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Wildlife on farms

Introduction Chancing across a steenbok on your farm can lead to a sense of mystery and fascination. You feel honoured, a witness to a world that passes unseen by humanity’s schedules and timetables. The presence of wildlife on farms is not always as discreet or innocent. A while back, the costs of livestock losses to […]

Wetlands

Wetlands in South Africa

Introduction Farm management needs to focus on saving water and using water effectively. Open storage as in dams is rather wasteful because of evaporation; rather wetlands should be created into which dam water can be channelled. Wetlands release slowly, filter and clean water and feed underground sources. Heinz H. Meissner RPO Newsletter Jan 2020. The answer […]

Weather and climate

Introduction “Weather remains a primary driver of agribusiness confidence and growth in agriculture”, Wandile Sihlobo (Agbiz) South Africa is a relatively dry country. The climate varies from desert to semi-desert in the west, to relatively wet in the eastern parts adjacent to the Indian Ocean. Compared to the rest of the world, this country has […]

Waste management

Introduction According to the National Environmental Management Waste Act of 2008, plastic containers in which agricultural chemicals are supplied ought to be tripled-rinsed, dried and securely stored on the farm for collection by accredited agencies (see “Chemicals in agriculture” page). They should not be burnt, buried or given over for other uses. Photo used courtesy […]

Soils

Introduction Healthy soils produce life. It is no surprise that in the creation epic recorded in the book of Genesis, it is from the soil that Adam is created. It is the soil which determines which crop will be planted, and what livestock is supported. What we do with our soil determines how our ecosystems […]

Rangeland (veld)

At a talk on veld management, the late John Fair (pastures consultant and agricultural writer), made a point to an audience of cattlemen that their source of income was not from livestock but from veld. The cattle were there to convert that veld into cash. After that, he had their undivided attention! Grass plays an […]

LandCare

Introduction The National LandCare Programme is a government supported initiative, implemented throughout the country. It is a community-based programme that seeks to: conserve our resources use them in a sustainable way create a conservation ethic through education and awareness create jobs and address poverty by launching various natural resource rehabilitation, improvement and conservation projects Serious concerns about […]

Invasive alien species (IAS)

Introduction See https://invasives.org.za. Invasive alien species (IAS) are species that have been introduced into an area and are able to out-compete and displace indigenous or useful alien species. They may be plants, animals or microbes, including diseases, and are widely regarded as among the biggest threats to the productive use of land and water, the ecological […]

Fire management

A fire management plan, burning your veld, legal notes on firebreaks, Fire Protection Associations (FPAs), role players and where to access information on fire management

Environmental legislation

Introduction Often, environmental issues are assumed to be “green issues”, only relating to natural resources like animals and plants. In reality, a “triple bottom line” concept must be considered when understanding the environment, i.e. ecological, economic and social aspects. It is only through the interaction of these three aspects that the real environment can be […]