Farmer’s Weekly - Volume 2016, Issue 16022, 2016
Volume 2016, Issue 16022, 2016
Author Denene ErasmusSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
South Africa's economy has stagnated, and by the time you read this, Standard and Poor's may well have downgraded the country's credit rating to junk status, setting the scene for our economy to slip into recession. How do we set the economy on a different course? Dr Martyn Davies, managing director of emerging markets and Africa at Deloitte, suggests that we can start by being a less angry and divided nation.Speaking at a state of the nation breakfast hosted by Deloitte in Johannesburg, Davies said that South Africa would never be internationally competitive "if we are so angry with each other, internally". He said that research showed that three things destroyed wealth in a country - conflict, ideology, and corruption. "Having one of these present is bad, having two is really bad, and if you have all three - it's all over."
Author John Kane-BermanSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 6 –7 (2016)More Less
Talk to anyone involved in farming and the word "passion" soon crops up. Apart from having access to land, working capital and know-how, you won't succeed in farming unless you are 'passionate' about it. This view is held not only by farmers across the board, but by the various organisations attempting to assist developing and emerging farmers. Government, however, appears to be passionate about something quite different: the redistribution of land from white South Africans to black South Africans. This helps to explain many of the failures of land reform, among them the view that success is measured by the quantity of land redistributed, and not whether it remains in production or not. Among the results have been neglect of rural infrastructure, failure to implement individual title on communal land, lack of adequate support for recipients of redistributed land, and large numbers of families trapped in rural poverty.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 12 –20 (2016)More Less
Small-scale pig farmers discouraged by lack of transformation
Kids' mohair back in demand
Government to invest in R&D of forestry industry
Wesgrow launches new potato cultivars
SA agricultural exports perform well on back of poor rand
Information and communication technology needs to be understood, not just accessible
Image of agriculture in Africa must change to attract youth and investment
More mycotoxin research needed in West Africa
Egypt now Africa's second-largest economy
Urgent calls for increased investment in research
Study warns farmers about mental health
Premier dodges 'bread cartel' civil claim
SA exports to US under Agoa deemed best on continent
Drought affects Tongaat Hulett's annual results
Author Mike CordesSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
Senescence is the aging of fruit and vegetables until final decay, when they have to be discarded. The process can be slowed by cold storage and other means, but it cannot be stopped. Generally, fresh produce with a high moisture content, such as strawberries, will decay faster than produce with a lower moisture content, such as butternut. But the end result is always the same.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 28 –29 (2016)More Less
Ultrasound scanning is a medical imaging technique that uses high-frequency soundwaves and their echoes to display a two-dimensional figure on a monitor. Ultrasonic soundwaves are generated and received by the transducer probe, which emits soundwaves through the soft tissue of the animal's body. The frequency used is determined by the density of the tissue (fat, muscle or bone). These sound waves 'bounce' off the boundaries between tissues, for example, between fluid and soft tissue or soft tissue and bone, and are reflected back to the probe. The information is then interpreted by the machine's central processing unit, and an image is generated and displayed.
Author Koos CoetzeeSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
Modern agricultural equipment provides reliable service as long as it's properly maintained. Crop farmers know that they must take care of the health of their soil, while livestock farmers have to look after their animals. Why is it that farmers molycoddle their crops, animals and machinery, yet neglect to maintain their most important resource: their own physical and mental well-being? A recent New Zealand study cites the following as among the main causes of mental stress in farmers: workload (too much to do in too little time); financial pressure; the weather; and unreasonable personal expectations and goals. These factors are also present in South Africa, where additional stressors include a largely hostile government, the ever present threat of farm attacks, and the drought - the true effects of which will only be visible in coming months. All this is enough to give anyone stress. Now add the fact that farmers are price-takers both on the input and output side, and that they do not get a fair share of the consumer's rand.
Author Peter O'halloranSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
A taxpayer has 30 days to object to a SARS ruling; this can be extended by another 30 if written reasons for the ruling are requested. However, the playing field is far from level, as the taxpayer found out in ABC (Pty) Ltd v CSARS (0038/2015), heard before the Tax Court of South Gauteng, Johannesburg. The dispute involved about two million rand. The taxpayer's objection was late by 65 days and the court held that no "exceptional circumstances" had been proved in order to justify the tardy response. Thus the objection was not heard and the assessment was confirmed.
