Farmer’s Weekly - Volume 2016, Issue 16018, 2016
Volume 2016, Issue 16018, 2016
Author Denene ErasmusSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
Considering the serious business of farming, the question, 'does farming make you happy?' may seem silly and perhaps superfluous. However, happiness is fast gaining traction as the leading measure of well-being, replacing the current favourite, real gross domestic product per capita (GDP). An article published recently by the World Economic Forum, written by Richard Easterlin, a professor of economics at the University of Southern California in the US, argues that happiness should replace GDP as a guide for policy and as the primary indication of societal well-being. Happiness, he says, is a more comprehensive measure of well-being as it takes into account a range of concerns, while GDP is limited to narrow economic concerns.
Author Gerhard UysSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 6 –7 (2016)More Less
The SA fruit and nut markets are driven by global supply and demand. Ezra Steenkamp, deputy director of trade research at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), and an associate researcher at the department of agricultural economics at the University of Pretoria, discusses research findings on trade opportunities for the SA fruit and nut industries.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 15 –22 (2016)More Less
Nkwinti applauds farmers for voluntary participation in 50:50 pilots
Scarce water resources add to fire season risks
Royal Show 2016 promises world-class livestock competitions
Black Boerboel breeders appeal export ban
Kenya develops organic poultry supplement
GM technology can decrease food imports
Mechanisation a threat to labourers in the forestry sector
Red meat prices decline as supply spikes
Farmers will benefit from group certification
Mixed reaction to new poultry brining regulations
Maize production declines 30% year-on-year
SA soya bean imports highest since 1997
Vrystaat Mielies liquidated
SA grain handlers ready for increased imports
Ranchers slam rhino horn decision
SA wildlife ranching at a critical junction
European parliament rejects proposed ban on trophy imports
Cele promises assistance to drought-stricken KZN small-scale sugar farmers
Second win for Dalewood From age cheese
No-Till Club hosts information day in KZN
Author Wilma Den HartighSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 34 –35 (2016)More Less
A growing interest in soil health and conservation agriculture, as well as criticism of unsustainable farming practices, have increased the need for soil testing techniques that provide a more holistic assessment of soil health. According to a recent paper by Prof Alan Franzluebbers from the Department of Soil Science at North Carolina State University in the US, soil management worldwide is under threat because of practices such as high-intensity agriculture. This approach to farming largely ignores soil's biological function and relies solely on chemical inputs. This has led to soil depletion reaching critical levels in many countries.
Author Koos CoetzeeSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
To feed our growing population we have to increase the speed of agricultural development, especially the development of large-scale commercial farms that can afford to use the latest technology. But the agriculture sector is in a recession, shrinking by annualised values of 18%, 19,7%, 12,6% and 14% in the four quarters of 2015, according to Statistics SA. The sector's contribution to the GDP for 2015 contracted by 8,4%. The drought, high input prices and weaker product prices had a negative effect on farmers, and for the first time in many years, South Africa must import maize. Commercial farmers are also discouraged from investing in improved production by a plethora of laws that increase the cost of doing business. The agriculture department focuses most of its efforts on the emerging sector, and commercial farmers receive relatively little support. In the department's budget speech, the "continued dominance of large players in the sector" was cited as a "challenge". Clearly, government's goal is transformation at all cost. Even so, its performance in transforming agricultural land is nothing to be proud of. Only136 000ha were put under cultivation through government programmes in 2015.
Author Rumpff KrugerSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
In recent years, more and more farmers struggling to stay profitable have turned to game farming, and the number of wildlife ranches has mushroomed. According to wildlife management authority and author Ron Thomson, there are approximately 10 000 registered private game ranchers in South Africa managing more than 20 million hectares of land.
Author Jacqui TaylorSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
More and more consumers are becoming interested and concerned about how their food is grown. Farmers can benefit from this by becoming involved in discussions with potential customers and interest groups, many of whom could be potential tourists. This is often difficult, however, as farmers have time constraints, and it is therefore important to involve family members and farm workers in an agritourism initiative on a farm. A good place to start would be to form a farmers' agritourism group for a specific area or for a particular product. A good example is the Stellenbosch Wine Route. The first step would be to arrange a meeting for interested farmers, and invite a guest speaker to address them on a specific topic in a relaxed environment with food and drinks on offer. If a decision is taken to form a farmers' route or agritourism committee, make sure that everyone involved understands his or her responsibilities.
