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It’s been a rough period for optimists, so take a trip to Hoedspruit.It’s an instant cure for pessimism about South Africa.
The trend in rich countries towards vegetarian and vegan diets will not result in higher demand for fresh fruit and vegetables.
If hard times are forcing you to think of switching to a different crop, Porter’s Five Forces can help show you the way forward.

Plough for more

Although El Niño has been showing signs of weakening, high temperatures and late rains in most of the Western Cape could have had an effect on winter grain and fodder...

DRDLR advertises for new DG

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) has confirmed that it has started advertising for a new director-general (DG).
Willem Symington, Agri Northern Cape’s Disaster Management committee chairman, said Namaqualand, Boesmanland and the Hantam District Municipality are being particularly hard hit by the now two-year-long drought in the area.
The Institute of Risk Management South Africa recently named agribusiness Senwes as the best in its ‘Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing’ category at a gala dinner at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg.
It started in Europe. At the end of February, European retailer Ikea withdrew meatballs in 14 European countries after Czech Republic tests found traces of horse meat in a batch...
All indications are that the illicit wildlife trade in South Africa is flourishing. This was according to the Coalition Against the Breeding and Keeping of Lions and other Big Cats...

Farm saves money

By switching off its computer-controlled irrigation pumps during peak hours, when tariffs are high, Senekal Boerdery of Mkuze in northern KwaZulu-Natal saved R250 000 in 2005 in energy costs.
Producing above the norm is attainable with well-managed hens, says poultry and mixed farming producer Erik Naudé.
Major agricultural products supplier, Dicla Farm & Seed, recently established a training centre near Tarlton, north-west of Johannesburg, to equip new small-scale farmers and farm workers with practical skills and...
Transport costs and traditions have made it difficult for communal farmers to play a major role in the commercial livestock industry. In KwaZulu-Natal, this situation is changing as auctioneers mobilise...

Boosting the informal sector

An informal trader is described in Western Cape government legislation as “any person who carries on a business as a street vendor or hawker, including an employee of such a...
In 2013, Ceres Fruit Growers (CFG) installed solar panels on the roof of its controlled atmosphere rooms to reduce its load on the municipal grid. Rahim Hassan, manager of engineering...
It is possible to design an eco-friendly cottage. Jonno shows us how.
Just when I thought there was nothing new to learn about cooking chicken, along came a totally unexpected roasting method. Not only that, but I received this recipe from a...

Modern rural living

Dear Aubrey Thank you for calling and discussing the requirements for your new home outside Pietermaritzburg. Looking through my file of more than 700 sketches drawn for Farmer’s Weekly so...
Dear John Your article in Farmer’s Weekly of 19 June 2015 refers. We intend building a house in Zambia shortly, and need your assistance with the plans. Here are the details:...
Dear Jonno Membership of our clay pigeon shooting range has grown over the years, and we now need to cater for more than 200 participants and their families. At the moment...

A house with character

Jonno designs a house on an elevated slope for Pamela.

Treating windgalls

Around a joint or tendon is a capsule or sheath that produces synovial fluid, which acts as lubrication. If the capsule is damaged by percussion or overstretching, it produces extra...
It is possible to pay less to feed your horse without compromising its health, says Kim Dyson.
The right nutrition programme is essential for optimal and cost-effective commercial egg production. Dr Aidan Leek, of multi-national poultry layer genetics company, Hy-Line, explains how to achieve this.
Warne and Wendy Rippon, owners of Buffalo Kloof Wildlife Safaris in the Eastern Cape, were concerned about the poverty in neighbouring Yendella community. So much so, that they launched an...
It is crucial to mate super breeders to super racers in order to preserve a gene pool, writes Thomas Smit.
In Lunyaweni near Ugie in the former Transkei, a group of 42 determined communal farmers is generating significant income from its 5 000-plus flock of Merino-type sheep. Mike Burgess reports.
Grant Pringle, an agronomist with Pannar Seed, tells Lloyd Phillips how a farmer can get the best out of a silage maize crop by using the correct planting and management...
In addition to those already discussed, there are other pests likely to be a problem with Swiss chard from time to time. Let’s look at three of the most common...
As noted last week, the balance between fruit set and leaf volume can have a major effect on the yield and bearing pattern of a pepper plant through its lifetime.
Chris and Dewald Bothma of North West have converted from conventional maize production to a combination of precision and conservation agriculture methods. But the change did not come easily, and...

Packaging: get it right!

Finding ways to minimise the high cost of packaging is an ongoing challenge.
Challenge. I hope that my readers will regard this word in a positive way, instead of as something to be dreaded. I say this because the fresh produce sector faces...

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