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Fruit & Nuts

Controlling fungus on Cripps Pink apples

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.

Careful management pays off for litchi grower

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.

Dragon fruit: a weapon to fight food insecurity

With hunger and food insecurity a reality for thousands of South African households, any effort to reduce this problem should be welcomed. Retired business owner Frikkie Adams is convinced that dragon fruit is ideal for growing at home, as its high nutritional content can benefit families. He showed Lloyd Phillips his experiments at propagating the plant.

The basics of growing groundnuts on a small scale

Groundnuts are high in protein, tasty, and a convenient and popular food. All of this makes them a potentially valuable source of nutrition in rural communities. Growing and selling them can also earn much-needed income. Loureine Muller, a groundnut agronomist at commodity trading company Triotrade, explains how to produce this crop.

Growing papayas: Easy to produce, tricky to market

Papaya production poses few challenges, says Mpumalanga-based papaya producer Giovanna Secco. But with high volumes and unstable demand, farming the fruit requires careful management to ensure that the crop remains profitable.

Free State’s first black, female raisin farmer (and she makes wine)

Picture the Free State, and you are likely to recall lands of maize and golden sunflowers stretching to the horizon. Near Jacobsdal, however, Tebogo Ditsebe is bucking the trend: she grows wine grapes and produces wine under her own label.

Latest technology improves macadamia quality output

Achieving the near impossible, Dian Pretorius reduced unsound kernel recovery in his macadamia crop from 6% to 1,7% over just one season, adding R1,7 million to his profit in the process. He spoke to Lindi Botha about the technology that helped him achieve this improvement.

Higher temperatures increase risk of apple scab infection

The dramatic increase in South Africa’s average winter temperature over the past 40 years has altered the susceptibility of apples to fungal disease, with fungi showing a much faster adaptation rate to changing temperatures than apples, writes Dr Julia Meitz-Hopkins, a researcher in the Department of Plant Pathology at Stellenbosch University.

The importance of timing to strawberry production

Professional Horticultural Consulting, a nursery-turned-strawberry producer, has become one of South Africa’s leading strawberry exporters, thanks in part to its expertise at analysing plant and soil nutritional requirements. Dr Gavin Linsley-Noakes spoke to Glenneis Kriel about the business.

Latest research: Macadamias need less water than you think!

With a looming water crisis and an expanding macadamia industry, the obvious question arises: where will the water for the new orchards come from? A recent groundbreaking study shows that farmers have been grossly over-irrigating and that dryland macadamias in high-rainfall areas actually provide better yields. Lindi Botha spoke to Theunis and Armand Smit, specialists in irrigation and optimal water usage.
fruit orchards

Top female farmer makes neglected orchards bloom again

Marilyn Siegels was recently named the Western Cape’s best female commercial farmer after just two years in the industry. Along with her father, Edward van Niekerk, and sister, Yolande van Niekerk, she is rejuvenating a land restitution fruit farm.

Value adding and ecotourism boost small blackberry farm

The owner of a small farm has to find innovative ways to remain financially viable. Natalie Turck of Wildebraam Berry Estate spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how she and her husband accomplish this.

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