The common cutworm is a prominent maize pest in South Africa. Professors Johnnie van den Berg and Hannalene du Plessis, researchers at North-West University’s Integrated Pest Management Research Group, provide some useful tips on identifying and controlling this pest.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Russian wheat aphid is showing increased cultivar and pesticide resistance, according to entomologist Dr Astrid Jankielsohn of the Agricultural Research Council. She has identified a new biotype, bringing to five the number seen in South Africa.
As much as 30% of South Africa’s agricultural soil resource is deemed to be acidifying, mostly due to inefficient or incorrect liming practices. This is according to a recent presentation by Dr Pieter Haumann, CEO of the Fertilizer Association of Southern Africa.
With dwindling water supplies and a greater emphasis on efficient use of resources, irrigation technology is evolving to make do with less. While the initial capital costs of the latest equipment and software may be high, its increased efficiency, higher yield and reduced water usage cannot be beaten. Lindi Botha spoke to experts about the latest advances in irrigation.
Conservation agriculture (CA) is an affordable approach for farmers, involving the adoption of regenerative agriculture principles and practices, with the potential to improve food security.