Potatoes are grown from disease-free seed potatoes, require a lot of fertiliser, and are labour-intensive. All of this costs plenty, warns Bill Kerr.
Chimera can be mistaken for a viral or bacterial infection, but it is actually a genetic disorder that could benefit some producers.
As a new producer with no prior knowledge or experience of farming, Vutlhari Chauke of VT Harvest has leaned heavily on her business skills and her willingness to learn. Her approach is paying dividends for her Gauteng-based vegetable and herb farm.
It’s expensive to throw away perfectly healthy seedlings. Rather keep them in limbo until you can plant them, says Bill Kerr.
Gert Janse van Rensburg produces vegetable crops on the family-owned farm, Langplaas, in North West. He spoke to Pieter Dempsey about the regenerative farming techniques he employs.
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.
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.