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The pros and cons of drip irrigation

Drip irrigation saves water and electricity, but is not suitable for all crop types. So make sure you end up with the right system, says Bill Kerr.

Reducing water loss from soil

There are various ways to ensure that soil loses as little water as possible. These include plastic sheeting to cover the soil, the use of mulch, and loosening the soil.

Cost-effective irrigation

Over-irrigating costs you money in terms of water and electricity, and may lower your crops’ potential. Under-irrigating is also detrimental. Learn to irrigate properly and at the optimal time, says Bill Kerr.

Putting crop rotation into perspective

When developing a crop rotation programme, one must take into consideration the various pests and diseases that may infect different crops in order to avoid disastrous results, says Bill Kerr.

Why an integrated approach is best

Farmers are finding more and more natural enemies to keep tomato leaf miners in check instead of resorting solely to chemicals, says Bill Kerr.

Element deficiencies in a crop

Detecting an element deficiency in a crop can be quite difficult, but it is essential to know whether there are any shortages and treat the plants in good time. A deficiency can lead to a poor or failed crop, says Bill Kerr.

Chilli producer achieves success with bio-farming

Chillies are a difficult crop to market; demand is limited and retailers’ requirements can be tough to meet. Mpumalanga farmer Chris Roux overcomes these challenges by planting a wide and colourful range of chillies and using biological farming techniques. Lindi Botha spoke to him about going the extra mile in production.

Using cover crop mulch

In many regions, there is a limited choice of crops that can be grown in a particular season. This provides an ideal opportunity to plant a cover crop to keep the soil organisms active and provide material for humus formation.

Solve those crop problems yourself, and save thousands!

Find something wrong with your crop? Go through the planting and fertilising processes step by step on your own to see whether you can determine the cause. There’s a good chance you can, says Bill Kerr.

Know when your soil is ready!

It’s always a good idea to get soil fertility in balance by providing enough fertiliser and, perhaps, organic matter, but treating the soil well is also very important.

Nurturing the unseen life in soil

When we walk across a land, we are unaware that the soil beneath our feet is teeming with life. It is difficult to quantify the tonnage of organisms present but it can run into 6t/ha or more.

Is small-scale farming really viable?

Under the free market system, entrepreneurs engage in their activities within the boundaries of the law and make as much money as possible.

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