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Poultry litter to biogas: adding more value to farm waste

The benefits of using chicken litter as fertiliser are well known. As the poultry industry grows, however, other uses for it must be found. Dr Idan Chiyanzu and Primrose Magama of the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Agricultural Engineering explain how energy can be generated from litter.

Issues with the 900 state farms bonanza

Land reform has, for the most part, been somewhat in limbo since Cyril Ramaphosa became president in 2018. But the recent announcement by Minister Thoko Didiza of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform (agriculture department) that 896 farms, measuring 700 000ha, of underutilised or vacant state land would be made available to the public has certainly got the ball rolling on land reform.

How a single social media post launched a farmfresh meat business

When establishing a new business, investors often struggle with what to focus on first: the market or the product. Pork farmer Hannes Richards had little difficulty with this decision. A single advertisement on social media triggered such demand for his product that he had to expand his operation as rapidly as possible. Lindi Botha visited him on his farm in Limpopo.

Lockdown: time to reset your business?

Farmers, and businesses generally, have all lived through disruptions, but never before have we experienced anything like this. Here are some ideas on how to get through this trying period.

Irrigation systems for undercover cropping

Maximising water-use efficiency in South African undercover crop farming operations has 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: sustainable solutions to fight resistance

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.

The importance of having a breeding season

Optimal reproductive performance is crucial to the success of a beef cattle enterprise. A defined breeding season can help to achieve this.

Breeding a resistant and resilient Sussex stud herd

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.

The psychology of retirement

Retirement is not a single event; it involves both emotional and financial considerations, writes Roelof Bezuidenhout.

Connect all your farm equipment with a single device!

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.

Proper planning: the key ingredient for quality stored fodder

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.

Cutting the waste from the agriculture department’s budget

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.

WHAT TO READ NEXT

SA table grape crop estimate signals return to normal volumes

The South African Table Grape Industry’s (SATI) first crop estimate for the 2020/2021 season is signalling a return to normal production volumes, following mostly climate-related challenges in recent years.

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