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The role of farmers during the COVID-19 crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic had brought new appreciation for the pivotal role that South Africa’s agriculture sector plays in the provision of healthy, sufficient and affordable food, according to Derek Mathews, chairperson of Grain SA.

Cultivating cleome

Also known as oorpeultjie, lerotho and mazonde, this herb is a rich source of nutrients, especially vitamins A and C and the minerals calcium and iron.

Choosing the right lettuce variety

Iceberg lettuce has a good number of outer leaves, which help protect the head during transport and handling.

Futuristic concept tractor wins design award

Employing an advanced diesel-electric drivetrain and in-cab display projection, the Steyr Konzept hybrid tractor breaks the conventional mould of tractor technology. It also rewrites the rules on what a farm tractor should look like.

Agriculture: shining light or fading star?

For most industries, 2020 will probably be a particularly bad year with an abrupt fall in performance, but this should be followed by some degree of recovery in the near future.

An app for every farming task

Mobile applications make life more convenient for farmers while enabling them to be more productive. Glenneis Kriel reports on a number of apps that are changing the way farms are run.

Community farm’s drive and discipline rewarded at last

Having suffered several setbacks in their efforts to make their agribusiness profitable, a group of hard-working land reform beneficiaries in KwaZulu-Natal at last got the help they needed from an agricultural transformation organisation. Lloyd Phillips reports on the Gugulethu community.

The future of pig genetics

Pork producers can look forward to even greater production efficiency, thanks to improved genetics. Jurgens Reynders of DanBred Africa spoke to Glenneis Kriel about these gains.

Don’t be beaten by bollworm

The African bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) is normally a sporadic pest; it tends to arrive on lettuce plants in bursts, rather than gradually increasing in number.

When performance fails to live up to breeding values

Discrepancies between estimated breeding values and livestock performance have led some farmers to doubt the accuracy of these values. They are, in fact, excellent indicators, but animals may not be able to reach their genetic potential.

How the lockdown has affected food and farmers

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 on other items.

South Africa: Top of the economic misery list

One of the great things about being an agricultural journalist during this time of crisis is that we often still get to report good news, thanks to the victories being achieved in the sector despite the general sense of doom surrounding our country’s economic and political future.

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