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.
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.
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.
Farmers are finding more and more natural enemies to keep tomato leaf miners in check instead of resorting solely to chemicals, says Bill Kerr.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Under the free market system, entrepreneurs engage in their activities within the boundaries of the law and make as much money as possible.
One sure way of reducing soil degradation is to cut down on tillage. Numerous crops can be grown using the no-till approach, and many farmers who have done so will testify that it cuts costs and improves rain penetration in the soil.