AgriSuite Online® Articles 2015

Planning for the next drought

Planning for the next drought

14 December 2015
Colleen Janse van Rensburg

With five provinces already being declared drought disaster areas, the impact of the current drought is devastating. Not only is food security threatened but many farmers may face serious financial trouble if they are unable to meet their financial obligations. For many farmers, the situation is looking as bleak as the land around them... Read more

Citrus Black Spot Disease

Citrus black spot disease and citrus exports from South Africa

07 December 2015
Dr John Lapham

Citrus black spot (CBS) is a fungal disease caused by Guignardia citricarpa that affects citrus and some other fruit species. It symptoms are spots and blemishes, particularly on the fruit. Lemons are most susceptible... Read more

Current Drought Situation

Current Drought Situation

16 November 2015
Juanita van Zyl

Urban areas in the world's developing countries are growing at an unprecedented rate. Over the next ten years, the number of city dwellers in Sub-Saharan Africa will grow by almost 45 percent from 320 to 460 million. That is, there will be an increase, every month, of over 1 million people living in the cities... Read more

Urban and peri-urban horticulture

Urban and peri-urban horticulture, UPH

09 November 2015
Dr John Lapham

Urban areas in the world's developing countries are growing at an unprecedented rate. Over the next ten years, the number of city dwellers in Sub-Saharan Africa will grow by almost 45 percent from 320 to 460 million. That is, there will be an increase, every month, of over 1 million people living in the cities... Read more

Heat Stress

Heat Stress

02 November 2015
Colleen Janse van Rensburg

At the beginning of October, South Africans saw an intense heatwave cover much of the country reaching temperatures of over 40 °C in some areas. These temperatures were well in excess of the upper critical temperature of an animal's thermo neutral zone, putting them at an increased risk of... Read more

Factors influencing South Africa’s climate

Factors influencing South Africa's climate; The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

26 October 2015
Juanita van Zyl

El Nino, La Nina, and The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) form part of a climatic cycle called the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). ENSO describes the fluctuations in temperature between the ocean and the atmosphere in the east and central Pacific Ocean... Read more

Mobile-money and Agriculture: Opportunities in Africa

Mobile-money and Agriculture: Opportunities in Africa

12 October 2015
Dr John Lapham

Since 2002, the number of mobile-phone users in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased from about 16 million to over 650 million today. The rate of increase has been 41% annually and is second only to South East Asia. However, of more significance for Africa is the adoption of mobile money services by mobile-phone users. The service was initiated... Read more

Factors Affecting South Africas Climate

Factors Affecting South Africa's Climate

05 October 2015
Juanita van Zyl

Temperature plays an important role in photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a chemical process where sunlight changes carbon dioxide into sugars used by plant cells as energy. The photosynthesic process increases slowly from 5°C to an optimum when... Read more

What is GIS

What is GIS?

28 September 2015
Juanita van Zyl

A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a technology that is used to combine environmental features, with data about those features in data tables, to map and analyse the real world. Geographic indicates spatial data. Spatial data is referenced to a location on the earth... Read more

Small-scale drip irrigation systems

Small-scale drip irrigation systems

21 September 2015
Dr John Lapham

The distinct features of drip irrigation systems are that they save on the use of water and labour while still enabling the farmer to produce yields equivalent or better than other irrigation systems. For the small-scale farmer, with access to limited amounts of water and dependant on his own labour, this would seem attractive. However when modern-day drip irrigation technology... Read more

Agrisuite Livestock poisonous plants

Livestock poisonous plants

14 September 2015
Zandisiwe Manyathela and Colleen Janse van Rensburg

Winter is over as we move into September. New leaves and blossoms are starting to appear on shrubs and trees as many farmers look forward to the spring rains and an end to the dry soil of winter. Signs of greenery and grass re-growth are a welcome sight after the cold and... Read more

AgriSuite-Veld-Fire-Warnings-For-Livestock-Owners

Veld fire warnings for livestock owners

02 September 2015
Colleen Janse van Rensburg

Uncontrolled veld fires can be devastating, causing great losses in livelihood, livestock, crops and infrastructure. Fact is that they are a natural phenomenon, and occur annually in especially grasslands, woodlands, fynbos, and in indigenous forests in South Africa. Veld fires offer important... Read more

