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Farm Basics


New opportunities to generate a sustainable income are opening up in SA’s poultry industry.
Security advisor Henk Boshoff says that farmers should avoid becoming soft targets for potential farm attackers. He spoke to Gerhard Uys about making a farm and its surrounding communities safer.
Raising cattle properly requires money, land and skill. Do you have enough of each to enter this business? Equally importantly, do you have a genuine interest in cattle?

Plough for more

The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) estimate for South Africa’s total maize supply in the 2016/2017 marketing season currently stands at just over 12,4 million tons.
Communities are urged to plant trees as part of celebrations for international Earth Day on 22 April.
On 9 February, President Jacob Zuma delivered the annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Cape Town. While some agricultural stakeholders were impressed with Zuma’s commitment to the sector,...
Genetically modified (GM) crops in South Africa are very well regulated in terms of the Genetically Modified Organisms Act of 1977.
South Africa’s table grape growers are expecting a bumper harvest on the back of favourable weather conditions throughout the current growing season and due to well-developed and healthy vineyards.
Chicken farmers in the US state of Oklahoma sued poultry companies for allegedly sharing payment data with one another , in order to keep producer pay below competitive levels, news...
Breeding association Konsortium Merino recently announced a breakthrough strategy to ensure its members’ success over the next decade. This entails new forms of ownership to overcome the growing difficulties associated...
For six months every year, the Eberts family and other contract harvesters are on the road, cutting crops for farmers across the American Midwest, from the Texas border in the...
Kiki Agri’s Philip Kilian explains to Peter Mashala how backyard broiler farming could help boost food security in poor households, thanks to a new easy-to-install system.
North West farmer Salphanius Motswenyane tells Luyolo Mkentane how farming saved him from poverty. Having achieved success on a small scale he now hopes to grow his farming enterprise into...
In the Great Karoo you will encounter roughly one human for every 100 sheep, but Francy and Peter Schoeman from Langbaken farm near Williston are breaking the mould with their...
Small-town agricultural schools often struggle in today’s educational climate, characterised by departmental underfunding. But Winterberg Agricultural High School has maintained its high standards, and developed its farm into a self-sufficient...

Just 100m2 & space to spare

Jonno, I work at a mine in Lesotho, and would like to build a thatched roof cottage from natural stone of about 80m2 to 100m2.
So you haven’t got a wok? Haul out your skottel braai to make this Chinese-influenced take-away special. While a skottel is a compromise in this case, it’s one that certainly...

Building with stones

Jono helps a reader design her dream home on a farm.

A timber home on a lake

Dear Jonno We’ve enclosed a sketch of a house that we would like to build. We have not allowed for any doors, apart from the one leading onto the deck,...
Although pythons are often misunderstood, Abré J Steyn had a close encounter with one whose intentions he understood quite clearly.

A simple rondavel

Luci and David want to build a a new rondavel with cement blocks under thatch. Find out what Jonno comes up with.
The versatile tilapia is found all over Africa, but not all species are suitable for aquaculture production.
Some tips from Kim Dyson on how to stop your horse from munching on poles.
Contact with wildlife can endanger your livestock, because wild animals are a source of diseases that seriously affect the productivity of livestock and even lead to death.
A passionate farmer committed to a scientific approach, Paul Collett won the Agri SA Toyota Young Farmer of the Year award for the Eastern Cape. Lourens Schoeman visited him on...
Pigeons are judged on the quality and consistency of their races, writes Thomas Smit.
Zolani Tyali and his son Mandange recently won the 2017 Unistel SA Stud Book Elite Developing Farmer award. Mike Burgess visited them on their farm in the Eastern Cape to...
South African kiwi fruit growers can lift yields by following best management practices, as well as by exploring new high-yielding gold varieties. Robyn Joubert reports.
Gerhard Scholtemeijer, Protein Research Foundation chairperson, is an ardent advocate for soya bean production in South Africa, and has promoted the crop for the past 20 years. He spoke to...
Growing salad crops in hydroponic systems boosts production and creates a year-round supply. However, the system is capital-intensive and requires careful monitoring. Glenneis Erasmus spoke to hydroponic lettuce producers Duncan...
Even though sweet POTATOES are a generally low-care crop, some pests can cause a complete wipe-out. You need to do regular inspections and know what to look for.
To combat herbicide resistance, farmers worldwide are having to become inventive in their herbicide application. Villa Crop’s Pieter le Roux offers practical solutions to the problem and looks at some...

Quality sells

Supplying a quality product is easier said than done. Within the farming context there are many challenges that have to be overcome before quality products can be produced.

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