Mentor-Breeder's Strategy For Profitable Beef Farming
Johan Erasmus, who farms near Derby in North West, is one of the pioneers of the Boran cattle breed in South Africa. He uses his experience as a stud breeder and a commercial crop farmer to assist and mentor new farmers in a number of Southern African countries. Pieter Dempsey reports.
South Africa's Expropriation Law: What It's All About
Elmien du Plessis, associate professor of law at North-West University, outlines the long road that has been travelled to get to South Africa’s Expropriation Bill in its current form.
Benefits And Risks Of A Digitised Farm Sector
Digital technology can make food markets more efficient and inclusive. However, according to a recent report, the digital divide places farmers in some of the world’s poorest regions at risk of being left behind.
More money for the Land Bank
Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, announced in his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement that despite serious efforts to curb government spending over the next three to five years, the Land Bank would be allocated another R7 billion to finance its restructuring plans. Denene Erasmus reports.
What's behind the locust swarms damaging crops in Southern Africa?
In this article, originally published by theconversation.com, Prof Frances Duncan of the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, whose research involves investigating the survival strategies of brown locusts, explains what is behind the migratory locust outbreak ravaging crops and pastures across Southern Africa.
Surprise: Africa's farmers are relatively young!
Thomas Jayne, a professor of agricultural, food and resource economics, and Felix Kwame Yeboah, an assistant professor of international development, both at Michigan State University in the US, say it is simply untrue that Africa’s farmers are mostly old and, on average, getting even older. It is also a misperception, they argue, that the continent’s young people are not interested in farming.
New mower and header attachments from CLAAS
German-based agricultural machinery manufacturer CLAAS has announced the launch of two new mower ranges, as well as changes to its line-up of ORBIS row-independent front attachments for the JAGUAR self-propelled forage harvester.
PUTTING NATURE BACK INTO BEEKEEPING
With bee populations dwindling globally, beekeepers are looking for ways to improve the resilience of their colonies. Albertus van Zyl spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how he achieves this.
Climate-Proof, No-Till Crop Production In The Maize Triangle
Cocky Mokoka has been farming since 2007, but only started incorporating conservation agriculture principles to improve his soil in 2015. He spoke to Pieter Dempsey about the practices he implements on his 740ha farm.
New Technology To Detect Mycotoxins In Animal Feed
Prof Cobus Visagie, a mycologist studying fungi at the University of Pretoria’s Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, was recently awarded a prestigious research grant under the Future Leaders’ African Independent Research programme. He explains the impact of mycotoxins on humans and animals.
Growing Success For A Small-Scale Wattle Farmer
Mthandeni Ntanzi has combined ingenuity, expert advice and sheer hard work to improve production on his small black wattle plantation, becoming an award-winning farmer in the process. Lloyd Phillips visited him at his operation in KwaZulu-Natal.
A Bright Future For Solar Energy In South Africa
Against a backdrop of severe economic pressure and an unreliable base-load power supply, the local uptake of renewable energy is gaining momentum. Henri van Eetveldt, solar and storage consultant at Energy Partners Solar, explains the nuts and bolts of solar energy to Jeandré van der Walt.
The prevention and control of West Nile fever
Vaccinate for West Nile fever before the mosquito season starts, says Dr Mac. This is the key to prevention.
Finding new markets for South African fruit
The volume of export-quality fruit being produced by South African farmers is set to increase considerably over the next decade. With ever-larger harvests on the land every year, the race is on for the industry to gain access to new global markets. Glenneis Kriel reports.
Sustainable Impact Investment In Africa
‘Impact investment’ aims to generate social and environmental benefits as well as solid financial returns. AgDevCo, a UK-based project developer, has 50 agribusiness investments of this type in sub-Saharan Africa, linking more than 375 000 smallholder farmers to markets. CEO Daniel Hulls spoke to Glenneis Kriel about his company’s investment approach.
