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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

Police in KwaZulu-Natal are appealing to the general public for any information that could possibly lead to the apprehension of suspects involved in two farm attacks only days apart in...
SA conservationists were appalled by news of the alleged killing of four endangered African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in Limpopo.
SA's government is in trouble and can't possibly deliver on all the economic promises it made to the electorate over the years, according to independent agricultural economist Dr Kobus Laubscher.
The impression that might have been created amongst some consumers that all raw, unpasteurised milk is infected with brucellosis was not accurate.
Dairy exports during March and April 2012 resulted in SA’s dairy industry becoming a net exporter of dairy products for the first time in two-and-a-half years, according to the Milk...

Alpacas protecting sheep

Since the first alpacas were imported into South Africa 15 years ago, they have become increasingly visible among flocks of sheep in the Zastron district of the southern Free State...
Aquaponics, which combines aquaculture and hydroponics, is increasingly becoming popular in many countries due to its ability to boost farm output and reduce waste. Glenneis Kriel spoke to Ruann Coleman...
In 1994 Sizwe Manjezi acquired some 900ha near Peddie in the Eastern Cape to expand his family tradition of cattle farming. Even though he's at the helm of a respected...
Sheep farming in KwaZulu-Natal is reeling from the effects of rampant stock theft, and as a result many farmers have either switched to cattle farming or left agriculture altogether. Issue...
Thorn Park trading store began farming chickens 19 years ago after fortune walked through the door – literally. Now raising in excess of 10 000 chickens, the enterprise is proving...
An informal trader is described in Western Cape government legislation as “any person who carries on a business as a street vendor or hawker, including an employee of such a...
Small-scale farming operations are just as exposed to risk as their larger counterparts. Diversifying production is therefore also an option on smaller farms to mitigate this risk.
Eggs Onassis: A breakfast for your inner millionaire.
Landing the biggest ever specimen of this exciting angling fish all those years ago was a memorable event, recalls Eugene Kruger.

DIY straw bale house

Build your own affordable, sustainable straw bale home with these handy tips.
Jonno designed an A-frame home, with stonework outer walls for Cassie.
I received a call from a KZN midlands farmer, to come and see some outbuildings that he would like to convert into accommodation for prospective adventurers. In the sketch I’ve...
Are those who are supposed to protect us the ones hurting us, asks Abré J Steyn.
Jousting is an equestrian sport that all but defines the term ‘extreme’, notes Dr Mac.
A record number of vetinarary practices (50) reported this month, as well as three veterinary laboratories.
Thomas Smit offers some tips on how to breed quality pigeons by helping nature along.

Adding value to game ranches

Aspiring and current game farmers must carefully consider the factors that influence a ranch’s value.
Dr Mac discusses how to make sure your horse’s legs are ‘straight’ and how to identify and deal with ‘crooked legs’.
Although a vaccine for horses has been developed, we first need to know just how prevalent this bacterial disease is in South Africa, says Dr Mac.

Markets and jobs

There’s been a lot of hype in the media recently about creating employment opportunities in SA. However, seldom is anything said about the role of agriculture in creating jobs.
The relationship between producer and market agent remains at the core of a fresh produce market.

Rootstocks for the future

While Kakamas seedlings and Marianne are old favourites amongst stone fruit producers, new higher-producing rootstocks are becoming available. Dr Piet Stassen shared his findings with growers at an information day...
Despite extremely dry conditions, Ceres Valley farmer, Retief du Toit, recently succeeded in producing his two best harvests ever. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how he achieved this.
Oak Valley Estate in the Elgin Valley grows apples and pears, among many other product lines, on a commercial scale. Key to the farm’s production for the export market is...
The cyst nematode (eelworm) get its name from the hardened cyst that it forms to protect its eggs.

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