Agriculture transformation

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the risks of unhealthy diets and the extreme fragility of the global food system. It disproportionately affects people who are overweight, diabetic, or suffer from cardiovascular disease – all of which are linked to poor diets. The economic reconstruction that will follow the pandemic is an opportunity to provide better…

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Container management

Plastic polymers such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are extremely valuable as packaging materials for a wide range of commodities because they are light (in mass), extraordinarily strong, durable (do not perish like steel), and can withstand a lot of punishment. It is unfortunately these attributes that are of concern because plastics like HDPE that become…

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Agro-processing

The article intends to highlight the many opportunities within the agro-processing industry for agricultural engineers to assist small and medium scale agro-processing entrepreneurs with entering the agro-processing industry. The availability of information and training remain key factors, as well as identifying actual useful equipment requirements by both these sectors seeking to become a part of…

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Bewaringslandbou

Mielieboere wat geenbewerking of bewaringslandbou op hul plase wil toepas sal kan baat uit heelwat beter opbrengste tydens droër seisoene, omdat hierdie boerderymetodes hulle toelaat om aanplantings heelwat digter te doen. So sê dr Stephano Haarhoff, wat pas sy doktorsgraad in agronomie aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch (US) verwerf het. Sy studieleiers was dr Pieter Swanepoel…

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Biodiversity

The issues of climate change and biodiversity are deeply intertwined. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the international treaties charged with solving two of the biggest problems of the 21st century, were both due to hold make-or-break meetings in 2020. COVID-19 – yet another crisis with strong connections to the other two –…

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Vines

By choosing the right cultivars and adapting their irrigation regimes in young vineyards, winegrowers may mitigate the expected effect of climate change in coming years. This is according to Dr Hanlé Theron, who recently obtained her doctorate in viticulture from Stellenbosch University. She studied under the supervision of Dr Kobus Hunter at the Agricultural Research…

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Wheat

Koring word hoofsaak in drie gebiede in Suid-Afrika aangeplant met sporadiese kleiner besproeiingsoppervlaktes verspreid oor verskeie provinsies. Die Wes-Kaap is by verre die grootste droëlandproduserende koringgebied gevolg deur die Vrystaat, veral die Oos-Vrystaat. Die Noordkaap produseer uitsluitlik koring onder besproeiing en is die ander belangrike gebied van belang. Koring word ook op kleiner skaal in…

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Cover crops

One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it is not necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed…

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Bee pollination

There are numerous factors that influence the recommended pollination tariff which are bound to differ in terms of importance as well as relevance depending on the nature of the individual beekeeping businesses. However, the cost of pollination does not just include the costs of picking up beehives, loading them on a bakkie, driving to the…

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Weeds

Crop production and animal production probably provide 90% of the world human population’s food needs. Very few people on earth live as hunter-gatherers (maybe those who do are the lucky ones) while the rest of us rely on agriculture to supply our food. Food crops are very sophisticated biological entities with high yield potential under…

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