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Genetics forged in the Alps help Braunvieh excel in SA

Since its introduction to South Africa 114 years ago, the Braunvieh, with its good walking ability and non-selective grazing habits, has adapted well and can thrive under some of the harshest conditions in the country. Hans Bester and his three daughters run the Witbek Braunvieh stud on Sussiesdeel farm in Vrede, Free State, and spoke to Annelie Coleman about the advantages of this hardy breed.

Tuberculosis in cattle

Tuberculosis is an important zoonotic disease that spreads slowly in animal populations.

Considering the switch to solar energy? Read this first!

With solar energy becoming increasingly affordable and reliable, more and more farmers are using it to reduce their electricity costs and dependence on Eskom power. Claude Peters of RenEnergy spoke to Glenneis Kriel about this trend.

Tracking global food trends

Major global food demand-and-supply trends, identified and monitored by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, were already visible before the onset of COVID-19. The pandemic, and governments’ reactions to it via lockdown restrictions, merely accelerated these trends, says Dr Koos Coetzee.

Free-range pigs: lessons learnt on the way to commercial success

Start small and grow with the results. This is the principle followed by young pig farmer Jason Buys of Ocean View Piggery in the Western Cape. Jeandré van der Walt visited him to learn more about his free-range pig operation and how he plans to grow his farming business.

Bringing transparency to crop insurance

The Fourth Industrial Revolution can aid crop insurance, although the technology still has a long way to go to reach its full potential, according to Schalk Schultz of Santam Agriculture. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel.

Chilli producer achieves success with bio-farming

Chillies are a difficult crop to market; demand is limited and retailers’ requirements can be tough to meet. Mpumalanga farmer Chris Roux overcomes these challenges by planting a wide and colourful range of chillies and using biological farming techniques. Lindi Botha spoke to him about going the extra mile in production.

Making wildlife part of your horse business

Like many industries, the horse industry is suffering due to COVID-19 regulations. If you own a farm, bringing in some game could offer you another income stream, says Dr Mac.

Succession planning: get expert help and understand your options

Even if succession seems straightforward, as when passing on operations to a single heir, several steps are needed to facilitate the transfer of the farm from one generation to the next, says Trevor Dickinson.

Producing cashmere

Cashmere is one of the finest fibres in the world and is considerably warmer than wool. Products made from this fibre are in great demand, especially in Western countries.

COVID-19 and the rise of organic farming

According to the 2021 statistics yearbook ‘The World of Organic Agriculture’, which presents the latest statistics and emerging trends in organic farming from 187 countries around the world, organic farmland increased by 1,1 million hectares in 2019, and organic retail sales continued to grow.

Backgrounding beef animals for higher profit

Most South African beef producers sell their weaners straight to feedlots for finishing. Chéri-Lynn Steyn, a master’s student in agricultural economics, explains how backgrounding these animals can increase the income of commercial beef farms and even of the feedlots themselves.

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