26 Jun 2019
Pink Apple

The effects of organic and inorganic mulches on the yield and fruit quality of ‘Cripps’ Pink’ apple trees

Van der Merwe, Johannes Dawid Prins 
Thesis (MScAgric)–Stellenbosch University, 2012.
http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71950

Limited research is available on the effect of mulches on established orchards. Most of the information available stems from research conducted in newly planted orchards or on annual crops such as green peppers and strawberries under greenhouse conditions. To increase the current knowledge on the effect of mulches in established orchards, two field trials were conducted on 14 year old „Cripps‟ Pink‟ orchards. The one trial concentrated on the influence of mulches on the root environment and the other trial on the effect of mulches on growth, yield and fruit quality.

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26 Jun 2019
Soil Surface

Effects of soil surface management practices on soil and tree parameters in a ‘Cripps Pink’/M7 apple orchard 2. Tree performance and root distribution

John Wooldridge, Johan Fourie & Marlise E Joubert
https://www.tandfonline.com

There are around 22 000 ha of commercial apple orchards in South Africa. Of these, 70% are located in the upland areas of the Western Cape. The apple industry exports c. 40% of its production and supports an on-farm labour force of 27 800 (Hortgro 2012. Apple producers are currently adjusting their production techniques to meet increasing consumer demands for organic over conventionally produced fruit.

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26 Jun 2019
Agriculture Technologies

Precision Agriculture Technologies in Citrus

Yiannis Ampatzidis
www.citrusindustry.net

Citrus growers face issues from an increasing number of pests and diseases. Rapid and accurate tools for early pest and disease detection are needed to improve precision and timely management.

Almost all agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides) applied in specialty crop production are made uniformly with conventional spraying equipment, despite the fact that pathogen distribution is typically patchy. Uniform applications result in the use of agrochemicals where no diseases, weeds or pests occur. This unnecessary use of agrochemicals leads to increased costs, risk of crop damage, environmental pollution and contamination of the edible products.

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22 Jun 2019
Asian citrus psyllid

Being Vigilant: HLB and South Africa

Hein Gerber and Christine Spreeth
First Fruits Consulting

Citrus greening disease takes two forms: Huanglongbing (HLB), the devastating Asiatic strain of citrus greening disease caused by the bacterium Candidatus leberibacter asiaticus and African greening disease, caused by the bacterium Candidatus lebiribacter africanus. Both forms can be spread by infected plant material or by citrus psyllid vectors, namely Diaphorina citri (Asiatic greening) and Trioza erytreae (African greening) (Gottwald et al., 2007). When a vector is carrying the bacteria, it is called a ‘hot vector’ (Jansen, 2019). The psyllid vectors transfer the disease-causing pathogens when they feed on plant sap from citrus leaves (Grafton-Cardwell et al., 2006).

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12 Jun 2019
GDP Growth

SA’s economy is shrinking at an alarming rate – and only oranges and interest rates are offering hope.

Helena Wasserman
Business Insider SA

SA’s economy shrank by an appalling 3.2% in the first quarter of this year compared to the last quarter – the worst performance in a decade.

Weak levels of investment and more than 270 hours of loadshedding wreaked havoc across the economy, while a gold mining strike and a weak grape harvest added to the pain.

The latest numbers from the Statistics SA show that the economy was exactly the same size in the first quarter of 2019 than it had been in the same quarter of 2018.

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