Field Crops

Barley crop

Pioneering barley in the Swartland

The availability of improved varieties, mandate contracts and storage infrastructure promise to turn barley into a lucrative option in the Swartland. Gert Claassen, who five years ago started producing barley...
Cotton crop

Cotton can be more profitable than maize!

Cotton production in North West can be extremely lucrative, according to Arno Janse van Vuuren, manager of agricultural management at agribusiness NWK. A comprehensive survey by the company shows that...
How a small farmer became SA’s biggest pineapple producer

How a small farmer became SA’s biggest pineapple producer

A unique microclimate in the southern Eastern Cape has given rise to a niche cropping industry that requires intensive precision production over a five- to seven-year cycle. Sabrina Dean paid...
Dramatic savings with low-flow drip irrigation

Dramatic savings with low-flow drip irrigation

By switching from micro-irrigation to low-flow drip irrigation, macadamia farmer Dawid de Kock has reduced his irrigation water usage by 50%. With the subsequent savings on electricity, fertiliser and labour,...
Quality and efficiency drive commercial lettuce production

Quality and efficiency drive commercial lettuce production

Many people who enjoy lettuce in their salad may not be aware that it can be a fairly challenging crop to grow commercially. Dicky and Koshik Sitaram, whose family have...
How old tyres can stop soil erosion in its tracks

How old tyres can stop soil erosion in its tracks

Researchers have estimated that, over the past four decades, the world has lost a third of its arable land due to erosion or pollution. Solutions are constantly being sought. Frans...
Daniel Maqala

New commercial farmer invests in asparagus

Up-and-coming commercial farmer Daniel Maqala is diversifying further by investing in asparagus. Sabrina Dean visited him to find out more about his journey so far.
Vehicle path management: key to reducing compaction

Vehicle path management: key to reducing compaction

Efficient in-field mechanisation is a major contributor to higher yield and lower production costs. Unfortunately, mechanisation also means that machinery wheels regularly compact the soil. According to precision farming specialist...
Leafroll virus

Leafroll virus in vines can be beaten – here’s how

Leafroll virus is a serious threat to South Africa’s viticulture industry: it shortens the lifespan of vineyards and has a negative impact on wine quality.
Lucerne crop

Lucerne: A massive export market for ‘green gold’

Johan Jacobs plants lucerne to ensure mega yields from other crops in his niche farming business, as well as a good cash flow for at least nine months of the...
Sugar beans: A good harvest against the odds

Sugar beans: A good harvest against the odds

Shadrack Mbele has been getting good returns from sugar bean since first planting it in 2014. Sabrina Dean visited him in the eastern Free State to find out more about...
Making the most of calcium as a soil and plant nutrient

Making the most of calcium as a soil and plant nutrient

Despite being a vitally important element for optimal crop production, calcium is often largely undervalued by farmers and agronomists. Plant health expert Heather Raymond explains why this outlook needs to...

WHAT TO READ NEXT

SA farmers concerned about live cattle exports from Botswana

The South African Red Meat Producers' Organisation (RPO) has expressed serious concern about the announcement by the Ministry of Agriculture in Botswana that the country will be opening its borders...

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