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Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 09 October 2020

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Farmer’s Weekly is an agricultural magazine based in South Africa, targeting the whole of Southern Africa. The magazine is committed to advancing the interests of the region’s farmers and its agricultural industry by serving as a mouthpiece for the industry and by keeping its readers informed of the latest developments in the agricultural sector.

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South Africa
Caxton Magazines
50 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
stock thieves are terrorising rural sa

Stock theft is not a new problem in South Africa. In fact, for many years now, farmers’ organisations have been actively lobbying for more support from the South African Police Service (SAPS) to help bring under control this criminal practice that costs livestock producers more than R1 billion a year. While the problem is not new, it does seem to have got worse over the past few years. A survey published by Agri SA in 2018 showed that stock theft increased 130% between 2002 and 2017. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the economic misery facing many South Africans has contributed to an increase in casual stock theft by those who steal to feed themselves and their families. At the same time, criminals have become more organised and many farmers now report…

7 min.
feeding africa’s fast-growing cities

“Demographic projections have forecast that in the coming decades, Africa’s rate of urbanisation will be the highest in the world. According to some models, the majority of the continent’s population will be urbanised by the mid-2030s at the latest. As a result, Africa’s cities and food markets offer the largest and fastest-growing market opportunity available to the continent’s 60 million farms. Parallel increases in per capita income, fuelled by an emerging middle class, are triggering dietary changes. By 2010, the African Development Bank (AfDB) estimated that the continent’s middle class accounted for over one-third of its total population. Growing per capita income leads to pronounced dietary changes, including diversification from starchy staples to higher-value perishable products such as dairy, meat and horticulture, as well as growing demand for prepared and processed…

2 min.
farmer’s diary

CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 29 OCTOBER AgriAllAfrica Agribusiness Conference, CSIR, Pretoria. Email Marianna du Plessis at marianna.duplessis@gmail.com, or phone her on 063 076 9135. 6 TO 7 NOVEMBER Environmental Waste and Landfill Management, Emperors Palace, Johannesburg.Email admin@maphosam.co.za. COURSES & TRAINING 5 TO 9 OCTOBER Beef Cattle Management, Agricultural Research Council, Irene Campus, Pretoria. Email Mpho Makhanya at makhanyam@arc.agric.za, or phone her on 012 672 9153. 5 TO 9 OCTOBER Tractor Operation and Maintenance, Buhle Farmers’ Academy, Delmas Campus.Email info@buhle.org.za. 8 TO 9 OCTOBER Cattle Nutrition Management, George. Visit rltsafrica.com/ product/nutrition-management. 12 TO 16 OCTOBER Veld Management, Modimolle. Email Frits van Oudtshoorn at courses@alut.co.za, or phone him on 078 228 0008. 16 OCTOBER Cattle Dairy Farming Management and Production, George. Visit rltsafrica.com/ product/dairy-farming. 19 TO 23 OCTOBER Meat Processing, Agricultural Research Council Irene Campus, Pretoria. Email Mpho Makhanya at makhanyam@arc.agric.za, or phone her on 012 672 9153. 20 TO…

3 min.
better soil drainage

47 YEARS AGO In South Africa, a water-scarce country, farmers have to use water with the utmost care. By improving soil drainage, they can save water and ensure better yields. Many crops can be made more profitable with better soil drainage. Many say our problem is too little (not too much) water, but civilisations have died and lands have been abandoned because drainage was inadequate. A drive by the South African Experiment Station to raise average yields and net income of sugar cane growers by implementing better field drainage can teach other farmers valuable lessons. Colin Whitehead, chief extension office at the station, says that many are unaware of the damage caused by poor drainage. “Think of the patches where germination was bad and where growth is poor. In many crops there are yellowish patches.…

2 min.
looking for elephant lice

Because they are so tiny, it is not easy to spot lice on an elephant. Collecting them is even more difficult. That is why Prof Sonja Matthee, a parasite ecologist in the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology at Stellenbosch University (SU), is asking veterinarians and people involved in the game industry to help with her research project by collecting elephant lice. Matthee says elephant lice (Haematomyzus elephantis) are generally smaller than 1cm, and dark in colour. Typically, they are found between the hairs on an elephant’s trunk, tail, lower body or around the eyes. They are therefore quite difficult to spot at first glance. “The easiest way is to be on the lookout for lice eggs, which tend to stick like fine water droplets to the hair on an elephant’s body,”…

1 min.
rabies: spreading awareness

World Rabies Day was held on 28 September. This is an international awareness campaign, coordinated by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, and aims to inform and advise at-risk communities about the danger of rabies and the importance of vaccination. The theme for this year was ‘End rabies: collaborate, vaccinate’. In South Africa, an average of 13 human cases of rabies have been reported on an annual basis for the past 10 years. Rabies is a viral disease and has a mortality rate nearing 100%. There is no cure, but prophylactic and post-exposure vaccination has proven highly effective. In order to stop the spread of rabies in South Africa, government requires that all cat and dog owners have their animals vaccinated against rabies once a year. People are also advised not to pet…