Author Jacqui TaylorSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
If you are considering an agritourism business on your farm, you should ideally treat it as a separate strategic business unit (SBU). This will allow you to derive the long-term benefits associated with a separate profit centre as part of a larger business entity. A portion of the income could be derived from charging an admission fee to an event such as a festival, a tasting, a petting zoo or similar. A portion of these fees could go towards funding a farm créche, or visitors could make donations if a business entity is registered as a non-governmental organisation or non-profit organisation. Apart from helping to fund these worthy causes, these donations have good marketing value, boosting the image of your establishment.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 34 –36 (2016)More Less
It is not uncommon for farmers to find themselves in financial distress at some point in their careers. Drought is not uncommon either, and the effect of this year's drought will be felt throughout the South African economy. It is expected that the number of companies filing for bankruptcy during the first quarter of this year will increase by 53% from 119 to 182, with most of these being in the agricultural sector.The question now is this: what should you do in such a situation to see your business through this difficult time? Should you let your business go bankrupt or are there other remedies?
Author Jay FerreiraSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 42 –44 (2016)More Less
Miki and Cathy Clark spent two years exploring the Western Cape in search of the right farm to buy. When they came across Weskuskraal, situated about 8km from Yzerfontein on the West Coast, they knew they had found it. Although the tunnels were derelict, the buildings were sound, the infrastructure was comprehensive, and the couple saw great potential. Miki contacted the owner and they rented the farm for three years, purchasing it two years ago. Weskuskraal is a 10ha property in the Jacobskraal Nature Reserve, and only 25% of the land may be farmed. Miki farms 1,2ha and has the equivalent of 36 standardsized tunnels in which he grows herbs and salad leaves. Each tunnel houses 60 000 plants, totalling over 2,1 million plants. Miki manages the running of the farm, while Cathy is in charge of sales and marketing.
Author Mike BurgessSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 50 –52 (2016)More Less
"I'm learning something every day," says Zandile Cewu (42) about her relatively short career as a livestock farmer. "It's hard work, but I always look forward to it." In 2012, Zandile's perceptions of agriculture were transformed when she was forced to swap city life for her family's farms, Brooklyn and Moberly, near Indwe. "Farming is a long-term investment," she says. "You need to be patient."
Author Lloyd PhillipsSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 54 –56 (2016)More Less
As its name describes, no-till requires minimum soil disturbance. In no-till commercial cropping enterprises, a specialised planter is used to cut and open shallow and narrow slots in the soil surface. The planter then drops seed and fertiliser into these slots before covering them with soil and plant matter. At the opposite end of the spectrumis conventional tillage, which typically uses a mouldboard plough to invert cropping soil. A disc is then used to break up the resulting clods into a fine tilth into which seeds are planted. Another important principle of no-till is ensuring that abundant - at least 30% after planting - and permanent plant residues cover the soil surface. A commercial maize crop produces large quantities of organic residue to cover the soil surface and to build soil organic matter. Soya bean, by contrast, while a useful crop due to its protein values, oil content and nitrogen-fixing abilities, produces very little residue that can benefit soil health. "Crop rotation is therefore an integral part of no-till," explains Guy Thibaud, soil scientist with the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. "Using an economically viable and diversified crop rotation in a no-till cropping system mitigates possible weed, disease and pest problems. It also enhances microbial biodiversity in the soil. And utilising legumes in a crop rotation results in beneficial biological nitrogen fixation from the atmosphere into the soil. Crop rotation also spreads risk for the farming business."
Author Bill KerrSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
To produce optimal results, seedlings must be in good condition when planted, and thereafter cared for properly until they are established. Unfortunately, many farmers do not fully understand what is required in either case. A large seedling grower I visited in Florida in the US produced seedlings according to the specific requirements of individual farmers. These farmers knew exactly what type of seedling would produce the best results for them. The lesson is clear: establish a good relationship with your seedling producer, and communicate openly and frequently with him. I've known farmers who have started buying from another grower while their first supplier remained blissfully unaware of their client's increasing dissatisfaction with the products.