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Farm Basics

Management of important grain diseases

Plant pathology scientists Dr Gert van Coller and Dr Bradley Flett spoke to Pieter Dempsey about some diseases that pose significant threats to South Africa’s maize and wheat production, and how to control them.

Why vaccines are so important for your animals

Many medications are available for treating diseases and other problems, such as worms, in livestock. But by far the most important treatment you can give your animals is vaccinations against the diseases that occur in your area. Shane Brody explains why vaccines are different to other medicines, and why they are so effective.

Family businesses: When parents and children clash

Parent and child can work together on the farm, love each other, state their needs, be heard and learn to negotiate their differences. It starts with respect and compromise, says Trevor Dickinson.

Animal feed: tips for cutting costs and reducing wastage

Feed accounts for 65% to 75% of a poultry or pig farmer’s total input costs. Feed expert Dr Leon Ekermans spoke to Glenneis Kriel about strategies to reduce these costs and prevent wastage.

Dehorning your beef cattle can help boost profits

Removing the horns from your cattle holds a number of advantages. Most importantly, it will prevent the problem of bruised meat.

Why estate planning is essential to minimising family strife

When business-owning parents leave their children equal shares in the operation, a battle can erupt between those who work for the company and those who don’t. There are better ways to fairly distribute wealth to heirs, writes Trevor Dickinson.

The influence of weather on lucerne hay quality

There is still limited research available on the effects of weather on lucerne production in South Africa, This article, written by lucerne specialist Dr Gerrie Scholtz, agricultural economist Walter van Niekerk, and others, was published by the National Lucerne Trust and offers some insight on the matter, based on recent observations.

Tuberculosis in cattle

Tuberculosis is an important zoonotic disease that spreads slowly in animal populations.

How to reverse soil degradation on your farm

Livestock producers, particularly in arid climates, are struggling to remain profitable. Soil degradation and declining stocking rates have been identified as some of the main reasons for this decline. Colin Nott, a regenerative agricultural consultant from Namibia, spoke to Annelie Coleman.

Producing cashmere

Cashmere is one of the finest fibres in the world and is considerably warmer than wool. Products made from this fibre are in great demand, especially in Western countries.

Boost productivity with heifers

The replacement heifer is the foundation of a productive cow herd. Its selection and development can greatly affect the profitability of the farm through its genetics, future performance and longevity.

Thorn tree leaves: a nutritious grain substitute in pig feed

Smallholder pig production in Southern Africa is constrained by feed shortages and the demand for grains to feed the ever-growing human population. This makes it important to identify alternative feedstuffs for pigs.

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