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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

In its latest estimate for 2017/2018, the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) has reduced the area planted to commercial maize in South Africa.
Government is busy formulating legislation that would make it impossible for people living in rural and communal areas to lose their land because they could not service their debts.

Metal graveyard

Many farmers have old equipment lying idle, such as the machines pictured here. Often the intention is to use it for spare parts or sell as scrap metal.
According to The Economist's Pocket World in Figures, South Africa has the highest rate of unemployment among young people in the world.
Subsistence farmers’ traditional wheat trait selection, has, for the first time, been mapped against modern genome selection methods.
The CSIR, in partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is pioneering new technologies aimed at using trees to their maximum potential to produce chemicals and other high value products for...
Today’s high cost of living sometimes means that a single income source just doesn’t cut it. Sigrid Lemmer turned to part-time meat rabbit production. She talks to Lloyd Phillips.

Pomegranates power ahead

The SA pomegranate industry is in its infancy, with growers facing many more difficulties than anticipated. But these are being overcome, writes Robyn Joubert.
Linda Nghatsane is someone who sees ­opportunity in hard work. Sound financial ­planning, good farming practices and a lot of sweat and tears have finally paid off for this former...
Feeling let down by government policing efforts, a group of farmers in rural KwaZulu-Natal have established their own innovative and successful system to fight stock theft between the province and...
Hailed as a success story by the Eastern Cape premier, Noxolo Kiviet, during her 2014 State of the Province address, Ncora Dairy shows how private-community partnerships can lead to genuine...
A presidential pilot project in Uganda is using value-adding to exploit a massive banana surplus, producing banana flour with biofuel as a byproduct. Robyn Joubert reports.

Upside down apple pie

An important celebration deserves food that’s a feast for the eye as well as the more usual parts of the body. Apple Tarte Tatin certainly plays its part: it looks...

Southern fried chicken

There’s a mysterious colonel down our street who sells this by the bucketful. Given the complexity of the Deep South of the US, there are many variations of this much-loved...
Jonno designs an A-frame cottage on a game park for George.

Namibian farmhouse design

Heiko has a farm in Namibia and is looking to build a farmhouse on the land. Read on to see what Jonno has come up with.

Suzán’s dolmades recipe

Spring is the ideal time to pick vine leaves for this traditional Greek delicacy and Strandveld’s soft, young Pinot noir leaves proved to be the perfect ingredient for Suzán, winemaker...
FW reader Pat is moving to a farm and wants to build a cottage on the land. Jonno helps design a beautiful cottage at minimal cost.
It is possible to pay less to feed your horse without compromising its health, says Kim Dyson.
Since importing his first Damaras from Namibia in the late 1980s, stud breeder Frank Blumenthal has firmly believed in the integrity of the breed. The Free State farmer says that...
For 50 years sheepdogs have proven themselves indispensable workers on many livestock farms. But for KwaZulu-Natal farming sisters Ragni Pretorius and Ingrid Fricke, Border Collies are absolutely critical in managing...
Sandton-based accountant brothers, Simeon and Jarren Hurwitz, who also own a farming business near Davel, have established South Africa’s largest Boran stud. They also own their commercial beef business’s entire...
Hennie Wardeck was a formidable opponent with a knack for selecting champion pigeons. He will be sorely missed, writes Thomas Smit.

A celebration of quality

The richest one-loft race in the world, the Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race is more than just another pigeon race. It's an institution that tests your skill as a...
Management of the potato crop after planting depends on various factors. One is weed control. The procedure you use will depend on what sort of weeds you can expect in...
I came across one of my previous columns (Farmer’s Weekly March 2002), and make no apology for repeating it, because it is sound advice that applies to all fresh produce.

Answer that phone!

Businesses that practise good customer relations make sure their ‘frontline people’ – those who answer the phone – are trained, competent, friendly and helpful.

Value vs price

To many farmers and market agents, price is all that matters. Of course price is important, but these days there’s a lot more to the equation.
Pests are an ongoing threat to vegetables, and need to be controlled effectively and timeously to prevent damage to the crop.
After the success of the Winterveld Citrus Project, Winterveld United Farmers’ Association’s first project, its members decided to diversify and supplement their income. Philip Kgosana explains to Peter Mashala why...

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