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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 Free State Umbrella Fire Association has issued an urgent warning about veld fires in the province.
The recent media reports stating that South African farmers were no longer threatened by fall armyworm (FAW) were incorrect, Dirk Strydom, Grain SA’s marketing manager, told Farmer’s Weekly.
The South African Reserve Bank kept the repo rate unchanged at 5% at its last monetary policy meeting of the year. Inflation concerns countered weak economic growth.
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) were identified as key areas with which young people could be attracted to agriculture.
The National Emergent Red Meat Producers Organization (Nerpo) has invited smallholder farmers to start applying for the new Nerpo Farm Machinery & Infrastructural Improvement Fund, which Land Bank and the...
The Simmentaler Cattle Breeder’s Society of South Africa commemorates its 50th anniversary this year.
Evergreen agriculture combines conservation farming and agroforestry to create what proponents call an 'out of the box solution' to increase crop yield, improve soil, make better use of scarce rainwater...
If the South African food industry wishes to compete successfully on a global scale, a viable and workable traceability system must be introduced and adopted, says Anné Calitz, research assistant...
Lawrence and Simphiwe Mtswene’s farm near Nigel is due to benefit from the Recapitalisation and Development Programme, a boost after the couple’s long financial struggle. Peter Mashala reports.

Ngunis go commercial

After 25 years of trading and farming in Elliotdale in the former Transkei, Zolani Tyali eventually settled on Brooklyn, a commercial farm near Morgan’s Bay in the Eastern Cape. He...
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...
Over 50% of all stock in the Eastern Cape belong to communal farmers, which is why efforts are being made to absorb these animals into mainstream marketing channels and to...
Traditionally, in the cold northern hemisphere zones, Christmas puddings tend to be elaborate, doughy masses of flour and fruit, drowned in brandy and then set on fire.
Estelle and Barry would like to build a retirement home on their son’s farm in the eastern Free State.
Approximately seven years ago, I designed a home for Pete and his family on a golf estate.
All the excitement about national symbols has failed to provide South Africa with a national fish. Let me fill the gap by nominating hake. It is a wonderfully versatile fish...
Hannes, who wanted to develop an eight-stand tourist accommodation complex , requested that I meet him on site in southern KwaZulu-Natal. Dear Hannes, Further to our meeting, I’ve configured a...
Dear Jonno I am a Farmer’s Weekly magazine subscriber and I normally see your beautiful plans in it. I do not know if you could assist me. I want a...
Last week I wrote about the champion stock of Bradbury Lofts, and this week's article focuses on their racing methods.

Establishing a beef herd

Whether commercial or stud, a herd has to be correctly established in order to achieve sustainable economic production. Simmentaler breeder Hennie Viljoen and general manager of Simmentaler SA Flaf Lauwrens...
A horse that refuses to drink will not only lose condition, it could dehydrate, writes Kim Dyson.
Frans van den Berg is the 2010 recipient of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa’s (GSSA) Peter Edwards Award for Best Conservation Farmer in South Africa. A Controlled Fodder Flow...
You hear the shot of the rifle and feel the recoil, but the animal runs. What should you do now? To learn about tracking, Gerhard Uys spoke to Willem van...
Inflammation of the tendon sheath in the fetlock region can cause severe lameness in a horse, says Dr Mac.
Leaf miners need not be the threat they were when originally introduced.
The name ‘mycorrhiza’ (a combination of two Greek words meaning ‘fungus’ and ‘roots’) is unlikely to ring a bell with most farmers as its use has been promoted only recently.

Visit the market!

I hammer on about the importance of farmers visiting the market whenever there is an opportunity.

Value versus cost

When a farmer decides to buy a new tractor, does he choose the shiniest, most expensive model?
Bacterial wilt can be a devastating disease in tomatoes. I’ve seen whole crops destroyed, and if you’re farming in a warm area where the disease is prevalent, it’s worth knowing...
By early 2012, the maize price had nearly doubled year-on-year, with serious implications for livestock farmers who buy in large quantities of maize for feed. Western Cape dairy farmers, already...

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