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Young fancier’s dream to bring pigeon racing to townships

Lodumo Nkala is a young man with a plan: he wants to bring the sport of pigeon racing to South Africa’s rural townships. He shared his vision and strategy with Susan Marais.

You can’t wing it with staff succession and development!

A promotion based solely on ‘gut-feel’ can prove disastrous. I know; I made this mistake years ago. It damaged our organisation, my confidence, and the lives of a man and his family, says Peter Hughes.

Truffles: black gold for South African farmers

Growing black winter truffles can be a highly lucrative undertaking for farmers looking to diversify their enterprises. Volker and Paul Miros, who run Woodford Truffles SA, spoke to Marinda Louw Coetzee about the expert knowledge and capital required to do so.

Rum brings rewards for KZN cane producer

Heart, soul and spirit: all of these can be found in spades on Seafield Farm, a family-run sugar cane concern in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Owner Brad O’Neill spoke to Susan Marais about how innovation in the form of rum distillation is helping his business rise above the sugar cane crisis, while regenerative farming methods are keeping the farm’s already fertile, high-quality soil in peak condition.

How to manage a lambing pen system effectively

Lambing pens offer a multitude of benefits for farmers. Regina Harmse, who breeds Ile de France sheep in Mpumalanga, spoke to Annelie Coleman about the ways in which these pens can add value to any type of sheep production concern.

Nampo Harvest Day: The rise of a global agricultural megastar

After a two-year absence from the agricultural calendar, Grain SA’s Nampo Harvest Day, the biggest agricultural show in the Southern Hemisphere, is ready to make a spectacular comeback, says Toit Wessels, Grain SA’s assistant manager for marketing and Nampo.

Mozambique tilapia: big plans for a small fish

Fish is a healthy source of protein, but is becoming increasingly unaffordable for South Africans. Ramon Kourie and Vuyani Somyo of Thapi AquaKulcha look at why marine tilapia may be the perfect alternative to other white fish.

Drones: boosting yield and beating erosion

Farmers are continually required to do more with less: in other words, improve yield without boosting inputs. Optimising orchard health is therefore crucial, and it starts with the correct diagnosis. This is where drone technology is showing increasing promise, as it reveals what is invisible to the naked (and earthbound) eye.

Kiwifruit: South Africa’s golden opportunity

After the failure of local green kiwifruit production in the 1980s, a new group of farmers is hopeful that golden kiwis will become a South African success story. One such producer, Peter Nicholson, spoke to Susan Marais about the sector and its ambitions.

Animal health: putting together a first-aid kit for livestock

Any animal can suffer a sudden traumatic injury or other medical emergency. In this first part of a four-part series, Prof Cheryl McCrindle, a practising veterinarian and professor at the University of Pretoria, details how to treat cattle, sheep and goats in emergencies.

Climate change: why the world cannot afford a disorderly transition

A new report states that the lack of coordinated action on climate change poses profound dangers to society. Amongst these is an increase in already stark inequalities.

Give your orchards the health coverage they deserve

Cover crops are the gifts that keep on giving. Not only do they maintain soil moisture and improve soil health, but they are a valuable tool for reducing pest loads in subtropical orchards. By planting specific species, farmers can reduce their pesticide bill and meet the crop safety requirements of their markets.

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