Farmer’s Successes Articles

Farmer’s Successes Articles

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Biological Farming is saving SA’s vineyards The leaf roll virus is plaguing South African vineyards, leading to comparisons with HIV as there is currently no cure for the disease. Lisl Fair spoke to Adriaan van Tubbergh, manager of Faure Wine Farm in Somerset West, and discovered that biological farming techniques can counteract the virus’s harmful effects and boost productivity in affected areas. Leaf roll virus affects vineyards all over the world and is responsible for losses amounting to billions of rands in South Africa. The virus results in downward rolling of leaf...

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by Lisl Fair. Published in Farmer’s Weekly, 28 September 2005 Most remember Jody as South Africa’s Formula One Champion, but he is also successful international businessman and, most recently, organic farmer in the UK. After Jody’s success in racing he moved to America where he started a business, literally from the kitchen table in his home. The business grew exponentially until Jody was able to buy a farm and spend weekends there. During this time his wife bought him a book on organic farming and he was hooked. Currently he has a library of over 450 books on this...

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The value of measuring Soil N For far too long the all-important aspect of a soils ability to supply N has been virtually totally ignored. Farmer’s who are biologically orientated know, of course, that as they re-build the soil eco-system, their expenditure on N together with other nutrients will decline. The questions now arises, “By how much must I cut back on N as my you soil life improves?” The answer is really quite simple – you can measure soil N! Francois Smith farms on Groenfontein near Derby, which is about 70 km from Potchefstroom. Francois is both a crop – irrigated...

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Ernst Holl of SM Naude Boerdery, Pongola, has experienced a remarkable turnabout in declining cane yields through the application of biological farming principles. On one irrigated block of 78 ha the yield declined from 132 tons (1st cut) to 95 tons/ha by the 5th ratoon. The average nitrogen application during this period exceeded 200 kg N/ha. For the 6 th ratoon, Ernst initiated soil mineral correction and the application of humic acids to improve nutrient utilization – especially that of nitrogen. Despite a reduction in N to 160 kg/ha, the yield increased to 105 tons/ha. For the...

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Dale van den Aardweg won the Super Soya Competition in Kwazulu Natal run by the Protein Research Foundation three times in the last four years. He spoke to Lisl Fair about the secrets to his success. Dale started farming 10 years ago on 20ha near Winterton. ‘Those were poor days’, remembers Dale. He was forced to apply no-till because he had no tractors to cultivate and even had to get a contractor in to plant his fist crop. From there on Dale’s farming operation slowly developed and he acquired more and more land gradually. Today he owns 700 ha of which 530 is irrigable. Not only has...

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