CATEGORIES

Farming Sector Under Siege By Criminals

The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant national lockdown in South Africa have produced a plethora of negative socio-economic consequences. Amongst these is a wave of crime against the country’s farmers. Lloyd Phillips reports on this phenomenon and on how government’s consistent failures have made a difficult problem significantly worse.

7 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 18, 2020

NAMPO VIRTUAL: The show goes online

Nampo Harvest Day has become a staple on the South African agricultural calendar. And while COVID-19 means that the physical event cannot continue, the show goes on.

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 11, 2020

Keeping rhythm

A well-balanced horse and rider will move rhythmically at all paces in all disciplines, says Dr Mac.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 11, 2020

Crop Sprayers, Big And Small

Even though most major agricultural shows have been cancelled for 2020, equipment manufacturers are forging ahead, bringing farmers improved machinery and technology solutions. Denene Erasmus looks at some of the latest releases in crop spraying technology, from large, self-propelled sprayers to small, backpack models.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 11, 2020

Getting More Crop Per Drop!

South Africa’s water scarcity and the necessity to import well over one million tons of wheat annually mean that the country’s winter wheat growers increasingly have to optimise their water-use efficiencies. KwaZulu-Natal farmer Egon Zunckel spoke to Lloyd Phillips about his family’s own efforts to achieve higher wheat yield from less water.

7 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 11, 2020

Record-Breaking Bull Sale As Richter Simbras Goes Virtual

Simbra stud farmer Chris Richter set a new record price and averaged R95 000 per bull on offer during his 15th production sale in July. He spoke to Sabrina Dean about how the stud will go forward in the age of digital marketing after the success of its inaugural online auction.

7 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 11, 2020

Auctions Go High-Tech

Digital technologies are revolutionising auctions, resulting in better exposure for sellers and a broader purchasing base for buyers. Glenneis Kriel reports.

8 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 11, 2020

‘Give Us What You Promised' – Black Farmer To Government

Land reform in South Africa has, by and large, been labelled a failure. After 26 years and billions of rand spent on farms and inputs, successes are still few and far between. Solly Letsoalo, a farmer in Limpopo, spoke to Lindi Botha about his experiences over a 13-year period as a land reform beneficiary.

6 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 11, 2020

Second-Quarter Agri Expansion Could Be Somewhat Milder

South Africa’s agriculture sector had a solid start to the year, with first-quarter gross value-added figures growing 27,8% quarter-on-quarter (q/q) on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 11, 2020

Lack Of Transformation Bedevils Agriculture

In this first instalment of a new monthly column, agricultural economist Dr Sifiso Ntombela discusses the lack of transformation in South Africa’s farming sector.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 11, 2020

SA Sugar's Master Plan: Not As Sweet As It Seems

The much-vaunted, but yet to be signed, South African Sugar Cane Value Chain Master Plan is aimed at getting the country’s long-ailing sugar industry out of its financial difficulties. But as admirable as its goals are, the plan has overlooked a number of critical socio-environmental sustainability aspects, according to Boudewijn Goossens, Bonsucro’s regional director for Africa.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 11, 2020

Widespread relief as ban on tobacco sales is lifted

South African tobacco producers, who have suffered greatly since the ban on tobacco products was announced in March, have expressed relief about the lifting of the ban. Annelie Coleman reports.

3 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 04, 2020

What SA farmers can learn from Kenya's smallholders

Prof Cyril Nhlanhla Mbatha, director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at Rhodes University, writes that by embracing digital solutions, like those used by farmers in Kenya, South African small-scale farmers can achieve greater market access and be better prepared to weather disruptions.

3 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 04, 2020

Sowing the seeds for the future

The South African National Seed Organisation is determined to build capacity in the seed industry to ensure that its members acquire the best talent to take the industry forward.

6 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 04, 2020

LAND REFORM: lack of government support at the root of community's struggles

The Mswati Communal Property Association (CPA) in Mpumalanga was one of the earliest beneficiaries of the new South African government’s land reform programme. More than 20 years later, the community is still struggling to get the crucial support from the state that would enable them to grow their farming businesses, says CPA committee member Maria Magagula. She and her daughter, Sanet, spoke to Siyanda Sishuba.

