Human nature also plays a part. If a crop does not start off properly, one tends not to give it the same attention as a crop that starts off beautifully. This may sound illogical, but in my experience, it happens. Once, on a trip to the US, I visited a very large seedling nursery, where the manager told me that his clients dictated the size and hardness of the seedlings that they wanted grown. This does not happen much in South Africa, but it should.
I have seen seedlings arriving from a warm area transplanted in a cold area just before a cold front. Unsurprisingly, all the plants were burnt to death by the low temperature.
If plants require hardening, this should be done at the nursery, not in the land after transplanting where there is less control.
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Sustaining a community-owned game reserve in tough times
COVID-19’s disastrous impact has necessitated change and adaptability in even the most rural parts of South Africa. The management of Somkhanda Community Game Reserve spoke to Lloyd Phillips about their efforts to keep this jewel of conservation and ecotourism alive and moving forward in the face of adversity.
Why vaccines are so important for your animals
Many medications are available for treating diseases and other problems, such as worms, in livestock. But by far the most important treatment you can give your animals is vaccinations against the diseases that occur in your area. Shane Brody explains why vaccines are different to other medicines, and why they are so effective.
Controlling the cat's claw creeper
The leaf-tying moth has been released as a biological control agent against this invasive alien plant.
Unlocking the potential of solar energy
With solar energy becoming increasingly affordable and reliable, more and more farmers are using it to reduce their electricity costs and dependence on Eskom power. Claude Peters of RenEnergy spoke to Glenneis Kriel about this trend.
Why an integrated approach is best
Farmers are finding more and more natural enemies to keep tomato leaf miners in check instead of resorting solely to chemicals, says Bill Kerr.
Empowerment through education
Young Bonsmara farmer Keneilwe Raphesu knew the path to achieving her dreams lay in further training, so she joined a development programme for emerging farmers. She spoke to Siyanda Sishuba about the lessons she has learnt so far.
Land rights of SA's forgotten people
In this article, Prof Philippe Burger, pro-vice-chancellor of Poverty, Inequality and Economic Development at the University of the Free State, writes that South Africa is failing the poorest of the poor by not developing legislation that would strengthen the land rights of people who are living in communal areas.
The Boer goat mentor who's changing lives
Stud Boer goat breeder Desré Ferreira from Vryburg in North West provides a valuable support network to developing and commercial Boer goat farmers. She started mentoring a group of about 30 farmers a decade ago, and now supports 150. Annelie Coleman reports.
Dealing with external parasites on chickens
These pests can cause severe problems for small-flock poultry producers (and occasionally large-flock producers) by disturbing the birds and affecting their growth and egg production. They can also spread disease.
Avoiding slippery mistakes with bananas
The humble banana is usually taken for granted by consumers, but growing this popular fruit can be tricky, expensive and involve considerable risk. Having top-performing banana plantations starts with the proper establishment of the crop. Brothers Riaan and WJ Heystek shared their experiences of setting up their banana enterprise with Lloyd Phillips.