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

Producers in the summer grain production areas have started harvesting the 2012/2013 grain crop, but yields were fluctuating dramatically from region to region.
A groundswell is rising to put agriculture in its rightful place where it can generate growth and employment and address food security and social inequality said Andrew Guthrie, regional director...
Former US vice-president Al Gore will be visiting SA for the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Africa Training initiative, taking place in Johannesburg from 12 to 14 March.

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.
Speaking at the Animal Breeding and Reproductive Technology Platform (ABRTP) on Thursday, Richard York, of York Safaris said that the buffalo bull, Mystery sold for R40 million at the Thaba...
DuPont’s new regional technology centre, which opened in Delmas, Mpumalanga, recently, aims to bring leading global agricultural innovation, especially in the field of new seed technology, to farmers in South...
Petrus Bosman (31), the Santam-Agri Western Cape Young Farmer of the Year 2012, is the managing director of his family’s wine and vine farming business in Wellington. He spoke to...
Based in the Eastern Cape, Warrick Harvey has rapidly built an international reputation as a crafter of exceptional bows. Mike Burgess spoke to him about his life-long love of archery.
More than two decades into South Africa’s democracy, progress in righting the wrongs of land ownership patterns established by the Natives Land Act of 1913, has been dismally slow. Moreover,...
Agriculture in Africa will never succeed unless governments, private businesses and farming communities learn to trust each other and work together. Klaus Eckstein, CEO of Bayer Southern Africa, spoke to...
Soweto businessman Xolani Ndzaba has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He spoke to Luyolo Mkentane about how he founded Lethabo Milling, SA’s first black-owned milling company.
Former minister of agriculture Dr Kraai van Niekerk’s honeybee hobby, which he started after quitting politics in 2009, has grown into a fully-fledged farming enterprise. It is now among the...
Throughout the ages, lions have evoked fear and fascination and endured being ‘tamed’. Rather conserve big cats in the wild, writes Jo Hedges.

Fabulous fish pie

You don’t have to live on the beach to enjoy this delicious meal, since the fishy parts come straight out of the supermarket freezer. And to make it even easier,...
There are times, usually when the night is dark, the wind howling and the rain beating on the windows, when all you want out of life is a bowl of...
Dear Jonno We want to build a period corrugated iron house on our farm, more or less according to the plans I have attached. The land on which it will...
Dear Jonno We want to build a home in the Mpumalanga Lowveld, and would like your creative input. We want something that is ‘mod’ but rustic. The design must also...

Two-bed farm cottage

Tyron asks Jonno to design a double-storey farm cottage for him. Look at what Jonno comes up with.
South Africa’s indigenous Kolbroek breed is ideal for contributing to food security in rural areas, according to Wessel Pistorius, a Kolbroek breeder near Magaliesburg. The modern animal, bred from a...
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi that grow on certain agricultural products. The presence of mycotoxins in feed has a detrimental effect on animals in production systems. Lloyd...
Production claims must be based on proven, long-term commercial results – they cannot be extrapolated.
On paper, many aquaculture systems look appealing, but are they suited to South Africa’s challenging conditions?

Treating snakebite

Snakes are coming out of hibernation and now is a good time to brush up on your knowledge of how to treat a horse that's been bitten.
The theory of ‘eye-sign’ is a subject of much controversy in the pigeon racing fraternity.

Don’t dump fresh produce!

A small-scale farmer recently told me that he supplied spinach to a client on contract, and sent his surplus spinach to the market.
Canadian canola expert Phil Thomas says producers can improve yields with innovative technology and better farming practices. Kobus van Tonder reports on Phil’s recent visit to SA.
By embracing new technology to ensure a greater yield and utilising resources efficiently, South African apple producers can look forward to a bright future.
It is every vegetable farmer’s dream to produce a higher yield per hectare and have the same yield winter and summer. Jacques Claassen visited an innovative lettuce producer achieving exactly...

Cabbage disease: black rot

Black rot (Xanthomonas campestris) is the most important cabbage disease. Thriving in warm, wet conditions, it is most active at 25°C to 30°C and therefore more of a problem in...
While some farmers in the Olifants River Valley are switching to organic production to overcome poor wine prices, others are converting to fruit and vegetables.

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