A distressing number of family businesses collapse amid heartache and recriminations. Yet failure is not inevitable! With careful preparation, family members can lay a solid foundation for success.

Beware of the black swan

Any manager worth his or her salt takes the necessary action to mitigate damage from normal business risks. But how well will your farming operation cope with a wholly unexpected...
The effect of the COVID-19 lockdown has differed from one country to another. In South Africa, disposable income available for basic food has increased due to money not being spent...

Plough for more

Fancy yourself a leading farmer with a strong management philosophy and technical skills? Now is your chance to enter the Free State Agriculture Young Farmer of the Year 2014 competition.
While overall confidence within South Africa’s agribusiness sector dropped two index points in the third quarter (Q3) of 2017, the sector remained optimistic about business conditions in the country.
Tractor and combine harvester sales for May are up compared to the corresponding period last year, but on a year-to-date basis sales are still low, Wynn Dedwith, chairman of the...
Caxton CTP Publishers and Printers has joined Eskom’s energy efficiency campaign, 49M, in an effort to reduce energy consumption.
Although it seems as if a truce has been reached in the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China, soya prices and pork production in South Africa may still...
A farmer’s ability to reach the yield potential of their farm has less to do with climate and soil and more with an enabling environment.
It's very upsetting knowing you have to pay an account when you don't know where the money is going to come from. That's why keeping track of your expenses is...
Newly elected president of the World Farmers’ Organisation, Dr Theo de Jager, is no novice when it comes to advocating on behalf of farmers at international level. He spoke to...
Agri science student Lisa Coetzee was one of only two South Africans chosen to attend the Youth Ag Summit in Canada in 2013. Building on her experiences there, she has...
The definition of successful production is changing. Where high output and farm profits were the main measures of farming success in the past, today what matters just as much is...
When a group of Letsitele citrus farmers could no longer afford packaging material, they started making it themselves. Today, their business is a major industry supplier. By Alita van der...
Producing popcorn is a highly specialised industry that differs from conventional maize production, says Johann Kriek, CEO of the Bigfoot Trading Company. Annelie Coleman reports.
Ann van Dyk started the cheetah centre on her parent’s chicken farm in North West in 1971. When the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa ran out of space to...
Whatever you choose to call it – brinjal, aubergine or eggplant – there is nothing as magical as converting three of these wondrous things into a sesame influenced, za’atar-enhanced, smoky...
Calamari – squid to our friends in the marine biology sector – is a wonderful addition to one’s seafood repertoire. Easy to cook, a marvel to present and a delight...
Despite every effort to be careful, most of us burn food from time to time. Here is a rare opportunity to be careless, on purpose. We are actively seeking the...
I recently received a call from Angela, inviting me to attend a site meeting in a Durban suburb to discuss the design of two cottages on her property for possible...
A beef short rib is a praise song to fat. Yesterday, fat was bad for you. Today, it’s sort of OK. Tomorrow, who knows? If you worry about fat, it’s...
The SA government does not provide adequate support or information to rural people who want to start a fish farm.

Beware of blood!

Blood coming out of any part of your horse can be terrifying, but if its nose is bleeding, one of the causes could be guttural pouch disease, warns Kim Dyson.
Felicity Vonmoos is meeting consumers’ demands for humane egg production.
In contrast to any other agricultural sector, aquaculture is hobbled by a maze of conflicting national and provincial restrictions and barriers.
Veterinarian Dr Jan du Preez discusses the top five diseases that South African farmers should guard against to ensure that their cattle and their bottom-line are not negatively affected.

Kitchenbrand pigeon secrets

The performances of Kitchenbrand family are unequalled in the history of South African pigeon racing.
Richard Myburgh started out small, buying fruit from producers and selling it to small businesses. But his business grew quickly and when he eventually outgrew the packhouse that he was...
Introducing biological practices was a brave move on the part of Pongola sugar farmer Ernst Holl – but a current yield of 120t cane/ha from 16-year-old cane shows he’s on...
Lufuno Managa, a young farmer from Limpopo, found that big dreams don’t only come true in big cities. He left Pretoria to return home where he is now growing tomatoes...
We focus on spotted wilt and lettuce mosaic virus. Both can be controlled, and even avoided, with the correct agronomic practices.
I always remind the market agents whom I train that when it comes to marketing options, they are one of eight available to a farmer.

Insecticidal soap

One of the least expensive means of pest control available, insecticidal soaps, are a big drawcard for the environmentally-conscious. However, knowing how to use them properly is crucial, says Paul...
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