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Agriculture Engineering

Western Cape’s agricultural growth to drive economy

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Supported by the Western Cape government’s strategic initiatives to help farmers grow their crops – and their market share – the province’s official tourism, trade and investment agency Wesgro has successfully committed investments in the Western Cape agricultural sector of R1.56-billion over the... 

Small farms an economical option in South Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 While many medium-sized farms have been unable to weather the challenges facing the South African agricultural industry and have consequently been absorbed by larger commercial farms, smaller farmers are proving that it is possible to generate a sustainable income from a modest operation through... 

Small farms an economical option in South Africa
MAXIMUM BENEFIT Hinomoto’s small-scale tractors ensure that farmland is used in the most efficient way possible, maximising yield sizes

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Through intensive research, the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Agricultural Engineering has developed a framework to improve water efficiency in agricultural irrigation systems in South Africa, which reassesses the methods traditionally used to measure a system’s efficiency and... 

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT With effective water management and good subsurface drainage, soil health conditions can be created for irrigation farming to assist with food security in South Africa

Creative farming methods ensure sustainability

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Amid extreme weather, regulatory barriers and import competition, South African farmers need to think creatively about farming practices – not only to reduce costs but also preserve an environment that is struggling under the pressures of a growing global population, says agriculture... 

Creative farming methods  ensure sustainability
PLANT PROTECTION Haygrove’s multispan polytunnel structure provides a controlled environment for the aquaponic and hydroponic systems

Versatile UTV use prompts increased marketing

By: Victor Moolman     11th August 2017 Equipment supplier Maubra – which supplies the products of equipment manufacturer Kubota to South Africa – has increased marketing efforts regarding the RTV-X900 utility vehicle (UTV) by placing more advertisements with printed media, increasing social media awareness of the UTV and approaching... 

Equipment drives farming sustainability

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Forward-thinking livestock farmers who are willing to embrace the use of new equipment in their operations will forge a way forward amid the economic and ecological hardships facing South Africa’s agricultural industry, says Johannesburg-based industrial equipment provider Vermeer Equipment... 

Equipment drives  farming sustainability
BETTER FEED The Vermeer R2300 basket rake ensures a cleaner forage, increasing the production value of dairy and beef cattle

Stakeholder support integral to urban farming in S Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 While the appetite for urban farming exists in South Africa, more needs to be done to motivate stakeholders from both the private and public sectors to play a role in creating and growing successful projects that can be translated into sustainable investments, say engineering and infrastructure... 

Stakeholder support  integral to urban  farming in S Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
MODERN FARMING Wheat grass and other leafy greens are being grown in vertical farming units in China created out of retrofitted shipping containers

Wine farm has its ducks in a row

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 About 1 000 Indian runner ducks have been employed by Stellenbosch-based wine farm Vergnoegd Wine Estate to eradicate white dune snails and other insects which inhabit and feed on the vines in the vineyard. According to Vergenoegd winemaker and viticulturist, Marlize Jacobs, the ducks – which... 

Wine farm has its ducks in a row
DUCK ARMY Around 1 000 Indian Runner ducks have been employed to eradicate the white dune snail population at Vergenoegd Wine farm in Stellenbosch

Partnership expands range for sector

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 South Africa-based fertiliser company Advanced Agri has expanded its fertiliser range by introducing two specialised products for various farming disciplines.  According to Advanced Agri director Frank Winder, the EcoCal range for crop farmers and Graze range for livestock farmers are... 

SA farmers hope for enough rain after winter

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 The next five months and the following planting season will be critical for farmers who have been affected by the devastating drought which crippled the agriculture sector recently. According to agricultural organisation AgriSA CEO Omri van Zyl, farmers need to see out the winter and hope for... 

Algae-free irrigation systems to save money for farmers

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has estimated the rand value of the impact of algae pollution in the Berg river, near Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape. The calculation enables farmers to compare different ways of managing the problem in the area. A ‘Water SA’ report... 

Commercial bank speculates about the future of agriculture

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th August 2015 While the future of the agriculture sector is often debated at farmers’ conventions, during general council meetings, in the media and in the political arena, it is now becoming a pertinent topic among investors and agriculture companies says First National Bank (FNB) agriculture marketing and... 

Commercial bank speculates  about the future of agriculture
AGRICULTURE SECTOR DEBATED Agriculture contributes 2.4% to the gross domestic product, which makes it the smallest economic sector in South Africa

Industry body emphasises the benefits of effective water storage

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th August 2015 Local authorities need to realise that even small concrete water reservoirs, if strategically placed, can play a vital role in sustaining struggling rural communities, avers cement and concrete industry technical services provider The Concrete Institute (TCI) MD Bryan Perrie. He tells Engineering... 