Factors influencing South Africa’s climate

Factors influencing South Africa's climate

24 August 2015
Juanita van Zyl

South Africa is located within a subtropical belt of high pressure causing sunny skies and reduced precipitation. For this reason, South Africa is rated number 27th of the driest countries in the world, with a mean annual... Read more

Ultra-low volume pesticide application in perspective

Ultra-low volume pesticide application in perspective

17 August 2015
Dr John Lapham

Much research has been done in the past on ultra-low-volume (ULV) application of pesticides. There are numerous apparent advantages to these application techniques for most farmers and superficially it appears especially well-suited to small-scale growers. However... Read more

The History of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

The History of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

11 August 2015
Juanita van Zyl

We can describe Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as a modern expansion of conventional cartography. While both consist of a base map onto which we add supplementary data, they differ as there are no restrictions on the amount of additional data... Read more

GIS Data - Biomes

GIS Data - Biomes

03 August 2015
Juanita van Zyl

Biomes can be defined as areas with specific climatic conditions to which vegetation communities adapt. A biome therefore is a large area of land that is characterized by uniformity in the general vegetation. South Africa is divided into seven biomes. In the Land... Read more

Tomato Leaf Miner: A Potential Pest?

Tomato Leaf Miner: A Potential Pest?

27 July 2015
Dr John Lapham

Tuta absoluta is commonly known as the tomato leaf miner or South American tomato moth. It is a member of the order Lepidoptera which includes moths and butterflies. The moth has a high reproductive rate... Read more

The History of Mapmaking

The History of Mapmaking

20 July 2015
Juanita van Zyl

The history of mapmaking can be traced back more than 5,000 years ago. Humans have known and accepted the significance and value of maps a long time ago. Early maps were primarily designed to record the location of places of interest but were often also used to study the... Read more

Farming with indigenous livestock

Farming with indigenous livestock

13 July 2015
Colleen Janse van Rensburg

Livestock has always played an integral role in the agricultural sector in South Africa as an important source of animal protein in our diets, and will continue to do so in the future. With natural resources becoming constrained and limited, it is important for farmers to look at... Read more

The History of Remote Sensing

The History of Remote Sensing

06 July 2015
Juanita van Zyl

Remote sensing has become a large part of our lives. We are confronted daily with remote sensing technologies without even realising it. Remote Sensing refers to the science or techniques of capturing information at a distance with specialised instruments without ever being in direct contact with the ... Read more

AgriSuite-plant-varieties-climate-change-and-drought

Plant varieties: climate change and drought

02 July 2015
Sabhinah Ncongwane and John Lapham

A cultivar, or plant variety, is a grouping of identical plants selected for their desirable characteristics. After propagation, the seed is sold commercially to farmers to produce food or other products. The term "cultivar" is an abbreviation of "cultivated variety". A variety is... Read more

The-veld-in-winter

The veld in winter

22 June 2015
Colleen Janse van Rensburg

Winter solstice in the southern hemisphere has just passed. The familiar Highveld rolling landscape filled with yellow hues is in sharp contrast to the lush greens of summer, indicating the poor nutrient content of the natural grasses available to animals at this time of the year. As a result, farmers in the sour veld regions face the reality... Read more

Climate Data - AgriSuite®

Climate Data - AgriSuite®

08 June 2015
Juanita van Zyl

Weather and indirectly climate affect our lives on a daily basis. While weather (Temperature, Precipitation, Humidity, Wind, and Atmospheric Pressure) refers to the daily conditions, climate refers to long term... Read more

GIS Data - Grazing Capacity

GIS Data - Grazing Capacity

01 June 2015
Juanita van Zyl

We refer to grazing capacity as the grazable portion of a homogeneous unit of vegetation and defined as the area of land required to maintain a single animal unit without the deterioration of the vegetation or soil. To properly manage veld, one needs to balance the stocking rate... Read more

Designing for AgriSuite Online®

Designing for AgriSuite Online®

25 May 2015
Jeanne-Louise Bekker

When Microsoft introduced the new user interface and user experience, Windows 8 Metro, a few years ago, most designers probably took a wide-eyed step back to review their design strategies. Well, that is what... Read more