6 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 04, 2020

Weighty matters

Technological advances are making it easier to weigh livestock and use this information to influence herd management decisions. Glenneis Kriel spoke to a number of experts about the advantages of weighing livestock regularly.

8 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 04, 2020

A revered modern saint

Elizabeth Paul was an Anglican preacher and healer whose ministry in the Eastern Cape drew large numbers of people. Today, 56 years after her death and seven years after she was canonised, pilgrims still visit her prayer room in Tsolo in the hope of blessing and healing, writes Mike Burgess.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 04, 2020

Bread - Nutella & Chocolate Babka

Babka is a sweet Jewish bread that originated in Eastern Europe. While traditional babka calls for a cinnamon and jam filling, this version, submitted by Janine Ryan, uses the chocolate and hazelnut spread Nutella, and chocolate chips.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 04, 2020

Know The Needs Of Seedlings

Different species of seedlings face different hazards and have differing needs; it is wise to take note of these so as to be prepared.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 04, 2020

Identifying Non-Host Sweet Potato Cultivars To Combat Nematodes

The root-knot nematode can cause major financial losses for sweet potato farmers if not managed effectively. Dr Kgabo Pofu and Dr Sunette Laurie of the Agricultural Research Council’s Vegetable and Ornamental Plants Institute, and Prof Phatu Mashela of the Green Technologies Research Centre, University of Limpopo, report on trials of nematode-resistant sweet potato cultivars.

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 04, 2020

Farmer Development Based On Solid Plans

In 2019, professional services company Optimal Agricultural Business Systems (OABS) launched its Integrated Farmer Development Programme to facilitate sustainable transformation in agriculture. Daan Louw, chairperson of OABS, spoke to Glenneis Kriel about the programme.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
September 04, 2020

SWITCH TO REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

Regenerative agriculture is well researched and documented, but what actually happens on farm level might differ from results achieved during controlled trials. Stehan Cloete provides advice on how to address these challenges and introduce regenerative practices while remaining profitable.

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
August 28, 2020

Performance recording in small stock

It takes discipline and effort to record flock parameters, but the data is invaluable in the long run.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
August 28, 2020

‘To profit from pigs, aim for efficiency and quality'

Award-winning piggery owner Khulile Mahlalela says that to maximise profits, a farmer must get the pigs market-ready as rapidly as possible, and produce a low-fat carcass with tender meat. Siyanda Sishuba reports.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
August 28, 2020

Beware of pathogens and pests

As seedlings are the start of the new crop, you need to take every precaution to ensure the plants remain free of pests and diseases. These will not only compromise the seedlings but cause an outbreak after transplanting.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
August 28, 2020

Healthy Yields Start With Healthy Soil And Roots

Biodiverse, nutrient-rich soil is the basis of consistently good harvests. Madumbi, a South African distributor of proven bioproducts, helps farmers build up and maintain optimal soil conditions.

3 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
August 28, 2020

Keeping Records Of Your Animals

Louis Steyl, CEO of the Bonsmara Cattle Breeders’ Society of South Africa, explains the basics of record-keeping, and offers a guideline on how farmers can implement record-keeping processes on their farms.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
August 28, 2020

Mycorrhiza: The Symbiotic Relationship In Soil That Promotes Plant Health

Healthy soil is essential for profitable and sustainable crop production. And a key component of healthy soil is mycorrhizae, root-colonising fungi that send out filaments into the soil to increase plant nutrient uptake. Regenerative agriculture experts Gary Farr and Lindy Anderson explained this amazing symbiotic system to Lloyd Phillips.

7 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
August 28, 2020

The Quest For Healthy Farming Systems

Changing to a healthier production system may pose new challenges, but is worthwhile in the long run. Glenneis Kriel spoke to a number of influencers and pioneers about making the switch.

10+ mins read
Farmer's Weekly
August 28, 2020

Finding A Niche Market For Flavoured Cheeses

Kasselshoop, a small cheese factory near Stilbaai in the Western Cape, is a success story that started with a family’s compassion towards fellow farmers in the area. Co-owner Liesel Kasselman spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about the cheese-making venture.

6 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
August 28, 2020