Field Crops

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...
Maize crop

How Free State maize farmer survived the drought

Sabrina Dean visited maize farmer AC van Wyk on his farm in the Free State, to gain some insight into how an award-winning farmer tackles a difficult planting season.
Diesel tree: fuel for the alternative energy sector

Diesel tree: fuel for the alternative energy sector

Christo Smit, a former researcher at the Agricultural Research Council, is working on developing a sustainable biofuel industry from the diesel tree.
Managing resistance of African stem borer to BT-maize

Managing resistance of African stem borer to BT-maize

Andri Visser, a doctoral student at the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University, explores how assumptions about the behaviour of the African stem borer affect the resistance...
Pursuing soil health precisely

Pursuing soil health precisely

Chris and Dewald Bothma of North West have converted from conventional maize production to a combination of precision and conservation agriculture methods. But the change did not come easily, and...
Why SA leads the world in effective lucerne hay grading

Why SA leads the world in effective lucerne hay grading

Lucerne is one of the most important hay crops in South Africa, but differences in quality can have a marked effect on livestock performance and profitability, especially in the dairy...

WHAT TO READ NEXT

Managing for profit by Peter Hughes

Yield and quality determine profits, nothing else!

Costs under your control such as yield and product quality are what determine farming success. Don’t waste time on costs you cannot influence or control.

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