Access-to-markets-small-producers-big-challenges

Access to Markets - Small producers, big challenges

28 April 2015
Piet van Zyl

According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for roughly 65% of Africans. This figure highlights the need for success in agriculture on the continent if economies are to grow, and South Africa is no exception... Read more

GIS-data-water

GIS DATA - Water

20 April 2015
Juanita van Zyl

Water is a scarce resource in South Africa as approximately 66% of the country receives an average annual rainfall of less than 500mm - the minimum requirement for dry land crop production. Because of variable river flow and high evaporation, only about 62% of South Africa's average runoff... Read more

The-Urban-Agriculture-Concept

The Urban Agriculture Concept

14 April 2015
Sabhinah Ncongwane

Urban agriculture includes the growing of plants (fruits, herbs, ornamentals and vegetables) and the raising of animals (cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, sheep and rabbits) within and around a city and incorporating it into the urban economic and environmental system. Urban agriculture provides fresh food for residents... Read more

Draught-monitoring-from-space

GIS Data - Drought monitoring from space

07 April 2015
Juanita van Zyl

NDVI images describe the vegetation activity and show the highest possible "greenness" values that were measured during a specific period. This relationship makes it possible to monitor stressed vegetation or agricultural drought conditions. Rainfall data cannot... Read more

The-importance-of-water-and-animal-production

The importance of water in animal production

30 March 2015
Colleen Janse van Rensburg

The role that livestock play in the agricultural sector is an important one. They are the driving force to food security and sustainable development and play a vital role in economic development. In 2013, the gross value of animal products contributed 46.6 % to the total gross value of agricultural production. In order for animal production to be successful, good nutrition and especially water is essential... Read more

Bids and offers - A direct link from farm to consumer

Bids and offers - A direct link from farm to consumer

23 March 2015
Jeanne-Louise Bekker

The process of growing a cropis not the only challenge that farmers face daily; they must also ensure that the crop provides aviable and sustainable living for them, and marketing of the produce is often the key to a successful business. A common method of marketing is to sell produce to a local market... Read more

Discussions

A look at Discussions

09 March 2015
Thapedi Setshedi

The Discussion Forum on AgriSuite Online® is the direct result of the need amongst farmers and other users to have a platform where they can interact with farmers from other provinces... Read more

Classifieds

Classifieds

03 March 2015
Portia Maibelo

The AgriSuite Online® Classified Section was created solely for the buying and selling goods and services online, at no additional cost. As this service is available to users of the system, the feature offers a relatively safe business environment as well as the knowledge that agriculture is a mutual... Read more

Market information on AgriSuite®

Market information on AgriSuite®

23 February 2015
Portia Maibelo

Market information is vital to farmers and assists them in becoming competitive as it keeps them informed about market trends and marketing requirements. It also helps them with decision-making and production planning to strengthen their bargaining power. Agricultural market information in South Africa is... Read more

GIS Data AgriSuite®

GIS DATA - AgriSuite®

16 February 2015
Juanita van Zyl

GIS is an acronym often used to describe Geographical Information Systems. A GIS system is a computer-based system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage and present all types of spatial data. GIS is playing an increasingly important role in agricultural... Read more

Innovation in Agriculture

Innovation in Agriculture

09 February 2015
Zandisiwe Manyathela

Gone are those days when agriculture was perceived as a dirty field, where everything was only about working in the field, under unfavorable weather conditions with spades and forks. Today things have changed; agricultural sector is like any other sector where technology is advancing every day... Read more

Living with Drought

Living with Drought: Adaptation, Alleviation and Monitoring

02 February 2015
Juanita van Zyl

The term drought refers to period of water scarcity and is driven in South Africa by a natural climate variability resulting in water-limiting pressures on agricultural production. Grazing capacity and crop production vary significantly from year to year mainly due to inter-seasonal climate variability... Read more

SAFEX on AgriSuite®

Safex on AgriSuite®

20 January 2015
Xolile Dlamini

Market access remains a big challenge for grain farmers. The high costs of production coupled with high transportation costs incurred in accessing markets for their agricultural products, reduce farmers' profit margins. Maize farmers, for example, need to buy production inputs, produce maize in order to sell in the next season... Read more

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