Farming Basics

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

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.

Water-wise plants for your garden

Many South African gardens contain exotic species that originate from regions with far higher rainfall than occurs here. As a result, gardeners have to water them frequently. The answer? Beautiful indigenous plants.

A herd health and production management plan

Dr Danie Odendaal, director of the Veterinarian Network, spoke to Glenneis Kriel about what to consider when drawing up a herd health and production management plan for sheep and cattle. His advice can be applied to most other livestock.

The value of informal record-keeping

If you record your production and general farming notes in a diary, you’ll have ready access to a wealth of information in a few years, says Bill Kerr.

Using common sense to be successful

It takes time and effort to know how to control pests and fertilise crops. There is no simple one-size-fits-all solution, says Bill Kerr.

Small-scale egg production basics

This article focuses on how to build, manage and maintain an affordable, small-scale egg production unit.

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