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Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 18 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

3 min
how composting works

The key to effective composting is creating an ideal environment for micro-organisms to thrive: warm temperatures, nutrients, moisture and plenty of oxygen. There are three main stages in the composting cycle. The first stage typically lasts only a couple of days. During this time, mesophilic micro-organisms (those that thrive in temperatures of 20°C to 45°C) begin breaking down the biodegradable compounds. Heat is a natural by-product of this initial process, and the temperature rises quickly to more than 40°C. Mesophilic micro-organisms are replaced by thermophilic microorganisms, which thrive in higher temperatures and break down the organic materials. (Higher temperatures are more conducive to breaking down proteins, fats and complex carbohydrates.) The temperature continues to rise and, if not closely watched, the compost pile can grow hot enough to eventually kill off the beneficial…

4 min
living the organic farming fantasy in the western cape winelands

The farm-to-table aspirations of ‘locavores’ the world over becomes a reality at Eikelaan Farm Cottages, situated just a few minutes outside the charming and historic town of Tulbagh in the Western Cape. The three cottages, namely Witzenberg, Obiqua and Winterhoek, sit neatly around a beautifully planted garden, rich in trees and birdlife. To keep guests busy and entertained, within 100m of the dwellings is an enclosed pool area complete with loungers, a large covered entertainment area, a shared braai facility, and a table tennis table. The cottages also have shared access to a children’s play area with a jungle gym and swings. Sheep, rabbits and free-range chickens complete the property’s ‘farmyard feel’. GUESTS CAN ROAM THE WORKING FARM AND PICK THEIR OWN ORGANIC VEGETABLES EAT FRESH FROM THE FARM Eikelaan is famous for the…

3 min
is anyone paying attention to the drought in the eastern cape?

Despite many regions in the Eastern Cape being severely drought-stricken, government has, to date, not declared any part of the province a drought disaster area. In fact, no one from government seems to be discussing the matter openly. DRY CROPLANDS AND DESPERATE FARMERS While long-awaited rain has resulted in floods in parts of the Western Cape in recent times, drought conditions persist across large parts of the Eastern Cape. Some of these locations have not seen rain for six years, a situation that has affected many hectares of cropland and thousands of animals, creating terrible conditions for numerous farmers. That said, it has been refreshing to see winter storms in places such as Ladismith and Calitzdorp, where drought has become the norm, as well as welcome rain in Oudtshoorn and De Rust, although…

6 min
groote post: channelling a crisis into an opportunity

According to Nick Pentz, owner of Groote Post, the business lost three months of sales to the public, retailers and restaurants. While grateful that exports could continue soon after the initial ban, the business was under no illusion that exports alone would ensure its sustainability. He points out that Groote Post’s overseas markets were also severely affected by COVID-19 and orders were therefore much smaller than usual. The situation forced Groote Post to quickly devise plans to keep the effects of the ban to a minimum for the farm and its 70 employees. “COVID-19 limited us, but it also forced us to be creative to overcome these limitations. We had to look at ways of turning this threat into an opportunity, and how we can operate in this new normal,” says Peter…

7 min
the basics of bull management

A high conception rate should be the most important consideration in any herd management system, which is why bull selection is so important. The right bull is the one with the genetic abilities to produce good-quality calves. Such a bull forms the genetic and economic foundation of a sustainable cattle concern. “It’s illogical to use just any old bull, as the bull is the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg,” says Rick Dell, who runs the R2K Simbra stud near Ficksburg in the eastern Free State with his wife, Riëtte. Dell stresses the importance of breeding seasons in cattle management. Removing bulls from the cow herd once the breeding season has concluded creates an opportunity for producers to test the bulls’ fertility and test for sexually transmitted diseases. This also opens…

3 min
farms sold

Free State BLOEMFONTEIN • Palomar (903ha) sold by JWHJ Pretorius to CMC Trust for R5 million. • Driehoek (5,5ha) sold by Trollip Partners to Greyling Partners for R1,5 million. • Van Zyl’s Dam (515ha) sold by Hong Kuo-Tsai to Pro Brick for R1,5 million. BOSHOF • Karreekloof (597ha) and Goudkop (771ha) sold by Kobus van der Watt to Damspruit Boerdery for R14 million. BRANDFORT • Middelbult (202ha) sold by T&R Livestock to Van Der Mescht Family Trust for R1 million. • Welgegund (294ha) and Avondzon (544ha) sold by Chri-Sam-Drew Trust to Thaba Property Trust for R4 million. FAURESMITH • Hondelaagte (985ha) sold by Jacobus Bester to Doorenkuilen Boerdery Trust for R14 million. Gauteng PRETORIA • Grootfontein (2ha) sold by Vermaak Partners to Fourie Partners for R3 million. • Elandsfontein (1,4ha) sold by Motorcall Auto to Elias de Kock for R1 million. • Rooikopjes (1,1ha) sold by…