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Agriculture Engineering

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... 

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... 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

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. 

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

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. 

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

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,... 

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... 

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... 

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... 

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... 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.  

Farmers benefit from 
research innovations

By: Henry Lazenby     6th August 2010 The aquaculture section of the Agricultural Research Council’s (ARC’s) Animal Production Institute (API) has undertaken a pilot study on creating an integrated poultry-aquaculture system at the request of the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment. 

Initiative aims to improve Africa’s food security

By: Henry Lazenby     6th August 2010 A new collaboration, known as Improving Maize for African Soils (Imas), aims to improve food security and the livelihoods of people across Africa, by developing better maize varieties that can thrive on the little fertiliser being used on the continent’s farms. 

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.  

Scarce peat conserved

By: Henry Lazenby     6th August 2010 South African mushroom producers are aiming to go green in their farming techniques and this has resulted in the local mushroom industry not using locally produced peat, the South African Mushroom Farmers Association (Samfa) reports. 

Water administration system improves agricultural productivity

By: Henry Lazenby     6th August 2010 Market analyst Frost & Sullivan has found that the Water Research Commission’s (WRC’s) water administration system (WAS) helps to improve irrigation efficiency and save water and costs. To assist the agricultural sector to manage its water supply better, the WAS has been in use and further... 

Certification critical for plant propagation

By: Petronel Smit     7th August 2009 The South African Plant Improvement Organisation (Sapo) Trust reports that certification is the only guarantee a producer has that the fruit tree he buys is disease and pest free. 

Genetically modified maize raked in R3-billion over the past ten years

By: Petronel Smit     7th August 2009 Biotechnology consultancy group FoodNCropBio reports in its annual project studies that 69% of maize, 92% of cotton and over 80% of soya planted in South Africa at present are genetically modified. 

Indigenous crops can 
enhance food security

By: Petronel Smit     7th August 2009 The Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC) reports that indigenous food crops could play a significant role in contributing to food security. 

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