Farmer’s Weekly - Volume 2016, Issue 16024, 2016
Volume 2016, Issue 16024, 2016
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
As if the devastating effects of the drought on the livelihoods of farmers and food security were not enough, we have now learnt that they may also result in food safety concerns. Increased climate variability causes crops such as wheat and maize to generate more toxins to protect themselves from extreme weather. These chemical compounds can cause health problems in animals and humans, according to a new research report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which focuses on emerging issues of environmental concern.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 6 –7 (2016)More Less
Over the past four years, a prolonged commodity price slump, structurally lower growth in China, and a lethargic European economy have joined forces to lower the GDP growth trajectory in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Recently, the prospect of a stricter monetary policy in the US has also served to subdue global growth prospects, although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects global growth to rise marginally to 3,2% in 2016 (up from an estimated 3,1% in 2015). The latest IMF global growth forecasts paint a gloomy picture for SSA in 2016, with only 3% GDP growth expected, but a substantial recovery is expected next year. The IMF expects real economic growth for SSA to return to the 5% level in 2018.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 15 –22 (2016)More Less
Zulu king's title deeds goodwill gesture widely welcomed
EU agreement to boost SA wine exports
Lion numbers up in SA and neighbouring countries
Livestock diseases of concern to Western Cape RPO
Angola can become a major banana producer and exporter
Pork production in Britain under pressure
Salmonella time bomb in rural abattoirs - ARC
Swine fever outbreaks
First-quarter agribusiness confidence at all-time low
Israeli technology could help SA's water woes
Drip irrigation can help better water-use efficiency
Figures show agriculture still in recession
OBP 'putting the SA national livestock herd at risk'
Land reform: 'Good intentions with poor results'
The Agbiz Student Case Competition
Entrepreneur opens animal health shop in rural Eastern Cape
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
The recent opening of an animal health products retail store in rural Eastern Cape is set to benefit local communal livestock farmers. The store, Simthu, situated in the small town of Tsomo in the Intsika Yethu Local Municipality, supplies primary animal healthcare products. These are a basic need for subsistence farmers in the livestock dependent communities.
Author Alita Van der WaltSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 28 –29 (2016)More Less
At R50/kg, one would think more South African farmers would be producing dragon fruit. However, although local conditions are ideal for growing this cactus plant, to date plant material has been scarce in South Africa and the number of available cultivars limited. Moreover, these cultivars have not been well-received by consumers due to their bland taste. Now new, sweeter cultivars are being made available under licence to growers by Amorentia Nursery based in Tzaneen, Limpopo. Owner Howard Blight says that he bought the plant material for 14 dragon fruit varieties from a well-known plant collector, Keith Wilson, who imported it from the US. Howard has registered these varieties under the Amorentia Sweet Dragon Fruit trademark.
Author Koos CoetzeeSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
On 11 January, the rand reached an all-time low of R16,88 to the US dollar. At the time of writing, the value had improved slightly to between R14,50 and R15,50. Economists are divided on the future value of the rand. The group that takes part in the Economist of the Year competition estimates a value of between R13,95 and R20 to the dollar for the last quarter of 2016, with a consensus estimate of R15,90. If you ignore the extreme spikes caused by global crises, the long-term trend shows that the rand devalues by about 8% per year. Why is the rand weak? The price of a currency is determined by supply and demand. As the price is expressed in terms of another currency, the supply and demand of that other currency also influences the price.
Author Nicol Du ToitSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
Due to increasing energy costs, solar water heating is becoming increasingly popular. In a residential setting, solar water heaters are typically capable of saving 200kWh/month. A solar water heater requires a capital investment of at least R14 000. The type of solar heater best suited for your purpose is determined by several factors: available solar radiation (lower radiation areas will require larger solar collectors); differences between day and night temperatures; the amount of water you need to heat; and the possibility of frost or freezing.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 38 –39 (2016)More Less
Chicken welfare in South Africa is a hotly debated issue amongst consumers, animal rights organisations and farmers. Dr Charlotte Nkuna, a South African Poultry Association senior executive, spoke to Wilma den Hartigh about chicken welfare requirements and the cost implications of compliance.
Author Gerhard UysSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 44 –46 (2016)More Less
Johan Dannhauser and his family of Goedgedacht farm near Parys in the Free State run a 4 000-commercial cow herd, a Simmentaler and Africa Drought master stud consisting of 200 animals, and a feedlot finishing 2 500 calves for slaughter in two cycles per year. The Dannhausers have farmed the 10 000ha farm since 1882. Between 1950 and 2005, the family focused on grain, but in 2005 they began converting their lands to pasture for cattle.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2016, pp 52 –54 (2016)More Less
The conditions under which chickens are housed - including heating, ventilation, air quality, water availability and feed - have a direct impact on the profitability of a poultry farming business. Sonét Roux, technical advisor at Country Bird Holdings, says that managing broiler chickens can be challenging for producers, especially in winter, as they have to find a balance between heating the air inside the house and ventilating for desirable air quality. However, it is not only in winter that ventilation and heating are important. Farmers have to monitor them throughout the year to ensure that the birds are always comfortable.
Author Bill KerrSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
Some farmers think that seedlings should not be kept too long because they will not be as productive. They are partly right, but age matters less than physiological development. I learnt about the distinction between age and development in the days before cavity seedlings. We made seedbeds in the soil instead, and when pulling the plants for transplanting, we would occasionally find smaller plants. Their growth had been suppressed by competition from larger, stronger plants. If we ran out of 'good' seedlings, we would later return reluctantly to the seedbeds and the pale, undernourished plants left behind. We did not know it at the time, but these plants were in limbo as they were not being fertilised or looked after any more. However, to our surprise they would end up performing just as well as the others.
Author Mike CordesSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2016 (2016)More Less
At a recent Potatoes South Africa (PSA) information day, I learnt a number of facts about our favourite vegetable (and the biggest-selling crop on our fresh produce markets). Consider the following, gleaned from the PSA booklet 'The South African Potato Industry in Perspective' : Africa grows 1,9 million hectares of potatoes. South Africa's contribution is less than 50 000ha, or 3% of that. But our average yield of 44t/ha far outstrips the continent's average of 15t/ha. This tells us something about the prowess of our potato farmers.