Industry body emphasises the benefits of effective  water storage
EFFECTIVE WATER STORAGE Reservoirs provide many benefits, including sufficient water supply, floodwater control, power generation capacity, irrigation and recreational use

Amendments to PBR Act imminent

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th August 2015 Following Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana’s January announcement that he intended to introduce the Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) Bill in the National Assembly, public hearings were held in Parliament in May to discuss the amendments required for the PBR Amendment Bill.... 

Amendments to  PBR Act imminent
Photo by Bloomberg
SUBSISTENCE FARMERS PROTECTED The intention of farmers’ privilege is to protect subsistence farmers from having to buy seed every year

Improved connectivity for management solution benefits agribusiness

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th August 2015 Farmers can share crop information and continuously monitor and fine-tune their production process throughout the growing season using the information provided by connected devices, such as smartphones and tablets, says arable agriculture yield management systems provider Dacom. To support... 

Improved connectivity for management solution  benefits agribusiness
SPECIALISED HARDWARE SUPPLIED Dacom develops and supplies specialised hardware, software and online advisory services to arable farms and global agribusiness

Africa should prioritise quality food production

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th August 2015 Agriculture remains the key sector in Africa for food security, employment and growth with agriculture-led growth having the largest impact on reducing the depth and breadth of poverty. Ensuring that the world has enough to eat is a massive challenge. The United Nations Food and Agriculture... 

Africa should prioritise quality food production
FUNDAMENTALS OF AGRICULTURE The effective and sustainable intensification of agriculture is paramount in eliminating hunger and increasing the continent’s food security

Relaunch of pesticide system aimed to support agriculture sector

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th August 2015 Asset management solutions provider QCIC relaunched its Qic-Sur telemetry pesticide system earlier this year, which enables remote control monitoring of pesticides for the fruit, vegetable and wine industries. The product relaunch forms part of QCIC’s aim to hone in on the needs of the... 

Relaunch of pesticide  system aimed to support agriculture sector
QIC-SUR TELEMETRY PESTICIDE SYSTEM This solution enables remote control monitoring of pesticides for the fruit, vegetable and wine industries

Welding specialist opens Bloemfontein branch

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th August 2015 In response to a growing demand in the Free State, Northern Cape and Lesotho for quality, affordable industrial equipment to rent or buy, Southern Africa welding and construction-related equipment supplier Renttech South Africa (SA) opened its new branch in Bloemfontein in April. The new branch... 

Welding specialist opens Bloemfontein branch
RESPONSE TO GROWING DEMAND Renttech South Africa generators are manufactured by handpicked ISO-accredited suppliers in China

New facility ensures correct seed treatment

By: David Oliveira     8th August 2014 Sustainable agriculture company Syngenta’s Africa Middle East Seedcare Institute, in Brits, focuses on new application technology, ensuring that seed treatments provide an effective way of placing crop protection products directly onto the seeds, Syngenta seed care technology manager Wayne van... 

New facility ensures  correct seed treatment
Photo by Magna Carta
AFRICA’S FIRST SEEDCARE INSTITUTE Syngenta’s Wayne van Rensburg (far right) addresses the media and stakeholders during a walk-through visit at the new Syngenta Seedcare Institute, in Brits

Company has own stand at Nampo

By: David Oliveira     8th August 2014 Technology supplier SKF South Africa displayed its agricultural solutions for the first time at its own stand at this year’s Nampo agricultural trade show, which was held in Bothaville, in the Free State, from May 13 to 16. SKF agriculture key accounts manager Charl Engelbrecht notes that the... 

Company has own stand at Nampo
Photo by Laverick Media Communications
MAINTENANCE-FREE SKF’s Agri Hub (top) and Agri Hub 1 maintenance-free bearings were on display at this year’s Nampo agricultural trade show

Sugar industry leader participates in water study

By: David Oliveira     8th August 2014 Multidisciplinary engineering and design consulting firm WSP Africa’s environment and energy business unit completed a water use quantification project in May, which assessed the use and management of water at each of the agricultural and industrial operations of a major producer in the Southern... 

Sugar industry  leader participates  in water study
Photo by Orange Ink
SWEET SCIENCE WSP completed a water use quantification project for a major sugar producer in May

Equipment manufacturer wants larger stand at Nampo 2015

By: David Oliveira     8th August 2014 Global construction equipment and compact machinery manufacturer Wacker Neuson plans to further expand its stand at next year’s Nampo agricultural trade show, which will be located in the middle of the new expanded area, close to the southern gate. Wacker Neuson was allocated its largest stand,... 

Equipment manufacturer wants larger stand at Nampo 2015
Photo by Laverick Media Communications
WACKER NEUSON 1150 WHEEL LOADER The Wacker Neuson 1150 wheel loader makes light work of applications requiring an overload height of more than 3 m

R20m project to yield sustainability for maize farmers 

By: Zandile Mavuso     9th August 2013 To assist smallholder maize farmers in Limpopo in improving productivity, which will, in turn, improve sustainability, a R20-million project has been launched by market-driven innovation and science solutions company DuPont. 