Author Jaco MinnaarSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 40 –41 (2016)More Less
Jaco Minnaar, from Hennenman in the Free State, was elected as Grain SA chairperson earlier this year. He spoke to Annelie Coleman about the organisation's future plans, and what role commodity organisations such as Grain SA have to play to ensure long-term sustainable and profitable grain production in South Africa.
Author Wandile SihloboSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 42 –43 (2016)More Less
With the planting season for South African wheat producers having arrived, the National Crop Estimates Committee forecasts that plantings could decreases lightly (0,06%) from last season to 481 850ha. South African wheat producers planted 482 150ha to wheat in the 2015 season, a 1% increase on the area planted in 2014. Nonetheless, production was lower than expected as a result of ongoing dry conditions in some areas of the Western Cape, such as the Swartland, which led to lower yield.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 44 –47 (2016)More Less
For half a century, starting from shortly before the First World War, the Afrikaner held a seemingly unassailable position as the dominant beef cattle breed in South Africa. But by the 1960s, its heydays were over, and the breed was eclipsed by others better suited to modern production methods. Since then, determined efforts have been made to rectify the Afrikaner's shortcomings, while retaining those traits that made the breed a legend for half a century. At the heart of this effort is the science of genetic infusion. Today, after more than 40 years of cooperation between geneticists, animal scientists and breeders, the Afrikaner is once again a competitive beef breed.
Author Yves VanderhaeghenSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 52 –54 (2016)More Less
A quiet revolution has been taking place in Msinga, the rural heart of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). While the drought has devastated cattle herds, goat numbers have held up. This is partly because goats are resilient, but also because the Mdukatshani Rural Development Project has been working at ways to keep these animals healthy and productive. Launched nine years ago, the successes of the Mdukatshani Rural Development Project have encouraged the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to put R50 million into a project that aims to boost goat production in five districts in KwaZulu-Natal: Mzinyathi, Thukela, Uthungulu, Zululand and uMkhanyakude. The total investment, which includes funds from the agriculture department and the European Union (EU), comes to over R70 million. The project aims to stitch together, within five years, a value chain that will double indigenous goat production, develop 7 000 female commercial farmers, create 620 youth jobs and 270 micro-businesses, and generate R100 million in extra value from the herds.
Author Jay FerreiraSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 56 –59 (2016)More Less
Since Farmer's Weekly last spoke to Jacky Goliath in2012, (28 December 2012 issue), she and her business partner, Elton Jefthas, have grown their De Fynne Nursery business into a renowned supplier of high-quality potted plants. Raised in Abbotsdale near Malmesbury, Jacky says her passion for growing plants started as a child. "I always knew I wanted to work outside," she says. "So I studied horticulture, and worked at the Agricultural Research Council, where I gained experience. Back then, I never even dreamed of having a farm. I didn't think it was possible. Now my passion is my business." De Fynne was established when Jacky and Elton planted 1 000 fynbos plants in three varieties in Elton's garden. The operation was then moved to a 0,5ha property in Kylemore, and then to a 1,5ha property in Simondium. The business is currently based on a 22hafarm in Paarl, which De Fynne first rented in 2014 from the department of rural development. Jacky believes that doing something one is passionate about results in happiness. "It starts with yourself. I'm a happy farmer, and if I couldn't farm here I would do development work in Africa and teach people to be sustainable and grow their own food."
Author Bill KerrSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
I often see a large amount of lettuce left behind on the land after harvesting. The production costs up to harvest remain the same, so harvesting a low percentage of lettuces will clearly affect your profits. This is a fast-growing crop and any setback is serious. You cannot play catch-up with lettuce; you need to do it the right way from the start. Transplants must be planted into moist soil and be moist themselves as well. Do not plant them into dry soil and trust that irrigation will make up the shortfall. The lettuce plant reacts very quickly to stress, no matter how short this might be, in order to maximise its chances of surviving to bear seed later. And recovery after stress takes time. This mechanism can be seen when you sow seeds in very hot conditions. A few may germinate, but the rest will wait, despite the conditions becoming favourable for germination. Instead, they may only germinate when the first plants are nearly ready for planting.
Author Mike CordesSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
Dear black market agents, Over the years I've met most of you and have noticed two consistent themes. The first is a commendable enthusiasm to become a market agent. The second is concern about how to break into what is perceived a sa 'closed industry'. Many of you have asked me for advice and my answer has always been the same.