Any farmer will tell you that there is no such thing as a perfect crop, as each has its own challenges. From a production point of view, brinjals are as easy as they come, but limited demand puts a brake on large-scale production. Theuns Kotzee, a director of AAL Boerdery in Limpopo, explained to Lindi Botha how they manage this crop.
Simply Salads, a Mpumalanga-based grower of speciality tomatoes, is thriving in a tough market. The main reason for this, owner Peter Bakker and farm manager Charles Deane explained to Lindi Botha, lay in the twin strategy of lowering inputs and maximising output.
Conventional stick seed cane, while long relied on as the source of plant material for commercial sugar cane crops, comes with unavoidable inefficiencies. Experts in seed cane propagation explain how the ‘speedlings’ concept provides an alternative, cost-efficient option that has already proven itself in South Africa’s demanding sugar cane farming industry.
Picture the Free State, and you are likely to recall lands of maize and golden sunflowers stretching to the horizon. Near Jacobsdal, however, Tebogo Ditsebe is bucking the trend: she grows wine grapes and produces wine under her own label.
One of the crucial factors in seedling production is achieving a high and uniform germination. A loss in germination of just a few percent translates into a similar reduction in profit.
Melt van der Westhuizen of Moorreesburg holds the South African record for the highest canola yield ever produced. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel about his production methods.
Some farmers, especially at the end of winter, use seedlings for their cucurbit crops in an attempt to get an early-growth advantage and better prices.
As mentioned in one of my previous articles polystyrene seedling trays are made by heating small polystyrene beads in a mould; they expand to fill the mould and thereby form the tray.
Diplodia ear rot is a notable maize disease in South Africa. Apart from causing severe damage to the crop, it can also produce a potentially fatal mycotoxicosis in cattle and sheep. It is therefore crucial that a maize producer be able to identify the disease, says Dr Belinda Janse van Rensburg, plant pathologist at the Agricultural Research Council’s Grain Crops Institute.
Managing plant health and strict water monitoring have paved the way to success for AL 3 Boerdery in Dendron, Limpopo. CT van der Merwe spoke to Lindi Botha about the production practices that keep his farming business profitable.
Achieving the near impossible, Dian Pretorius reduced unsound kernel recovery in his macadamia crop from 6% to 1,7% over just one season, adding R1,7 million to his profit in the process. He spoke to Lindi Botha about the technology that helped him achieve this improvement.
Greenhouse farming is an intensive, high-yielding operation. Using the correct growth medium forms the basis of the operation, and mistakes in this area can cost a farmer dearly, according to producers and experts. Lindi Botha looks at which mediums work best for different crops.