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Farm Basics

Irrigation systems for undercover cropping

Maximising water-use efficiency in South African undercover crop farming operations has become both a financial and moral imperative. But selecting the most appropriate undercover irrigation technologies can be a challenge in itself. Three local experts shared their advice on this increasingly complex topic with Lloyd Phillips.

The importance of having a breeding season

Optimal reproductive performance is crucial to the success of a beef cattle enterprise. A defined breeding season can help to achieve this.

The psychology of retirement

Retirement is not a single event; it involves both emotional and financial considerations, writes Roelof Bezuidenhout.

Proper planning: the key ingredient for quality stored fodder

To maximise kilograms of meat or wool produced per hectare, it is crucial to maintain a farm’s carrying capacity during winter. This invariably means producing high-quality stored fodder, and making sure there is enough of it. Deal Miles, a beef, mutton and wool farmer in the Cedarville area of the Eastern Cape, outlined his methods of achieving this to Lloyd Phillips.

The basics of the Bapedi breed

These fat-tailed sheep, which are smaller than average, are kept for meat. They appear in various combinations of white, brown, red and black.

Growing Chinese cabbage

While deemed a ‘weed’ in countries such as Kenya and Zimbabwe, Chinese cabbage is a popular vegetable on local markets.

Biosecurity measures on an animal farm

With the increasing spread of infectious diseases, biosecurity needs to be taken seriously on every livestock farm.

Cultivating cleome

Also known as oorpeultjie, lerotho and mazonde, this herb is a rich source of nutrients, especially vitamins A and C and the minerals calcium and iron.

An app for every farming task

Mobile applications make life more convenient for farmers while enabling them to be more productive. Glenneis Kriel reports on a number of apps that are changing the way farms are run.

When performance fails to live up to breeding values

Discrepancies between estimated breeding values and livestock performance have led some farmers to doubt the accuracy of these values. They are, in fact, excellent indicators, but animals may not be able to reach their genetic potential.

Rebuilding a livestock enterprise after a drought

In this article, Dr Louis du Pisani, national manager for production advice and development at the National Wool Growers’ Association, explains how to carry out post-drought recovery and reconstruction of a livestock enterprise to achieve optimal, lasting results.

Don’t allow change to catch you napping

At times, new developments might seem to come like a bolt out of the blue. But if you keep up with trends, you’ll be forewarned of change and have time to adapt, writes Roelof Bezuidenhout.

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The South African Table Grape Industry’s (SATI) first crop estimate for the 2020/2021 season is signalling a return to normal production volumes, following mostly climate-related challenges in recent years.

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