Farming Basics

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

Farm attacks: Security expert outlines a proactive plan

Laurence Palmer, an independent security consultant, outlines practical steps that South African farmers and farmworkers can take to avoid becoming victims of farm attacks, and to protect themselves if attacked.

Irrigation technology is making production cheaper

Recent advances in irrigation technology are making it easier for farmers to produce more food, while remaining environmentally friendly.

Hydroponics or aquaponics: Which is right for you?

While similar in theory, hydroponic and aquaponic systems differ significantly in terms of capital outlay, input costs and method of operation. Janine Ryan provides an overview of the differences between these systems to help aspiring growers choose the right one in terms of their production goals.

Why managers, owners and clients won’t discuss succession

These three groups of people often struggle, for different reasons, to come to terms with succession planning. Their reluctance, writes Trevor Dickinson, may reinforce the founder’s reluctance to take the process seriously.

Using drones to boost farm security

Modern drones have come a long way from their clunky forebears; they’re also more affordable. One key use for them is as ‘eyes in the sky’ to help maintain security, and this makes them ideal for farmers. Security consultant Laurence Palmer gives a brief history of the drone and explains what it takes to operate one.

Prevention can outsmart pests and diseases

Successful pest and disease management depends on scouting and monitoring crops. Magda du Toit spoke to a major citrus producer, as well as pest-control experts from various organisations.

Investing in agricultural schemes

Some investment groups are considering strategies that allow you to invest in various farming operations in South Africa. This is not a bad idea, so long as you only invest through reputable entities, says Shane Brody.

Why it makes sense to farm meat goats

Goats in South Africa are strongly linked to cultural and religious practices, and this creates a good, sustainable market. Goat herds grow quickly, and these hardy creatures are well suited to smaller farms, says Shane Brody.

Why many first-generation family agribusinesses don’t survive their founders

Lack of succession planning is one of the key reasons why so many family agribusinesses fail to last, writes Trevor Dickinson. Very few businesses that are simply ‘handed over’ in an informal manner will survive.

Plant citrus to supplement your income

Citrus fruits, which are rich in vitamin C, fetch a good price. Consider starting a co-operative system in your community, planting trees in a number of yards and buying inputs in bulk to save money, says Shane Brody.

When to wean beef calves

Calves should be weaned at the correct time so that they achieve optimal weight, and their dams can conceive again as soon as is practical.

Recognising and accepting the responsibility of stewardship

The owners of the most successful family agribusinesses understand that their enterprise is not a possession. Instead, it’s a legacy they are obliged to take care of for future generations, says Trevor Dickinson.