A Vicious Circle Of Poverty - The Scourge Of Child Labour In Agriculture
Across the world, child labour is practised more in agriculture than in any other sector. This is despite the numerous hazards involved in farm work, including unprotected exposure to chemicals, working with potentially dangerous livestock, and carrying heavy loads over long distances. Moreover, a lack of access to quality education means these children not only suffer in terms of development, but are unlikely to escape the poverty trap. Janine Ryan investigates.
One Agripreneur, Two Enterprises. Success Despite The Odds!
When the COVID-19 lockdown forced Ncumisa Mkabile to shut down her catering business, she put her entrepreneurial spirit to the test by starting two small-scale farming businesses on a piece of land in Khayelitsha. Jeandré van der Walt reports.
How Non-Genetic Factors Affect Bull Performance
An Agricultural Research Council study of the performance of Brahman bulls in feedlots across South Africa has highlighted the non-genetic traits, such as environment and herd of origin, that affect the average daily gain and feed conversion ratios of the animals. Researchers Melville Ferreira, Alfredo Lepori and Frans Jordaan explore the importance of the results, emphasising that maximum feed efficiency is essential for the long-term sustainability and profitability of the beef industry.
Chillies: A Hot Crop If You Know What You're Doing
Diversifying with chillies has enabled Klein Karoo stone fruit farmer JD van Deventer to increase cash flow, use orchard space more efficiently, and mitigate the climate- and market-related risks associated with fruit production. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel.
The Latest Generation Of Seed-Sowing Robots
AGCO/Fendt is developing the next generation of field robots as part of a strategic research project. The new series of Xaver sowing robots differs markedly from the past two iterations, and in more than just appearance. The inner seed units of the machines are also entirely new.
Know When Your Soil Is Ready!
It’s always a good idea to get soil fertility in balance by providing enough fertilizer and, perhaps, organic matter, but treating the soil well is also very important.
Covid-19 A Wake-up Call To Develop Agriculture In Africa
During the first wave of COVID-19 infections in many countries around the world, the critical role of agriculture in society was highlighted as governments called on farmers and agro-processing industries to continue operations even during lockdown periods, says Prof Charles Kadzere of the Dohne Agricultural Development Institute in the Eastern Cape.
These are the best brownies in the world, and will have your family coming back for more, says Janine Ryan. They have a fudge-like texture and are packed with chocolate!
No-till: better soil at less cost
One sure way of reducing soil degradation is to cut down on tillage. Numerous crops can be grown using the no-till approach, and many farmers who have done so will testify that it cuts costs and improves rain penetration in the soil. The soil also holds more water; in fact, no-till soils generally show drought stress two weeks later than tilled soils do.
The struggle to meet the animal health needs of developing farmers
Much is said about the need for transformation in the red meat value chain, especially among smallholder farmers in traditional authority areas and on land reform farms. Unfortunately, according to former government animal health technician Ginette Bentley, inadequate resources, vacant posts and a lack of cohesion hamper the process. Lloyd Phillips reports.
A Self-Adjusting Tractor Tyre
Agricultural machinery company STEYR, in co-operation with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is developing an ‘intelligent’ tractor wheel equipped with an ultrasonic sensor that ensures optimised tyre pressure at all times and hence reduces compaction.
Add Value To Berries: Part 1
Do you want to increase your market turnover? One proven way of doing this is to add value to your crops through agro-processing.
Consistency, Quality, And A Market On The Doorstep
Cabbage can be undemanding, provided the right checks and balances are put in place and the crop is managed meticulously. Lindi Botha spoke to farmer Bright Matimbe about producing healthy cabbage all year round in the Lowveld city of Mbombela.
Blended Finance Offers Viable Opportunities
A lack of financing and access to capital is one of the biggest barriers to entry for new farmers. With these operations regarded as high-risk undertakings, commercial banks are wary to offer loans, leaving new farmers excluded from the sector. Lindi Botha looks at the possibilities that exist within blended financing to overcome these challenges.
How To Keep The Family Business In Business
Very few family farming operations transition effortlessly from one generation to another. The process requires careful planning, hard work and a lot of patience. Annelie Coleman spoke to several experts about the factors that drive success, and found that timeous succession planning, a family constitution, and a willingness to allow new entrants topped the list.