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Farmer’s Weekly brings you the latest crop farming news and updates from South Africa and the rest of the world.

Starting a no-frills vegetable project on a small farm

The concept of no-till is growing in leaps and bounds and is a major way of farming in countries like Brazil. South Africans should also adopt this successful method, advises Bill Kerr.

Maize remains South Africa’s greatest grain

Zunel van Eeden looks at maize production, and the pests and diseases that farmers should be on the lookout for to maintain their good yields and profitability.

Increase citrus yield, packouts and quality with shade nets

In a consumer-driven market that is picky about the appearance of fruit, producing brightly coloured produce with zero blemishes is vital to catch the eye of shoppers. Erecting nets over citrus orchards increases the chances of a superb packout. Lindi Botha reports on how farmers should approach this costly but fruitful undertaking.

Understanding carrot fertilisation

Whether to apply fertiliser or not depends on which crops were grown in the land previously, among various factors, writes Bill Kerr.

Leveraging science to enhance soil carbon production

In the realm of modern agriculture, farmers are constantly seeking methods to bolster soil health and amplify crop productivity. Soil carbon levels play a crucial role in nurturing microbial life, fortifying soil nutrient capacity, and supporting sustainable farming practices.

Nitrogen applications until the cabbages are harvested

LAN is the preferred fertiliser for post-plant fertilisation of the cabbage crop. It contains nitrate that is available to the crop but unfortunately also easily leached from the soil, writes Bill Kerr.

Blueberries: Each growing area has its own unique challenges

While South African blueberry production is showing double-digit growth, savvy growers warn that first testing the appropriate variety selection for each production area is essential, writes Brian Berkman.

Managing a Swiss chard crop for a high, ongoing yield

This leafy vegetable is a voracious feeder that requires plenty of nitrogen, and must be protected from frost and eelworm, says Bill Kerr.

Hlobi Yende, the young farmer transforming her family farm

Hlobi Yende is part of a new generation of young, energetic female farmers making waves in the agriculture sector. She is leading the charge by defying stereotypes and creating an inclusive space for women on farms.

Carrot irrigation should be different

A carrot plant’s fine roots can reach up to 2m deep. Most farmers do not exploit this potential and irrigate more or less the same as they do for other vegetables, writes Bill Kerr.

Getting the best out of pear orchards

GA Erasmus en Seuns Boerdery in the Western Cape Overberg won the award for the best income per hectare for pears at Two-a-Day Awards Ceremony in 2023. George Erasmus and Nico Ferreira spoke to Glenneis Kriel about the farm’s pear production strategy.

Sunflower production: threatened by stink bugs and fungi

With continuous management of the insects that predate on sunflowers, significant success can be attained with this crop, which is suited to growing in the drier parts of South Africa, writes Zunel van Eeden.