The Zulch family of Wakkerstroom farm won the prize for the highest average income per hectare of apples in the 2020 Ceres Fruit Grower Awards. Fourie Zulch spoke to Glenneis Kriel about this accomplishment.
The Agricultural Research Council is undertaking various trials aimed at making guava production more profitable. Glenneis Kriel spoke to Salomie Willemse and Chris Smith, experts involved in the programme.
Pecan farming is still in its infancy in South Africa, but with the global demand for nuts increasing, more producers are seeing opportunities to diversify their farms with pecans. Lindi Botha spoke to seasoned Gauteng-based pecan farmer Albert Bouwmeester Jnr about how he gets the most from his pecan orchard.
Faced with wilting, unproductive avocado trees, Limpopo farmer Christa Rebel decided to replace them with another crop. In the meantime, however, she planted strawberries on the orchard floor. Then, serendipitously, she discovered nature’s remarkable ability to repair itself.
Achieving yield stability over many years is the golden standard in mango farming. But this is easier said than done: success requires a keen understanding of the demands of mango trees and excellent management. Award-winning mango producer Johann du Preez spoke to Lindi Botha about the science of tree manipulation.
Harvesting macadamia nuts is highly labour-intensive, and Braam de Kock’s Lowveld farm is no exception. Tired of the stress of managing a large workforce, De Kock finally opted for mechanisation, and found the investment well worth it. Nonetheless, the process has had its challenges, he told Lindi Botha.
The humble banana is usually taken for granted by consumers, but growing this popular fruit can be tricky, expensive and involve considerable risk. Having top-performing banana plantations starts with the proper establishment of the crop. Brothers Riaan and WJ Heystek shared their experiences of setting up their banana enterprise with Lloyd Phillips.
The arrival of Carmingo apricot varieties enables producers to generate up to three times more income per season than with traditional varieties. Glenneis Kriel spoke to Pierre Burger and Sam Sieberhagen, two successful farmers in the Western Cape.
Jaco Fivaz, farm manager of Mohlatsi farm in Limpopo, is a pioneer of high-density mango orchards, which achieve a greater yield per hectare than conventional orchards. Pieter Dempsey visited this award-winning grower to find out more about his passion for experimentation, and how he manages a diverse mango business.
Despite being well known for their pest control abilities, bats remain understudied and misunderstood, and their numbers have been on the decline for various reasons. Now research is showing that these mammals may be invaluable to macadamia farmers, whose pest control costs are rising while their nut quality is dropping. Lindi Botha spoke to Dr Valerie Linden about bats’ potential to save the industry millions of rands.
A recent study of the effect of two pesticides on Phylctema vagabunda, a fungus that causes significant post-harvest losses of the Cripps Pink apple cultivar, revealed interesting results. Dr Alana den Breeyen and Dr Julia Meitz-Hopkins explain.
While many litchi producers in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, have chosen to exit the industry, Pieter Luus continues to run a successful operation. He explains to Lindi Botha what it takes to stay in the game, and how he balances the pros and cons of growing this challenging crop.