Covid-19's Message To Livestock Farmers
Farmer's Weekly|June 19 - 26, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted real problems ahead for livestock producers. There is an urgent need for farmers to adopt more naturefriendly practices.
Peter Hughes

Is industrial livestock farming and the demand for meat complicit in the emergence and spread of coronavirus disease (COVID- 19) and other zoonoses? Put another way, the question on the lips of many meat consumers, medical experts, researchers and regulators is, have the factory farms, where meat is produced in overcrowded, unhygienic and cruel conditions (and where the mass application of antibiotics is the norm) become hot spots for the mutation of dangerous viruses and the spread of infectious diseases?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FARMER'S WEEKLYView All

Sugar cane and cash crop rotation helps improve soil health

Decades of monocropping has compromised soil health on many South African sugar cane farms, negatively affecting their productivity. Dreyer Senekal, co-director of Senekal Familie Boerdery, explains to Lloyd Phillips how he is experimenting with strategic crop rotation to improve the soil of his sugar cane enterprise.

7 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
April 16, 2021

Tuberculosis in cattle

Tuberculosis is an important zoonotic disease that spreads slowly in animal populations.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
April 16, 2021

Is it time to relook water governance in South Africa?

The number of rivers in South Africa deemed to be in a poor ecological state has increased alarmingly in recent times. James Brand, a senior associate at ENSafrica’s Natural Resources and Environment department, argues that the many frustrated citizens affected by contaminated water supplies might be better served by new, independent water governance structures and amendments to the country’s water laws.

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
April 16, 2021

The influence of weather on lucerne hay quality

There is still limited research available on the effects of weather on lucerne production in South Africa, This article, written by lucerne specialist Dr Gerrie Scholtz, agricultural economist Walter van Niekerk, and others, was published by the National Lucerne Trust and offers some insight on the matter, based on recent observations.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
April 16, 2021

Superior goats and award-winning cheeses

Rina Belcher runs Belnori Boutique Cheesery, a Saanen goat-breeding and cheesemaking operation near Bapsfontein in Gauteng. Pieter Dempsey spoke to her about raising her animals and creating a diverse range of products, including soft and hard cheeses, a number of which have garnered prestigious awards.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
April 16, 2021

Strategic planning for families in business

When carrying out estate planning, a family business owner may be concerned only with who will inherit the business and how it will be transferred. More is required, says Trevor Dickinson; planning has to consider the family’s desires and intentions for the business, as well as strategies for the future of the operation.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
April 16, 2021

Painted Persians carry sheep farmer through drought

The demand for multicoloured Persian sheep in the Middle East has helped Northern Cape breeder Koenie Kotzé endure the drought. Annelie Coleman reports on how he discovered this market.

6 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
April 16, 2021

Case IH introduces tougher, rust-resistant paint with a deeper shine

Additions to the paint shop facilities at the Case IH St Valentin tractor plant in Austria have resulted in longer-lasting paintwork on the company’s tractors. Advanced techniques now ensure that the paint adheres more tightly to metal surfaces, making the paintwork more resistant to scratching, cracking and rusting.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
April 16, 2021

An endangered bird is forgetting its song

Researchers from the Australian National University have found that in areas where there are very small populations of the critically endangered regent honeyeater, the songs of the remaining wild males vary remarkably. Tragically, in some cases, the birds have even adopted the songs of other species.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
April 16, 2021

Add veggie oil to your horse feed

By giving your horse vegetable oil, you will improve its coat and condition, without the side effects of high sugar rations, says Dr Mac.

3 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
April 16, 2021