During a recent tour to farms and the AgriTech Israel exhibition in Israel, it was revealed that despite the large volumes of water used during irrigation, South Africa could learn from that country about managing water infrastructure.
The marketplace for fresh fruit and vegetables is becoming increasingly globalised and interconnected. This affects the way that fresh produce is transported from its origin to its destination. The Fruit Logistica Trend Report 2018 looks at ways in which the supply chain must evolve to meet these challenges. Walton Golightly summarises the report’s findings.
Nitrogen may be an essential element in crop production, but its inefficient use wastes farmers’ money as well as contributing to potentially deadly pollution of the environment. Dr Alan Manson, a soil scientist with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, explains this subject further.
The improvements that Israeli companies have made to drip irrigation have seen them emerge as world leaders in irrigation efficiency. Inventors from all parts of the world take inspiration from them to offer an entire spectrum of innovations that help farmers farm better.
Growing awareness of the interconnectedness between water, energy and food security is resulting in a more holistic way of measuring sustainability, says Dr Nadine Methner from the African Climate and Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town.
Drone technology, combined with satellite images and soil samples, provides macadamia farmers with more precise orchard health data than ever before. Gerhard Uys spoke to Martin Taljaard and Jaco Prinsloo about how they’re helping producers cut input costs and increase profits.
Groundwater resource conservation should be the most important aspect of any irrigation farming concern in South Africa, say geohydrology consultant JL van Vuuren and drilling contractor Marnus Nel. A lack of proper management of these resources poses a serious threat to the future of the irrigation industry.
Smart technology is a hot topic these days – and notably so in agriculture, where there are many uses, from drones and remote water monitoring, to soil analysis, animal tracking, irrigation control and more.
After a number of farmers near Middelburg in the Eastern Cape expressed concern about increasing termite activity, James Hagan, an MSc student in ecology, conducted a study on the effects of livestock grazing on termites.
The crucial link between soil health and optimal, sustainable crop yield is well established. Dr Neil Miles, a soil scientist with the South African Sugarcane Research Institute, explores this subject, focusing in particular on the upper surface of the soil.
Josef van Wyngaard, a doctoral student at the University of Pretoria, has found that South African dairy cattle emit less methane than initially thought, and there is room for significant reductions through strategic feeding.
A new product developed in France has been specifically formulated to support plant growth and development under dry conditions. Marketed in South Africa as Polyter, the innovation has shown promising results in local trials.