A zero-emissions wine grape harvest for Italian vineyard
Italian wine producer Fontanafredda and engine manufacturer FPT Industrial are partnering to produce one of the first zero-carbon-footprint wine grape harvests in the world.
KNOW YOUR CATTLE TYPES
Bos indicus, B. taurus or Sanga cattle: which do you choose? Dr Michiel Scholtz and Prof Japie van der Westhuizen spoke to Glenneis Kriel about these breeds.
‘Choose good-quality Beefmaster bulls for heavier weaners'
Hal Budler, who runs the Budler Beefmaster stud in the Eastern Cape, says that breeding with top-quality bulls is the most effective way to improve weaning weights. He also strictly selects for maternal traits to produce adaptable and hardy Beefmasters.
It's time to plan for winter
Before we know it, winter will be upon us. Make sure you are properly prepared to help your crops withstand the first frost, says Bill Kerr.
Getting a silage maize crop into the bunker chop-chop
In terms of its cost-benefit ratio, silage maize is arguably the best-value stored green feed for milk production systems in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. However, to maximize the nutritional quality and quantity of this crop, it is important to harvest and handle it at the correct time and in the correct way. Lloyd Phillips reports.
Understanding thermal imaging
This non-invasive diagnostic tool can identify ‘hotspots’ that are linked to unsoundness, says Dr Mac.
Succession planning: get expert help and understand your options
Even if succession seems straightforward, as when passing on operations to a single heir, several steps are needed to facilitate the transfer of the farm from one generation to the next, says Trevor Dickinson.
A true escape to the countryside
Brian Berkman recently explored the dell in the Overberg that time forgot. Here he discovered warm hospitality, surprising luxury and spectacular scenery on a working protea farm.
A strategy for bush encroachment control
When sweet thorn competes with grazing plants for light and water, it starts to suppress grass production. It is therefore important to implement control measures to manage this encroachment. Dr Louis du Pisani, an independent agricultural consultant, discusses some of the factors that should inform a farmer’s bush encroachment management strategy.
A proven recipe for a successful family agri-processing business
When Ina Lessing started her home-made jams and preserves business 25 years ago, she had no idea that she would one day be supplying outlets across South Africa. Yvonne Fontyn reports.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beware of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Spread by bont-legged ticks, this zoonotic disease can prove fatal to humans if left untreated.
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.
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.