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Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 16 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

2 min.
covid-19 erases hard-won job gains

The positive growth trend in agricultural GDP so far this year has failed to translate into an increase in employment in the agriculture sector. According to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), 2,2 million jobs were lost in South Africa in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020. About 66 000 jobs were lost in the agriculture sector during this quarter. Looking at employment statistics from Stats SA from 2008, Q2 employment numbers in the agriculture sector dropped from about 790 000 in 2008 to a low of about 600 000 in 2011. It then gradually increased again to a high of just under 870 000 in 2015, after which it remained roughly in the 830 000 to 840 000 bracket until this year when it dropped…

6 min.
mohair sa’s sustainability journey is not yet over

“ The mohair industry has been vilified in recent years with negative publicity from animal rights groups. In addition, it has faced pressure from the world’s most influential fashion and homewear brands to formalise an industry-wide code of good practice to govern the treatment of animals on farms. Together, these pressures posed a severe threat to South Africa’s mohair industry. On the line was the unimaginable collapse of an entire industry, the casualties of which would be the 30 000 dependents whose livelihoods rely on it, as well as 900 000 Angora goats. Despite this weighing heavily on our shoulders, those dedicated to the industry chose to view the glass as half full. For every negative sentiment, there was a counter: a person, a team, an organisation, and an industry that chose…

3 min.
farmer’s diary

Plant production 26 TO 28 OCTOBER THIS COURSE INCLUDES BASIC INFORMATION ON PLANT PRODUCTION FOR EASY AND PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION. SOME OF THE TOPICS COVERED ARE SOIL HEALTH, PLANT PROPAGATION AND PEST CONTROL. CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 6 TO 7 NOVEMBER Environmental Waste and Landfill Management, Emperors Palace, Johannesburg.Email admin@maphosam.co.za. 26 TO 27 NOVEMBER Emerging Farmers and Agroprocessing Conference, Protea Hotel Fire and Ice, Menlyn, Pretoria. Email Lindokuhle Nxumalo at lindo@empiretraining.co.za. COURSES & TRAINING 12 TO 16 OCTOBER Veld Management, Modimolle. Email Frits van Oudtshoorn at courses@alut.co.za, or phone him on 078 228 0008. 13 TO 15 OCTOBER Artificial Insemination, Agricultural Research Council Irene Campus, Pretoria. Email Mpho Makhanya at makhanyam@arc.agric.za, or phone her on 012 672 9153. 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,…

3 min.
rootrot mastered at last

44 YEARS AGO This article reported on a new development in the control of rootrot fungus (Phytophthora cinnamomi) in avocado trees, and claimed that this new chemical would see South African growers saving millions. “We are a year ahead of the rest of the world in the use of chemicals to control rootrot. It is the most significant development in the history of avocado growing in South Africa,” says FJ Lourens, manager of Westfalia Estates, one of the biggest avocado estates in South Africa. Many farmers have been put out of business because of Phytophthora and others have suffered severe cutbacks in yield. Yield is affected not only because the tree is ailing, but also because its economic life is shortened, making it necessary for trees to be replaced. The present economic life…

2 min.
how much do you know about cattle?

Cattle are a mainstay of agricultural production, and there are an estimated 983 million head of cattle on the planet, according to statista.com. HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT BOVINES THAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW 1. Cows kill more people each year than sharks. According to the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine (2012), cows killed an average of 22 people every year, while sharks killed only around six. 2. Cow tipping is a myth. This is because of the sheer size of the animal. Moreover, as prey animals, cows are often alert, even when ‘asleep’. 3. Cows are ruminants, but this does not mean that they have four stomachs, as popularly believed. Indeed, they have only one stomach, made up of four pouches, namely the reticulum, rumen, omasum and abomasum. Once chewed, food enters…

3 min.
public-private sector co-operation saves the day

As South Africa moved to Level 1 of the national lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which signified a return to normalcy, there were several emerging sentiments that defined the national mood. For most, coming out of one of the hardest, and arguably strictest lockdowns in Africa, came as a relief, with renewed hope for restoring livelihoods and incomes. For others, the shift to Level 1 came with cautious optimism, with the understanding that markets might not return to pre-pandemic levels, but rather, a new sub-optimum that is underpinned by a deep and historic recession. Fears of a second wave are also keeping the national mood somewhat subdued. MIXED FORTUNES The agricultural economy emerged from the pandemic as the lone sector to experience positive growth, although it was not nearly enough to move…