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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.

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.

Benefit from agrochemicals, but avoid the hazards!

Agrochemicals are often used as a scapegoat for agriculture’s impact on the environment, yet these chemicals do not by definition harm the environment, and they play an important part in food production, according to Dr Gerhard Verdoorn of CropLife South Africa.

Micronutrients are used in modern cropping systems

Agronomic advances, breeding, and biotechnology have increased yields to new heights. The intensive cultivation, increased nutrient demand, and farming practices can lead to multi-micronutrient deficiencies.

Understanding the value of maize

In this article, Janine Ryan looks at the importance of maize production in the world today, and its value for food security. She also explores the history of maize and how it evolved into a crop that is widely cultivated.

Grape farming: stick to the basics to succeed!

While production on most grape farms in the Orange River region has taken a knock this season due to adverse weather conditions, GPA Boerdery has managed to achieve a decent harvest. Lourens Maass and his son Kobus, who run GPA, spoke to Glenneis Kriel about their recipe for success.

Pannar’s quality seeds ensure a prosperous future

At NAMPO 2023, Pannar’s team of experts will be available to help farmers determine which maize hybrid seed with PowerCore™ technology best suits their farm for the next growing season.

Preventing and controlling diseases of sunflowers

Diseases of sunflowers, such as brown rust and head rot, can cause severe economic losses for farmers. Janine Ryan looks at the signs of these and other diseases that can help farmers to identify them, as well as some control and prevention strategies.