R20m project to yield sustainability for maize farmers
Photo by Duane Daws
MAIZE FARMINGDuPont Pioneer and the Limpopo Department of Agriculture have signed an agreement to help educate farmers in plant breeding, variety selection, agronomic practices and plant biotechnology techniques to improve their farms’ productivity, household food security and income

Five-year research project to study irrigation management

By: Zandile Mavuso     9th August 2013 To increase water availability and land productivity, which will cater for the increasing human population, a new project by the Water Research Commission (WRC) will record information about the irrigation management of ryegrass/kikuyu pasture under different pasture management conditions.  

Five-year research  project to study  irrigation management
RYEGRASS PASTURE PRODUCTIONThe WRC is investigating irrigated pastures to determine the water use and irrigation requirements of the most common farming practices, including those pertaining to kikuyu/ryegrass, legume/ryegrass mixtures and lucerne

Controlled water use is pertinent

By: Zandile Mavuso     9th August 2013 Hygiene and sanitation company Ecowize, which services the food sector, emphasises the importance of food producers and manufacturers introducing strict control elements for water use, as the resource impacts directly on their operations. 

Land rehabilitation society to hold its first annual conference  

By: Zandile Mavuso     9th August 2013 The Land Rehabilitation Society of Southern Africa (LaRSSA) will host its first conference in October, whereby information on land rehabilitation under way in South Africa, will be made available to different stakeholders. 

Aeroponics a cost-effective solution for grazing

By: Zandile Mavuso     9th August 2013 A R13.8-million aeroponics barley sprout grass growing system is being supplied by South African manufacturer Qwik-Gro to the Sheikh of Qatar, in the Middle East and is expected to partially feed about 17 000 livestock with the initial production of 40 t of fresh barley grass sprout fodder a day. 

Plant breeders’ rights to be protected

By: Yolandi Booyens     10th August 2012 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has added provisions in the draft Plant Breeders’ Rights Amendment Bill to make the infringement of plant breeders’ intellectual property (IP) rights a criminal offence, says specialist IP law firm Spoor & Fisher patent attorney David... 

Forceful land acquisitions not in SA’s future if government increases efficiency 

By: Yolandi Booyens     10th August 2012 While the farming community in South Africa has often expressed concern that land reform will threaten food security, Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation chair in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies and Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies senior professor... 

Global warming could benefit potato industry 

By: Yolandi Booyens     10th August 2012 Climate change could result in a positive outcome for the potato industry and possibly lead to potatoes becoming one of the top staple crops in the world, says University of Pretoria (UP) Potato Pathology Programme manager Dr Jacquie van der Waals. She says the potato appears to be the only crop,... 

Mushroom industry has the option to stop depleting natural resources

By: Yolandi Booyens     10th August 2012 The University of Pretoria (UP) has developed an environment-friendly substrate, the Mabu casing, which is a suitable alternative to the peat soil used for button mushroom production. Casing soil producer Mabu Casing Soils managing member Dr Linda Meyer says the substrate has the potential to... 

Innovation needed to use water wisely

By: Yolandi Booyens     10th August 2012 An effluent treatment system that eliminates the use of harsh chemicals in water treatment by using only natural resources, has achieved significant results at a water treatment project at the Holden Manz wine farm, in Franschhoek, says stainless steel equipment manufacturer Vinquip Projects. The... 

Institute emphasises role of large-scale, scientific farming in SA

By: Schalk Burger     5th August 2011 Large-scale, scientific farming is the only viable model for South Africa, mostly owing to significant and rising input costs, necessitating a move towards high-value, export products, says industry body the South African Irrigation Institute (Sabi) technical executive officer Isobel van der Stoep. 

Outlook for local fruit industry positive

By: Schalk Burger     5th August 2011 While South Africa has experienced a challenging season, over the medium- to long-term, the fruit industry has a positive outlook, says fruit producer organisation Hortgro Services product manager Jacques du Preez. 

Not ‘either/or’ between small and large farming, both needed

By: Schalk Burger     5th August 2011 It is not a case of South Africa needing to support either small- or large-scale farming, but that both are important for the country’s development, says business organisation Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) CEO Dr John Purchase. 

Use of extrusion technology can assist in job creation, poverty alleviation

     5th August 2011 Extrusion, which is a food and feed processing technology, can be used to support government’s objectives of creating jobs and alleviating poverty.  

Developing innovative solutions a key function of agricultural engineers

By: Schalk Burger     5th August 2011 Agricultural engineers, scientists and experts must apply good ideas and solutions gained through research and development to solve problems facing rural farming in South Africa, leveraging the insights gained to develop farming in these areas, says South African Institute of Agricultural... 

New irrigation technologies catalyst for agricultural growth

By: Henry Lazenby     6th August 2010 The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) and the Water Research Commission (WRC) believe that the use of new irrigation technologies, which improve water conservation in South Africa, will help to develop additional agricultural farmland.  

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