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Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 11 June 2021

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
CTP Limited
R 21,50
R 698,75
50 Issues

in this issue

8 min
macadamias: switching to machine harvesting

Braam de Kock’s farm on the outskirts of Mbombela, Mpumalanga, is without the usual flurry of activity that is typical of a macadamia nut farm in May. Instead, plumes of dust collect above single rows as the mechanised harvest gets under way. During the harvest season that takes place between March and August each year, many farmers are faced with sourcing and managing hundreds of casual labourers to collect nuts off the orchard floor. For De Kock, this meant 100 workers for his 200ha farm. “The plan was always to mechanise as much as possible. As the macadamia trees matured, our yields increased, which meant we were employing more and more people each year. “I prefer the workers to live on the farm, but I couldn’t accommodate all the people who were needed…

4 min
maize price expected to ease, while wheat price firms

Low stock levels, combined with weather-related concerns, resulted in global agricultural commodity prices rallying from mid-April to mid-May. On 12 May, the US Department of Agriculture released the much-anticipated World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, which forecast favourable production and consumption of grains and oilseeds over the coming season. This will ultimately result in increased global stock levels, although this growth will be marginal for some commodities, such as wheat. MAIZE From mid-April to mid-May, local yellow and white maize prices increased 3,1% and 2,7% respectively. However, the intra-month movements of the spot price of yellow maize on the South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX) were more dramatic, with the price reaching a high of R3 757/t on 7 May. This was driven by surges in global prices as a result of…

1 min
barley: good to eat, great for your body

Winter is the time that many of us prepare delicious, hearty stews and soups to tuck into on cold evenings. And an ingredient that is often included in meals like these is barley, as it provides fat-free bulk, good taste, and a satisfying, chewy texture. The good news is that this grain is also remarkably healthy. While not regarded as a superfood, it is a rich source of several key nutrients. Firstly, it is high in tocotrienols, an even more potent form of vitamin E than tocopherol, the ‘regular’ vitamin E. Tocotrienols help protect the heart by neutralising free radicals, unstable atoms that are a byproduct of the body’s normal chemical reactions. Free radicals are associated with the build-up of oxidised low-density lipoprotein (‘bad’) cholesterol on artery walls, which can increase the…

2 min
crossword 413

ACROSS 1. Falling in ruins (8) 5. Any of various strong alcoholic drinks, often fruit-flavoured (8) 10. Microscopic organism, especially a bacterium (7) 12. Of a species, no longer existing (7) 13. Trim by lopping off superfluous parts (5) 14. Underground plant stem that sends out roots and shoots (7) 15. Medium to large coastal bird with grey, black and white plumage (7) 16. Aromatic or pungent vegetable substance used as a condiment or for seasoning (5) 19. To place at a new location (6) 22. Having less fat (6) 24. ______ camara is a poisonous plant invading veld and plantations, replacing indigenous species (7) 25. Stem of a small palm or one of the larger grasses (4) 26. Species of black crow nesting in treetop colonies (4) 28. Covering (7) 30. Small arthropod with six legs and sometimes wings (6) 33. Bodily or mental exertion…

3 min
symptoms and treatment of eev

In Gauteng, the African horse sickness (AHS) season started only in February this year and several cases appeared to show atypical signs, with blood samples from horses suspected of having AHS actually positive for equine encephalosis virus (EEV). AHS is usually characterised by rapid respiration, but a high fever only tends to be present when the horse is suffering from biliary or infected with EEV. In cases where horses tested positive for EEV, they had a high rectal temperature. Like AHS, EEV is an orbivirus transmitted by biting midges (Culicoides spp). However, EEV does not have as high a mortality rate as AHS. Despite this, EEV did result in some horse deaths during the AHS outbreak this year. Research has shown that EEV occurs in horses, zebras and donkeys in South Africa. Unlike…

3 min
cost-effective irrigation

All too often, I come across farmers who do not irrigate practically or economically. Applying too much water ends up wasting money, while watering too little can stress the plants. Many farmers use a weekly irrigation schedule: that is, watering once a week for a set amount of hours. But they do this without determining how much water the crops actually need. To begin with, you need to know how much water is delivered per hour through the irrigation system. The next step is to determine how deeply the water penetrates the soil. The rule of thumb is that 1mm of irrigation wets 1cm of soil. So, for example, 25mm of irrigation will wet the soil 25cm deep. But keep in mind that this is a very rough guide. The soil moisture content…