With the grain planting season on hand, farmers have to be aware of the imminent threat posed by gerbils to newly planted crops. Gerbils are a menace to grain farmers and may cause serious crop damage by digging up planted seed or eating germinating seed. It is still early days and if a properly structured…

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sustainable livestock production

“New research advocates use of pastures with shrubs and trees as it is more sustainable, improving animal welfare and increasing biodiversity.” Consumers are increasingly demanding higher standards for how their meat is sourced, with animal welfare and the impact on the environment factoring in many purchases. Unfortunately, many widely-used livestock production methods are currently unsustainable.…

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Dairy cows

Milk production systems in the Western Cape Province vary from fully or partially pasture-based to zero-grazing total mixed ration (TMR) systems. The rainfall in many parts of the province is low and erratic. This results in cultivated pastures having to be irrigated, especially during summer. Dairy farms with limited access to water sources for irrigation…

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Food safety

Efforts to support food safety in South Africa received a significant boost when Stellenbosch University (SU), in conjunction with Tiger Brands, launched the on-campus Centre for Food Safety (CFS) recently. This new centre, the first of its kind in the country, will be a unique applied food science research consortium comprised of scientists working at…

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Theewaterskloof dam drought

More heatwaves and very hot days, bringing further drought to southern and North Africa. Crop yield and livestock production hammered. That’s the grim outlook sketched by a monumental new assessment by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warns that the planet has just 12 years to reverse global warming. If global temperatures…

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Climate change

Droogte en ‘n toename in waterrisiko’s is die nuwe werklikheid vir Afrika. Talle produsente en rolspelers in die landbousektor het reeds hierby begin aanpas en beraam planne om vooruit te boer. Meer vernuwing is egter nodig om veerkragtigheid in die landbousektor te vestig, veral gegewe snelle verstedeliking. Dit moet geskied op ‘n manier wat plaaslike…

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Spekboom in bloom

Portulacaria afra (known as elephant bush, dwarf jade plant, porkbush, spekboom in Afrikaans iNtelezi in Zulu and iGqwanitsha in Xhosa) is a small-leaved succulent plant found in South Africa. The name Portulacaria is composed of Portulaca + aria suggesting a similarity to the genus Portulaca. The word afra is in reference to the fact that…

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Conservation Agriculture and soil fertility management Livestock

Theoretical principles and practices In South Africa, crop production systems based on intensive and continuous soil tillage have led to excessively high soil degradation rates with a reduction in natural soil fertility in areas under grain production. It also results in the consistent recommendation of the use of huge quantities of chemical fertilizers that are…

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Nanobubbles

The metabolic rates of fish can be severely affected by the concentration of oxygen in a rearing environment. Suppressed dissolved oxygen levels leads to decreased respiration and feeding activity that slows fish growth rates. It can also lead to disease and fungal infections. If correctly applied, oxygen supplementation ensures that fish and seafood farmers can…

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