Sectors - Crops
Farmers Weekly
Simonsig: SA wine route pioneers

Wine estate Simonsig pioneered Méthode Cap Classique – a traditional style of producing sparkling wines – in South Africa. The method has since been adopted by a number of estates. Winemaker Johan Malan spoke to Jeandré du Preez about Simonsig’s heritage.
Taking control of the apple value chain

Five Mpumalanga apple farmers have pooled their resources to establish their own packhouse, but each producer is independently responsible for producing a quality product in the orchard. Producers Jan Grey and Ryk Pretorius spoke to Gerhard Uys about the advantages of this operating model.
Increase wine grape profits with successful mechanisation

Izak de Beer may be one of only a few farmers in Olifantsriver in the Western Cape who is making a profit out of wine grapes. Creative use of mechanisation is one of the reasons for his success. Glenneis Kriel spoke to him about his production methods
Strawberry trial passes with flying colours

Drought in the northern Eastern Cape played havoc with this season’s raspberry crop of the Berrynice Berry Company. Fortunately, a small land of strawberries planted as a trial provided a good harvest and inspired the company to continue the crop commercially. Grant Hollins met with Mandy Aukamp in Molteno to learn more about their experience.
The link between Arrested Ear Syndrome and chemicals

Arrested Ear Syndrome, which causes partial or complete failure of the maize ear, has recently begun to appear in local maize crops. Grant Pringle, agronomist from Pannar Seeds, details possible causes, effects and treatment.
Finding the fig niche

Hanro and Karin Knoetzen produce two varieties of figs on 8ha of their 600ha mixed-crop farm near Porterville in the Western Cape. While most of the crop is bound for the export market, surplus ripe figs are transformed into fig-based products for the local market.
Table grape farmer shares his netting production secrets

In 2000, farmer Wilfred Stephan became one of the first producers in the Western Cape to grow table grapes under nets, a system that offers a multitude of benefits. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how he has adapted his infrastructure to save costs and improve its efficiency.
Free State apple farmers’ climate-smart management

Pitso Sekhoto and his daughter Nono farm apples near Senekal in the Free State. The Sekhotos spoke to Gerhard Uys about orchard production, climate change and drought.
Dieback: root of the problem

Dying trees in plum orchards, just a few years after planting, recently sparked alarm among Western Cape farmers, especially those in the Berg River region. Prof Piet Stassen, a private consultant and stone fruit rootstock expert, shared his recommendations on the subject with Jeandré du Preez.
What’s good for apples, is good for wine

The Ceres Plateau, only recently incorporated into South Africa’s Wine of Origin scheme, is establishing itself as one of the best wine-producing regions in the country. Kallie du Plessis and Hendri Carstens of the farm Dennekruin spoke to Glenneis Kriel about this exciting development.
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