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Farming Basics

Farmer’s Weekly brings you the latest updates on farming basics in the agricultural industry.

Compost problems, and how to fix them

A poorly managed compost pile will take a long time to decompose. Here are the signs of trouble to look out for.

Know your cattle: Angus

The Angus breed was first bred in Scotland in the 1700s. the high quality of its beef was important right from the start. the first importation of angus into South Africa was in 1895, when 10 cattle arrived on the farm of J Newburg in the Free State.

Animal health: putting together a first-aid kit for livestock

Any animal can suffer a sudden traumatic injury or other medical emergency. In this first part of a four-part series, Prof Cheryl McCrindle, a practising veterinarian and professor at the University of Pretoria, details how to treat cattle, sheep and goats in emergencies.

Are you a ‘people-pleaser’ or an ‘injustice collector’?

‘People-pleasers’ and ‘injustice collectors’ tend to suffer from the same basic problem: a lack of self-esteem. Trevor Dickinson explains these different personality types and how they fit into the larger family business.

Assessing veld condition

Taking a good look at every camp on your farm will reveal if your veld management system is on the right track, writes Roelof Bezuidenhout.

The value of pollinators for seed production

In a study to provide a global estimate of the importance of pollinators for plants in natural ecosystems, researchers from Stellenbosch University, led by Dr James Rodger, a postdoctoral fellow in mathematical sciences, found that, without pollinators, one-third of flowering plant species wouldn’t produce seeds at all.

Papaya diseases and viruses

Diseases and viruses of papayas include damping off, powdery mildew, black spot and root rot. All can be treated or prevented.

How to earn more from hides and skins

When an animal is slaughtered on the farm, the skin should be salted immediately. Many farmers don’t bother to do this, thinking the cost of the salt is more than what they can get for the skin. This means the loss of potential income when prices are right, says Roelof Bezuidenhout.

Controlling sexually transmitted diseases in cattle

Wandering cattle from unknown places and of unknown health status can wreak havoc in communal herds if animals from the two groups mate with each other, says Shane Brody.

How ticks can harm animals

Ticks are external parasites that live on the skin or the fleece of livestock. It’s important to know about their effects on your animals.

Sheep selection: the basics

Before selecting sheep, decide on your breeding goals and which type of sheep will adapt best to your conditions and provide maximum income.

Grasping the economics around succession

A critical juncture in the life of the family agribusiness is the transition from one generation to the next. One of the reasons for this, explains Trevor Dickinson, is that the capacity of the business to pay any form of remuneration has to be balanced with the requirements of the individuals who own and operate it.

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