The exotic vine cat’s claw creeper (Dolichandra unguis-cati) is a woody, evergreen creeper that has become a significant threat to biodiversity in many sensitive ecosystems across South Africa. The vine is originally native to central and tropical South America, including the West Indies.
With its showy yellow flowers, cat’s claw was originally sold as a hedging plant or natural screen for unsightly walls and buildings. The plant’s ability to ‘climb’ is facilitated by its distinctive leaves, which consist of two leaflets and a modified three-forked tendril.
Each tendril is tipped with a tiny, hardened hook that can attach to most surfaces, enabling the vine to grow up walls, tree trunks, and over other vegetation. It is these tendrils that resemble claws, giving the plant its common name.
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Growing sweet potatoes
The sweet potato is a warm-season crop and does not fare well in cool temperatures. Implementing a crop rotation strategy is also essential to keep pests and diseases at bay.
The evolution of power in SA's agri machinery market
It is unlikely that South Africa’s commercial agriculture sector would have achieved its internationally respected status were it not for the investment that farmers have made in mechanisation. Lloyd Phillips spoke to a number of experts about some of the main agricultural machinery sales trends.
Putting crop rotation into perspective
When developing a crop rotation programme, one must take into consideration the various pests and diseases that may infect different crops in order to avoid disastrous results, says Bill Kerr.
The changing environment
The Internet of Things, where machinery and devices (often fitted with sensors) share data online, has enabled tractors and other agricultural machinery to become far more efficient and easier to operate. This, combined with mechanical innovations, is helping farmers produce more with less. Glenneis Kriel reports.
Giving farmers the advantage!
New machinery is indispensable as a support for agricultural activities during difficult times such as COVID-19, says Jaco du Preez, product specialist at CNH Industrial, distributor of New Holland in South Africa.
Breeding for efficiency adds value for this cattle farmer
Anneri Otto, who farms near Coligny in North West, never planned on becoming a farmer. However, when unfortunate circumstances forced her to take charge of her husband’s operation, she rose to the challenge, and now produces Hereford and Angus cattle, as well as pecan nuts. Pieter Dempsey reports.
Improving the stud one animal at a time
Dirco Swart, owner of Blinkmeneer Beefmasters in Frankfort, says that the future of the Beefmaster is bright, thanks to the breed’s adaptability and breeders’ passion for improvement.
Controlling biting flies
Biting flies are not only a nuisance, but can also transmit diseases and deliver painful bites, says Dr Mac.
A soya bean range for all conditions
Nico Barnard, an agronomist in the central Highveld for Pannar, explains the importance of planting different soya bean cultivars to spread risk. This is how Pannar’s soya bean range can help!
Why plants need nitrogen
This element, which is found in the chlorophyll of plants, is responsible for vegetative growth and is therefore crucial to the success of the crop.
Gourmet & travel
a Wahlberg's summer
Wahlberg’s Eagles have always been close to my heart and when the opportunity arose to photograph a breeding pair at the nest, I grabbed it with both hands. It all started when Marius, my future son-in-law, told me early in 2019 about an eagle’s nest in a thorn tree near the Sand River on the farm where he lives in Limpopo. He sent me a photograph of the two eagles at the nest and I immediately recognised them as a pair of Wahlberg’s. To add to my excitement, one of them was a pale morph.
Life along the Limpopo
The Limpopo River is South Africa’s border with Botswana for about 500km. It’s also a lifeline for farmers and wildlife, and for the deep roots of ancient trees. Join us as we follow one WhatsApp message to the next, from Steenbokpan to Pontdrift.
Craft Beer And Pub Grub In The Midlands
Pubs have been centres of human gathering for centuries. Here’s our selection of five historic pubs in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands that guarantee fine fare, cold brew and great views.
Hidden Treasure Verreaux's Eagle-Owl
Despite being the largest owl species in the region and sporting characteristic bright pink eyelids, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owls Bubo lacteus can be surprisingly difficult to find in the wild. It was a colleague of mine, Callum Evans, who first pointed out an eagle-owl nest to me on 1 August 2020 in Mawana Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal. I had seen an adult and a sub-adult in the vicinity a few days before and had thought there might be a nest somewhere, but I hadn’t been able to locate it.
2 Moms, 1 Dad And A Bitter Legal Battle
A little girl is at the centre of a row between two women and their sperm donor over his continued involvement in his daughter’s life
Activism In The Time Of Covid-19
The Bench Marks Foundation rose to the challenges caused by the pandemic through innovation and creativity with its community activist training programme.
How To Manage Your Greater Tax Risk In 2021
"If you think compliance is expensive, try non-compliance." - Paul McNulty, former US Deputy Attorney General
Rotational Grazing For Animal Productivity
The term ‘rotational grazing’ is very often misinterpreted and has become closely aligned with a very rigid system where decisions based on actual veld condition are rarely considered.
In Search Of Natal Yellowfish Top Scaly Rivers Of Kwazulu-Natal
Carl Freese shares his favourite home rivers for hunting KZN scaly.