Maximising water-use efficiency in South African undercover crop farming operationshas become both a financial and moral imperative. But selecting the most appropriate undercover irrigation technologies can be a challenge in itself. Three local experts shared their advice on this increasingly complex topic with Lloyd Phillips.
Russian wheat aphid is showing increased cultivar and pesticide resistance, according to entomologist Dr Astrid Jankielsohn of the Agricultural Research Council. She has identified a new biotype, bringing to five the number seen in South Africa.
Optimal reproductive performance is crucial to the success of a beef cattle enterprise. A defined breeding season can help to achieve this.
John Viedge of the Lehana’s Pass Sussex Stud has been breeding cattle that survive in some of the harshest redwater disease areas in South Africa. Wayne Southwood spoke to him about how he manages animal health, breeding and selection in his resilient Sussex stud.
Retirement is not a single event; it involves both emotional and financial considerations, writes Roelof Bezuidenhout.
The company FieldMicro has released a digital connectivity device that can be used to control a wide range of connected infrastructure, such as farm gates, irrigation equipment and machinery.
To maximise kilograms of meat or wool produced per hectare, it is crucial to maintain a farm’s carrying capacity during winter. This invariably means producing high-quality stored fodder, and making sure there is enough of it. Deal Miles, a beef, mutton and wool farmer in the Cedarville area of the Eastern Cape, outlined his methods of achieving this to Lloyd Phillips.
Tshepo Moloi and Prof Johann Kirsten of the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University suggest that a zero-based budgeting approach could offer an opportunity to reassess the role of the state in rural development.
When I mention seedlings in my articles, you may take it for granted that I’m referring to professionally grown seedlings in cavity seedling trays. The reason is that it is extremely difficult for the average farmer, let alone a new farmer, to grow seedlings successfully.
While growth and development initiatives have tended to focus on growing the commercial farming sector, a new school of thought argues for the coexistence of smallholder and commercial farmers to achieve household-level food security in South Africa, writes Dr Sifiso Ntombela, chief economist at the National Agricultural Marketing Council.
The positive growth trend in agricultural GDP so far this year has failed to translate into an increase in employment in the agriculture sector.
Nets can significantly reduce climate-related risks, but may result in financial losses if farmers do not do their homework. This was the warning of experts who spoke to Glenneis Kriel.