Different classes of pigs have special management requirements in order for them to obtain the best possible health and performance. In this, part 10 of our series, we concentrate on the introduction of gilts.
For every 100 cattle in South Africa, at least one could be a carrier of BVD (bovine viral diarrhoea). Such a "persistently infected" (PI) animal can shed several billion virus particles a day, serving as a reservoir of BVD in a herd. The frustrating thing is that beef farmers won't be able to pick out the PI-animal just by looking at her - laboratory tests are indeed necessary to make a positive diagnosis of BVD.
South Africa has a unique system of commission markets with financial security for farmers. In terms of the Agricultural Produce Agents Act (No 12 of 1992) as amended in 2003, the Minister of Agriculture is required to establish an Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) to administer the Act on behalf of the Minister.
"Black economic empowerment can only be successful when the proposed initiative makes financial sense," says Charles Rossouw, an established Groblersdal citrus and grape farmer. Charles was one of the first commercial farmers in his area to develop a project in conjunction with his employees.
In many areas of the world, and especially in Africa, water is the biggest limiting factor in agricultural production. For this reason, growers eagerly anticipate drought-tolerant crops. These crops will remove some of the uncertainty of farming, by reducing some drought-induced yield losses in years when moisture is limited. The result will be greater yield consistency with a higher average yield under water-deficit conditions.