Papaya Production: A Delicate Balancing Act
Papaya production poses few challenges, says Mpumalanga-based papaya producer Giovanna Secco. But with high volumes and unstable demand, farming the fruit requires careful management to ensure that the crop remains profitable. Lindi Botha reports.
Broiler Producer Uses Her Position To Uplift Others
Jo-andra Cloete, who farms in Joostenberg Vlakte near Cape Town, started producing broilers only a few years ago. She is now mentoring over a hundred farmers, whom she supplies with day-old chicks. She spoke to Glenneis Kriel about the growth of her highly successful operation.
Thorn tree leaves: a nutritious grain substitute in pig feed
Smallholder pig production in Southern Africa is constrained by feed shortages and the demand for grains to feed the ever-growing human population. This makes it important to identify alternative feedstuffs for pigs.
Making lucerne hay while maximising soil health
Free State irrigation farmer Freek Strauss grows lucerne for the local and export markets. At the same time, the crop improves the soil’s condition, thus increasing the yields of other crops in rotation. Sabrina Dean reports.
Wine: the future doesn't look like the past
The COVID-19 lockdown and its effects have undeniably changed South Africa’s wine landscape, according to Mike Ratcliffe, founder of Wine Business Advisors. Jeandré van der Walt spoke to him about what the wine industry would look like after the pandemic and how it should navigate the next few years to stay profitable and build big brands in a fiercely competitive world.
Growing avocados: Part 4
Avocado trees can be arranged in an orchard in a number of ways. Each has its advantages.
19 DECEMBER 1979 - Watering the Holy Land
41 YEARS AGO
How Insect Predators Can Help You
Beneficial insects used in integrated pest management (IPM) can sometimes completely eliminate the need for crop chemicals, or at least reduce chemical spraying to a minimum. In addition, there are now crop chemicals that are much safer for parasitoids and predators.
A Lean, Mean Sheepproducing Machine
Sheep production has become a numbers game, with an operation’s profitability being largely dependent on the farmer’s ability to produce large numbers of sheep at low cost. Farm manager Dirk Liebenberg spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how he achieves this goal.
Farmer Tackles Hunger And Food Wastage In The Face Of Covid-19
Farmers across South Africa have launched food aid initiatives for their local communities to ease the hardships and suffering brought about by the COVID-19 lockdown. Fruit and vegetable producer Rossouw Cillié of Laastedrif near Ceres spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about his involvement in distributing food parcels to Western Cape families in need.
Woman Vintner Shakes Up Wine Industry In The Free State
Picture the Free State, and you are likely to recall lands of maize and golden sunflowers stretching to the horizon. Near Jacobsdal, however, Tebogo Ditsebe is bucking the trend: she grows wine grapes and produces wine under her own label. Jeandré van der Walt reports.
Saving The Planet Depends On A New Agriculture
Nature is essential for human existence, providing and sustaining the air, freshwater and soils on which we all depend. It also regulates the climate and provides pollination and pest control. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) ‘Living Planet Report 2020’, while more food and energy than ever before are supplied, overexploitation of plants and animals is increasingly eroding nature’s ability to provide these in the future.
Tracing the rigin of the four-legged serpent in SA rock art
According to rock art recorder Victor Biggs, the Nguni belief in river-dwelling serpentine monsters was appropriated from San mythology as depicted in their rock art.
Sustainable game farming in the bushveld
On his 2 500ha game farm near Lephalale in Limpopo, Willem Frost aims to provide local and international hunters with an authentic hunting experience, which promotes the farm’s overall sustainability goals.
Rinderpest: a continuing threat to livestock
Despite rinderpest being finally eradicated from nature in 2011, the threat of re-emergence remains. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has therefore continued to urge farmers to learn the symptoms of the disease, and to notify state veterinarians if they suspect an animal may be showing signs of rinderpest.
Macadamia prices hold firm amid smaller crop
Despite the challenges faced by the international macadamia industry during the past season, the current crop is looking favourable.
Controlling nematodes in grain crops
The grain production season is approaching and soil-dwelling nematodes are re-emerging after winter. Farmers should start monitoring these pests now, say Prof Driekie Fourie and Dr Gerhard du Preez at North-West University’s Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management.
Why Too Much Iron Is A Problem
Excessive iron in drinking water is hazardous to horses, says Dr Mac, and could lead to permanent liver damage or death.
How Predators Can Boost Profits
If you are like many farmers, you use a spray programme because it gives you peace of mind. Yet, in many cases, you can have protection and peace of mind without the cost of spraying, which, of course, includes the expense of the chemical and running a tractor.
Automated, Intensive, And Independent Soil Sampling
True farm optimisation starts with understanding your soil and its theoretical production potential. Stehan Cloete discusses some ideas around soil sampling with Sion Agri’s lead independent agronomy consultant, Thomas Strydom.
Brahman Stud Owner Strives For Perfection
A dream to farm Brahman cattle saw Auldrich Spies switch from construction to farming. Ironically, it was his initial ignorance that led him to become a successful stud farmer today. Lindi Botha visited SS Brahmane in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
Will The Pandemic Change How People Eat For Good?
During the recent 2020 PMA Fresh Connections: Southern Africa conference, Dr William Li, a scientist and the author of the bestselling book Eat to Beat Disease, in conversation with Jaco Oosthuizen, CEO of RSA Group, said that the COVID-19 pandemic had given the fresh produce industry a golden opportunity to increase its focus on health and healthy eating.
Parasitoids: pest control for free!
I am frequently asked, especially by emerging farmers, to provide spray programmes for various crops.
Passion and discipline drive young cattle farmer's success
Kgomotso Bantsho has been farming Bonsmara cattle and goats full-time in North West since 2017. He says that support from other farmers is critical, and that each farmer needs to learn which management practices will work best for him or her.
Small, but strong utility vehicles
Some jobs on the farm are too small to be done using regular farm machinery, but too large to be done by hand. John Deere’s range of turf and utility vehicles are just the right size to perform these smaller tasks.
Healthy Eating Is Getting More Expensive In SA
According to the latest 10-year agricultural outlook published by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy, the cost of healthy eating as a percentage of monthly household expenditure is rising in South Africa, driving consumers towards cheaper food options.
Piecing Together Historic Climate Events
Researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia, Dr John Hellstrom, Prof Russell Drysdale and Ellen Corrick, have managed to assemble the most precise records of major climate events from thousands of years ago. They explain what their research has revealed.
Why You Need To Budget
A comprehensive and all-inclusive budget is critical to the success of any production operation, according to Anche Suurd, an agricultural economist at NWK. Without this basic financial tool, it is extremely difficult to obtain a clear idea of the actual performance of the business, or sustainably create and build wealth.
All You Need To Know About Cutworm Control
The common cutworm is a prominent maize pest in South Africa. Professors Johnnie van den Berg and Hannalene du Plessis, researchers at North-West University’s Integrated Pest Management Research Group, provide some useful tips on identifying and controlling this pest.
A New Disease Threat To Papaya And Citrus
Phytophthora palmivora, a disease that causes crown and root rot, poses a new threat to subtropical fruit and citrus production in South Africa. Dr Mieke Daneel of the Agricultural Research Council’s (ARC) Tropical and Subtropical Crops division in Mbombela and Dr Wilhelm Botha of the ARC’s Plant Health and Protection division in Roodeplaat explain the disease and how to combat it.