Farmer’s Weekly - latest Issue
Volume 2017, Issue 17011, 2017
Author Denene ErasmusSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 4 –4 (2017)More Less
Every time I hear the news of another farm attack, I immediately stop and phone my parents to reassure myself that they are safe. But I worry all the time. It really doesn’t matter what the statistics say; whether farm attacks have increased or decreased by 5% here or 13% there is immaterial. The fact of the matter is that our farming communities live in constant fear. As a person living on a farm, you never know if you might be next. Or maybe, hopefully, the terror will never befall you. You just don’t know. How can we expect the people who produce our food to continue working under such conditions? It might be true that the crime rate in certain urban areas is higher than in rural, farming areas. But I know that those people living on farms feel extremely vulnerable, because help is often very far away.
Author André MentzSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 6 –7 (2017)More Less
Beef cattle production can be defined as a chain of three manageable processes: resource conversion, product conversion and money conversion. Resource conversion involves the transformation of sunlight into animal fodder through effective veld and grazing management practices. Product transformation is the change of animal fodder into red meat by means of effective and sustainable production systems. And the conversion of money is the transformation of red meat into red meat products, paid for at the end of the process by the consumer. Although seemingly straightforward, the modern cattle production industry finds this difficult to grasp.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 13 –23 (2017)More Less
Agriculture should be back on track – for now
Political failures play the race card
Wool supplies running low
Mohair holds firm despite stronger currency
Forestry experts host 2017 annual research meeting
Crowded table grape market pushes down prices
Onion prices increase
Alaska amends laws to launch hemp industry
Ambrosia beetle control
Economic strife ‘worsening conditions’ for fruit traders in Russia
Uncertainty around South African citrus exports to the US
SA scientists develop honey purity test
Supreme Court of Appeals awards land claimant R15 million
Biosecurity essential to prevent grain disease and pest threats
Crop Estimates Committee forecasts greater maize harvest
Low maize price mitigation plan for SA
Don’t just throw money at any black farmer – Mahanjana
Trade in donkey products remains controversial
New report on poverty reduction in Africa
Author Gert VenterSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 22 –24 (2017)More Less
Author Wessel LemmerSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 26 –27 (2017)More Less
Producers of summer crops will face a range of challenges during the 2017/2018 season, which could have a significant impact on returns. Some of the more important issues to consider in the marketing of summer crops include macro-economic factors such as business confidence, a possible Cabinet reshuffle, a sovereign credit downgrade, and low global commodity price levels.
Author Peter HughesSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 28 –28 (2017)More Less
Author Nicholas JamesSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 30 –30 (2017)More Less
Some weeks ago, a photograph was circulated of a red tilapia caught by a rural fisherman some distance above the Victoria Falls. Those who received the picture were asked to identify the species and possible origin. The fish looked typical of a red Mozambique tilapia, and, since I am familiar with that area’s aquaculture, I believe that it had been used by an angler as live bait for tigerfish. This is a common, although undesirable, practice; cheap, orange-coloured fish, often goldfish or tilapia, are favoured. The chances of red fish surviving the Zambezi ecosystem are negligible, but as this example showed, not impossible. However, it takes more than one such survivor to contaminate a species.
Author Dawie MareeSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 32 –33 (2017)More Less
The recent drought has once again brought home the reality that South Africans live and farm in one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. This fact is confirmed by the high-stress water score that the World Resources Institute gives South Africa (see Figure 1). The increasing pressure on local water resources is due mainly to a growing population, ongoing development, pollution (such as acid mine drainage), destruction of wetlands, and volatile and changing climate patterns. On numerous occasions, the agricultural sector has been blamed for being one of the main culprits of excessive water use. Globally, agriculture uses about 70% of freshwater resources; in South Africa, the sector accounts for about 60%.
Author Gerhard UysSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 42 –44 (2017)More Less
Whereas South Africa’s crop farmers are among the most efficient in the world, there is certainly room for improvement in beef production. And at the heart of this lies better record-keeping. This is according to stud breeder Derick le Roux (25), who, with his father, Carl, owns Xourel Limousins near Lichtenburg in North West, the country’s only 5-Star Breedplan Completeness of Performance Data stud.
Author Karl van RensburgSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 46 –48 (2017)More Less
As reported in the previous issue, farmers in the Olifants River Valley have been forced to seek alternative means of generating income due to wine grape prices remaining fairly static over the past 12 years. Karl van Rensburg of the farm Laborare, near Trawal, has begun experimenting with peach production on a small scale, but says it is still too early to talk about his findings. However, if all goes well, fruit from these orchards will be the earliest variety to be ready for the Western Cape market, possibly in October.
Author Bill KerrSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 52 –52 (2017)More Less
When a farmer says he has 20 years’ experience, it could mean that he has simply been doing the same thing for 20 years without ever trying anything new! In my experience, the most successful farmers are those who regularly conduct trials in an effort to lower costs and raise production. Consider varieties, for example. Breeders worldwide constantly develop new cultivars that deliver better yields or have other benefits such as disease resistance. To not use these is foolish; you will invariably make more money for the same input costs. Spend time studying every aspect of your production to see if it can be improved. This has the added benefit of making farming far more interesting and exciting. Years ago, I had to produce maize, as well as vegetables, for a company. At the time, just about everyone was planting the same varieties of white and yellow cultivars in the Mbombela region. Out of curiosity, I obtained samples of other varieties from some of the major seed producers.
Author Michael CordesSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 53 –53 (2017)More Less
I often extol the benefits of the commission market system as the provider of realistic prices for fresh produce. Some people disagree with the system, however, maintaining that they can determine their own prices. This is well and good, provided they know their true costs and what margins they require. This, however, is rarely the case.
Author Joe SpencerSource: Farmer’s Weekly 2017, pp 54 –55 (2017)More Less
To date, parts of the farming process have been automated. Now, however, a trial at the Harper Adams University in Shropshire in the UK aims to prove the viability of a complete automated system. Researchers will attempt to farm 1ha of grain crop, from establishment to harvest, without any person setting foot on the land. “We believe there’s now no technological barrier to automated field agriculture,” says Kit Franklin, an agricultural engineering lecturer at Harper Adams. “This project gives us the opportunity to prove this and change current public perception.”