Farmer’s Weekly - Volume 2016, Issue 16015, 2016
Volume 2016, Issue 16015, 2016
Author Denene ErasmusSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
Every farmer can tell you where the best place is to get good mobile phone reception on his or her farm. This is usually half way up the koppie behind the house, on the dam wall or by the kitchen's back door. And even then you'd be lucky to get a steady two-bar signal! Apart from the obvious frustration this lack of connectivity can cause, it is also one of the many symptoms of poorly developed rural infrastructure - and one of the main reasons cited by a new generation of young people for opting out of a career in farming.
Author Lloyd PhillipsSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 6 –7 (2016)More Less
This year's budget speech was particularly interesting for me as I was in a workshop with farmers at the time, and the budget gave me the opportunity to relay to them - in layman's terms - what they could expect from government. In conversations with these farmers, their serious concern for the state of our economy struck me deeply, particularly because, for many of them, and for many other farmers in South Africa, the financial assistance offered by government could make or break their agricultural businesses in coping with the detrimental effects of the current drought. In the morning leading up to the budget speech, I was upbeat that there might be significant increases in allocation for agricultural financial institutions, such 6 farmer's weekly 22 April 2016 as the Land Bank, to assist farmers during this challenging time. This turned out to be a semi-fulfilled wish. The opening of Minister Pravin Gordhan's speech sounded encouraging and pragmatic, suggesting that the nation must be frank about the way in which to address the challenges of the day, the drought being one of them. His speech offered some glimpse of hope for the agricultural sector through the allocation of R15 billion over the next three years via the Land Bank concessionary loan facility to assist farmers in recovering from the impact of the drought. The key concern is whether all climatically-affected farmers will be able to access enough of this finance.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 12 –22 (2016)More Less
Glyphosate probably harmful to humans - research agency
Ostrich industry 'breathes sigh of relief' after embargo lifted
Cattle to be shot on sight
Kwanalu pledges support for KZN lawful water use survey
Success for AFGRI smallholder farmer programme
Community and conservationists reach impasse following attack
Running for Rhinos
Kenya introduces new insurance model for farmers
Organic citrus farmers voluntarily halt lemon exports to EU
Export volumes for SA citrus positive despite drought and hail
Early veld fire season expected to hit the Free State
April rains won't save grain crops or grazing land
Joburg Market supports agro-processing entrepreneurs
Smallholder farmers need help to improve livestock production
Smallholder farmers must achieve economies of scale
African horse sickness outbreak a 'severe setback' for breeders
Growing rat population could cause bubonic plague outbreak
Zimbabwe's Cold Storage Company in financial distress
Botswana records drastic decline in crop planting
Western Cape Agriculture announces Young Farmer front-runners
Project assisting new farmers
First Xhosa woman attains MTech degree
Author Wilma Den HartighSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
Retractable roofs protect crops against excessive heat, cold, frost, hail, wind, diseases and pests. The roof creates an environment with a constant temperature and humidity level, making it possible for a farmer to extend the growing season,and increase profitability/ha. According to Richard Vollebregt, president of Cravo Equipment, a Canadian company that manufacturers retractable greenhouse roofs and production systems, retractable roof technology has been adopted in the US, Mexico, Chile, Nigeria and South Africa. "Annually, South Africa experiences 5 658 hours (65%)of ideal outdoor growing conditions," Vollebregt said. This means that farmers lose out on 3 012 (35%) potential growing hours each year, which could be used to increase production.
Author Peter HudgesSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
In my last article, I wrote about the importance of having a clear chain of command in a business, where every employee knows who he or she reports to. As I said, it's amazing how many employees are vague about this - and when this clarity is lacking, it's usually mirrored by the poor performance of the organisation. Another ominous omen is disagreement on who is responsible for what. If you ever hear someone saying, "That's not my job" or "Stop interfering in my area", it's a sign of bad management, and you can be sure that bad business performance follows close behind. A good business team must operate like a great rugby team. While every member is selected for the position best matching his particular strength, talent and passion, everyone can cover for the other (for a while) when the need arises. But unless each player is clear about what is expected of him in his usual team position, it's chaos.
Author Nicholas JamesSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
In any re-circulating-type system, the method of water quality control - filtration - is a key aspect. Poor water quality will make any system, no matter how good, with even the best performing species, uneconomic and unviable. Tilapia in South Africa require elevated water temperature, and must be grown at high densities in tunnel-based systems. Stocking rates of up to 30kg/m3 of water means that at near-harvest mass (400g to 500g) the demands on filtration are very high. Ammonia levels have to be kept low and oxygen saturation high, preferably over 6mg/l, to avoid stress and to sustain maximum growth.
Author Jay FerreiraSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 32 –34 (2016)More Less
Stephen and Linda Nessworthy acquired pet alpacas in 2004, as Linda had been fascinated by them since childhood, and the couple greatly enjoyed keeping the animals in their garden in Cape Town. At the time, they had a specialist food import business. Five years later, they converted their interest in alpacas into a full-time farming operation: they sold their food business, bought a farm in 2010 and started Quenti Alpacas in 2011. "We've always looked to niche markets," says Stephen," and with Linda's fascination with alpacas, this made sense."
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 36 –38 (2016)More Less
Estimates suggest a 0,6% increase in stone fruit production this season, due to an anticipated increase in nectarine and peach production. The rand's depreciation against major currencies over the last year means citrus farmers have an opportunity to improve returns and grow export markets. SA producers are at an advantage due to the international citrus, deciduous and sub- tropical fruit markets already acknowledging SA as a significant producer and exporter.
Author Mike BurgessSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 40 –42 (2016)More Less
the value of a holiday or trip can be much enhanced by a few local detours. Fishing trips are often characterised by rushed travel to a particular destination to get one's line into the water as soon as possible. A recent fishing trip to the Nqabara River mouth and a few, subsequent detours was certainly time well spent. The area is home to the almost 200-year-old grave of a revered Xhosa king, and a forgotten trading station built before the 9th and Final Frontier War of 1877 to 1878, between the British and Cape Colony, and the Xhosa.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 48 –51 (2016)More Less
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
Recently, we ran a series for farmers interested in growing papayas. In this article, we take a brief look at harvesting and marketing the crop. Papayas should be harvested at the 'yellow break' stage. This is when the first streak of yellow appears - a good sign that the fruit is mature and will ripen soon. In the peak season, papayas should be harvested about three times a week. During the rest of the season, mature fruit can be identified by regular scouting.
Author Mike CordesSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
When a market agent is caught defrauding a farmer, a long and complex legal process is put in motion. Yet often it seems as if nothing is being achieved. Ask senior managers at the Agricultural Produce Agents Council for an update on a specific case and they'll say, "No comment. The matter is still under investigation." I understand their position and the frustrations they must go through in guiding a complaint from a farmer through 'the system'. There have been successes as well as failures over the years, but the most recent 'success' is worth noting.