News - Farming for tomorrow
Managing weather risk

Insuring against weather volatility is the norm in countries such as the US, but is not common practice in South Africa. Hans Smit of BVG, a risk management company, says a new weather derivative product could help crop producers hedge against erratic weather.
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Microbial-enhanced cotton seeds can increase profitability

A US company, Indigo Agriculture, has developed microbial-enhanced cotton seed that can thrive in hot conditions and boost production without genetic modification. Koot Louw, secretary of Cotton SA, tells Wilma den Hartigh how this could benefit the South African cotton industry.
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Investigating the water-use characteristics of biofuel crops

Biofuels are an important sustainable alternative to fossil-based fuels. However, caution is needed to ensure that water-efficient feedstocks are selected in water-scarce South Africa, says hydrologist Richard Kunz of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
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Low-tech solution for predation

The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust is working with researchers to determine whether livestock predation can be prevented simply by painting ‘eyes’ on cattle’s rumps.
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Harnessing the power of innovation

Through its ‘Enough’ movement, Elanco Animal Health aims to prove how innovation can help farmers produce more food without using more resources.
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Using smart technology to improve animal profitability

The University of the Free State’s meat traceability platform will enable farmers to track the growth and measurements of their animals from birth to slaughter. Glenneis Kriel reports.
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Assisted reproduction techniques for ostriches

The long-term objective of breeding ostriches according to scientific principles has been given a boost, thanks to research by Dr Marna Smith.
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Using nuclear irradiation to kill two bugs with one zap

Nuclear energy has many beneficial applications. One is the potential, through the sterile insect technique, to suppress Eldana, a pest that causes significant economic losses to sugarcane farmers, as well as eradicate malaria from South Africa. Lloyd Phillips reports.
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Sweeter dragon fruit varieties for SA growers

Dragon fruit has the potential to provide South African farmers with an easily propagated, fast-ripening alternative to fruit such as avocados.
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South Africa builds its own vineyard robot

Although still in its infancy, the Robot X project aims to boost production efficiency, says Glenneis Kriel.
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This week's poll
Do you think there are equal opportunities for women & men in the South African agri sector?
No, a lot still needs to change
Yes, much progress has been made to empower women in agriculture
The playing field is slowly levelling out
Last week's poll
Have you received any aid or assistance for drought relief?
Yes, it has been a saving grace. (1.34%)
I received some assistance, but not enough. (44.78%)
No, I don’t know how or where to apply. (51.34%)
I have not been affected by the drought. (2.54%)
I received some assistance, but not enough. (44.78 %) Yes, it has been a saving grace. (1.34 %) I have not been affected by the drought. (2.54 %) No, I don’t know how or where to apply. (51.34 %) I received some assistance, but not enough. (44.78 %) Yes, it has been a saving grace. (1.34 %) I have not been affected by the drought. (2.54 %) No, I don’t know how or where to apply. (51.34 %)
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