30 Mar 2018
Orange Blossom

Seasonal Changes in Nitrate Uptake Efficiency in Young Potted Citrus Trees

Belén Martínez-Alcántara
Ana Quiñones
Eduardo Primo-Millo
Francisco Legaz
Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias, Spain

Efficient use of fertilizer N has become a first-order concern in modern citrus production due to nitrate contamination of ground and surface waters. Excessive N fertilizer rates typically increase N leaching and may also result in ground water contamination (Alva & Paramasivam, 1998; McNeal et al., 1994).

READ MORE

24 Mar 2018
Oriental Fruit Fly

Grabouw on high alert after Oriental Fruit Fly discovery

Jan Cronje
Fin 24 (www.fin24.com)

Cape Town – The department of agriculture has called on South Africans to not remove or tamper with fruit fly trapping buckets, after Oriental Fruit Flies were discovered near the town of Grabouw in a fruit-growing area of the Western Cape.

“Their [the bucket’s] presence is essential to the national exotic fruit fly surveillance programme,” the department said in a media release.

The flies, which are native to Asia, are regarded as pests. They damage fruit by laying their eggs in them.

READ MORE

24 Mar 2018
Western Cape Drought

Western Cape agriculture set to lose billions

Jeandre van der Walt
Farmer’s Weekly

The Western Cape’s agricultural sector is set to lose an estimated R5,9 billion in the 2017/2018 season due to prevailing drought conditions across the province.

This is according to a recent policy brief report by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. In this brief, Louw Pienaar and Johann Boonzaaier explored the economic and financial impact of the drought on the economy of the province.

READ MORE

24 Mar 2018
Off Season Citrus Management

Citrus Farming: Off-season tasks

Gerhard Uys
Farmer’s Weekly

Piet Engelbrecht, who grows citrus on 450ha in the Loskop Valley near Marble Hall, Limpopo, says that the management of a citrus orchard in the off-season determines the success of a harvest.

“The moment the last fruit is picked, the next season begins,” he stresses.

Almost 70% of input costs are incurred during this period, according to Piet. This results in a considerable risk, as there is not much money left over to counter problems such as drought, hail or pests that might occur later on.

READ MORE

23 Mar 2018
Farming Technology

Technology: The Future of Agriculture

Anthony King
www.nature.com

A technological revolution in farming led by advances in robotics and sensing technologies looks set to disrupt modern practice.

Over the centuries, as farmers have adopted more technology in their pursuit of greater yields, the belief that ‘bigger is better’ has come to dominate farming, rendering small-scale operations impractical. But advances in robotics and sensing technologies are threatening to disrupt today’s agribusiness model.

READ MORE