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Field Crops

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fighting the Russian wheat aphid to safeguard SA’s crop

Addressing the challenge of Russian wheat aphid in South Africa requires a multifaceted approach that combines host-plant resistance and biological, cultural and chemical control.

How permaculture is rejuvenating barren soil in the Klein Karoo

Kathryn Eybers and Ross Dwyer have transformed a degraded ostrich farm into an economically viable, vibrant healthy ecosystem.

Leafroll virus: a vast problem in SA’s vineyards

Leafroll virus is a destructive disease that shortens the lifespan of vineyards and lowers wine quality. Glenneis Kriel reports on ways to identify and prevent this disease.

How compost from Mpumalanga farmer’s bioreactor is boosting no-till crops

No-till crop cultivation is hardly a novel movement, yet learning curves are still steep as farmers navigate the intricacies of what makes healthy soil. Lindi Botha speaks to Hendrik Odendaal about how a change in his compost regime is making all the difference.

Ultra fertiliser blend drastically boosts soya yield

Soya bean production in South Africa has increased drastically over the last decade, reaching a record production area in 2022/23. During this season, the area planted to soya exceeded that of yellow maize.

Cotton, the ‘white gold’ of dryland crop production in SA

Cotton production in the North West has proved to be a viable alternative to maize and soya bean, with the profitability of cotton exceeding that of maize and soya bean despite extremely high input costs. Annelie Coleman attended a cotton information day in Schweizer-Reneke and compiled this report.

How to get a good start when planting vines

Vine improvement company Vititec’s client liaison manager, Reinier Louw, presented the dos and don’ts when establishing new vineyards at the Vine Workers’ Development Course.

Soil health: a multi-perspective conundrum

Soil health refers to the ongoing ability of soil to function as a crucial living ecosystem that supports the existence of plants, animals and humans.