Garden in Khayelitsha has changed the lives of a group of women in the township. During a media tour to the garden hosted by Coronation Fund Managers, two of the farmers, Nokwanda Nkqayi and Liziwe Stofile, spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about their organic farming practices and the impact that the garden has had on their lives.
The slow, sure road to sustainable wheat production
Since he started with conservation farming more than 12 years ago, MG Lotter has learnt that there are no quick fixes in grain production. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel about managing his farm in the Overberg.
The basics of dairy farming: Part 1
Modern dairies tend to be large-scale and highly automated. Yet the essence of managing cows and maximising production has not changed.
Preparing a lettuce land
Lettuce grows rapidly and has a relatively shallow root system. This means you have to ensure the crop gets off to a running start. Your initial task is, therefore, to address soil fertility at the soil preparation stage.
More intensive banana production
50YEARS AGO With the emphasis on improved production, these Mpumalanga banana growers had to adapt and innovate.
HOW TO INCREASE SA'S WINE SALES RIGHT HERE AT HOME
South Africa’s wine industry has the potential to boost sales to the local market, especially those consumers who are in the emerging middle class. At the recent Vinpro Information Day, Brandon de Kock, director of storytelling at consumer insights agency Whyfive, outlined the changing consumer landscape in the country and its opportunities. Jeandré van der Walt reports.
Heat stress in competing horses
Heat stress can lead to organ failure and death, and should not be underestimated by horse riders or owners, warns Dr Mac.
Automation for dairy cowsheds
A large selection of new technology for dairy farming was on display at this year’s Fieragricola, which took place in Verona, Italy, earlier this year.
Diversification: An Essential Approach In A Tough Economy
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; if you fall, you run the risk of not having breakfast. Farmers should spread their risk by adding a second component to an existing farming operation, or even by investing in industries unrelated to agriculture, says Dawie Maree, head of information and marketing at FNB Agriculture.
The importance of building trust throughout the red meat value chain
One of South Africa’s many socio-economic problems is the general lack of trust between stakeholders in the country’s agricultural value chain and consumers. Dr Pieter Vervoort, managing director of the National Animal Health Forum, says that a national traceability system is one method through which trust can be rebuilt.
Steering a combine with a joystick
The recently launched Fendt IDEALDrive joystick steering system for combine harvesters eliminates the steering wheel in the brand’s IDEAL Combine series. The joystick steering solution promises to deliver greater visibility for less operator fatigue.
Small steps to progress
Kleiheuwel Trust, based in Bredasdorp, recently achieved one of the top 10 best prices in the history of South African wool sales, and the highest price so far during this season’s BKB wool auctions. Pam and André Christie-Smith spoke to Glenneis Kriel about their production approach.
Diligent crop protection is crucial
Several methods are available to help farmers protect their crops from weeds, diseases and pests, says Dr Benard Ngwene, the agricultural advisory manager for AGCO Africa.