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Speciality tomatoes succeed with fewer inputs

Simply Salads, a Mpumalanga-based grower of speciality tomatoes, is thriving in a tough market. The main reason for this, owner Peter Bakker and farm manager Charles Deane explained to Lindi Botha, lay in the twin strategy of lowering inputs and maximising output.

Use 2021 to prepare for tougher years to come

It is a theme I remember well from the children’s tales and Bible stories my mother used to read to my sisters and me when we were girls. Aesop’s loafing grasshopper procrastinated until it was too late to gather food for the long, dry winter months and then ended up having to beg for something to eat from the hard-working ant who spent his whole summer diligently gathering food.

Breeding top-performing Dohne Merino on 95ha

The Patience family started farming on 95ha of rented land in Saron in the Western Cape in the 1960s, beginning with just 10 sheep and a handful of cattle. Today, Therecia Patience and her son, Gary, are on the same land, and are systematically improving the genetics of their Dohne Merino sheep. They spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about their successful operation.

Small-scale success with olives in Gauteng

Olive farming in South Africa tends to be concentrated in a few regions in the Western Cape and Northern Cape where conditions are ideal for this fruit. But in the early 2000s, Gauteng-based Hettie du Toit and her late husband, Frans, frustrated with the ongoing theft of their vegetables, decided to give olives a go on their plot.

Beware of mouldy hay bales

When your horses don’t want to eat the hay you have bought in for winter, the bales could be mouldy, warns Dr Mac.

Sugar cane speedlings: the fast-track solution to quality seed cane

Conventional stick seed cane, while long relied on as the source of plant material for commercial sugar cane crops, comes with unavoidable inefficiencies. Experts in seed cane propagation explain how the ‘speedlings’ concept provides an alternative, cost-efficient option that has already proven itself in South Africa’s demanding sugar cane farming industry.

Don’t let digital media take over your life!

Learn how to use digital media to your advantage, and avoid the debilitating pitfalls of addiction.

Land beneficiaries’ 20-year struggle for government help

The Mswati Communal Property Association (CPA) in Mpumalanga was one of the earliest beneficiaries of the new South African government’s land reform programme. More than 20 years later, the community is still struggling to get the crucial support from the state that would enable them to grow their farming businesses, says CPA committee member Maria Magagula. She and her daughter, Sanet, spoke to Siyanda Sishuba.

Breeding seasons in summer rainfall areas

The following guidelines and recommendations for cattle breeding seasons are applicable to a summer rainfall region and should be adapted accordingly for a winter rainfall region.

Healthy food is becoming increasingly unaffordable

The latest edition of the ‘State of food security and nutrition in the world’ has found that the number of people affected by hunger globally has been slowly on the rise since 2014. The report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, estimates that almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019, an increase of almost 10% over the past five years. The high costs and low affordability of healthy and nutritious diets also continue to contribute to the malnutrition of billions of people.

Benefits of a germination room

One of the crucial factors in seedling production is achieving a high and uniform germination. A loss in germination of just a few percent translates into a similar reduction in profit.

2020: A year to remember

There isn’t much left to say about 2020 that hasn’t already been said. It was one of those years that will punctuate our generation’s brief time on this planet in the history books.

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