FERTILE CROPS & GRAZING

Grazing management, cattle and our products

One aspect that has not been mentioned enough so far – is the management of planted pasture for animals. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer “Smutsvinger” or any other type of pasture, all pasture will have it’s own susceptibility to certain fungus and/or diseases which our products will dispose of easily and safely for the animals. This is however not the only danger as management of the pasture so as to prevent erosion of the soil is of utmost importance. A few general pointers in this regards are :

  • During the rainy seasons it is advisable (if possible) to sacrifice an area (to rest and to develop optimally through careful fertilizing & killing weeds & fungus). This will benefit the animals greatly when they are put in that pasture at the right time according to the management programme;

 

  • Do the same with several other (even smaller depending on the size of the farm) pastures to ensure that grazing will be optimal and animals can be moved from one pasture to the other as needed. This will prevent the ‘over-grazing ‘ of pastures as well as soil erosion;

 

  • Try to keep animals fenced away from streams (to keep the ecological balance as cattle can muddy it and cause ecological damage, they can drown etc), ditches (into which they can fall and hurt themselves) or other water bodies;

  • Make sure that there are no areas of bare exposed soil!

Following these principles and with our quality products to assist farmers, top quality meat for the market is a given!!! Cattle – like people – are what they eat and everybody prefers the healthier, tastier, juicier meat!!!

Soil rotation in maize- and other crops

Apart from a very good maintenance programme that includes our products for maximum quality, tasty & healthy yield, we have to refer to another major and most important issue namely crop rotation. It is crucial that a specific management cycle (professionally researched and compiled for specific areas preferably) be followed to plant and harvest crops. This should be done to ensure that one kind of crops planted a certain season replenishes the nutrients, salts etc. taken up by a different crop planted in the previous cycle. In doing this the soil will be constantly kept healthy and the nutrients in the soil will also be preserved. But do not underestimate the yield of these crops that are many times referred to as “cash crops”….!!!!

Avoid soil erosion

This is one of agriculture’s biggest enemies which have to be managed very carefully and diligently! If a farmer applies an effective management programme to prevent soil erosion – it will already go a long way in preserving his top soil (the most important resource in farming with crops/pasture etc), and keeping it healthy!!! Within the management of his resource the farmer must be very responsible regarding the very important actions, like tilling/plowing  etc. taken in preparing the soil. The correct choice of fertilizers, manure and cover crops to prepare soil conditions (please refer to our pamphlets on Zinc-Flo & Demildex in this regard) will definitely improve soil quality. (On this subject – it has been proven through research that diseases in crops can be inhibited & even managed through effective crop rotations as many diseases are crop specific!).

Effective Water Management

South Africa is unfortunately not one of the water-richest countries in the world, as it is known as a semi-desert! It goes without saying that we have to be VERY careful in how we use and manage our water resources! Sadly it is a fact that the overwhelming majority of our water resources are definitely not in a pristine, or even in a good condition. It is common knowledge that pollution (especially by municipalities and or industries – but sometimes even by agriculture itself) is a very serious problem! Thus it is a very important issue to take into account and manage – depending on how close a farmer is to a affected resource or not!.

Focusing on the management programme of the farmer – first and foremost is the selection of the right crop. Preferably local crops that are adapted to the weather and other factors of a region. These ‘local’ crops will not be commanding too much water (like indigenous trees also do not command too much water) in e.g. drier areas. Planning of irrigation as well as its management must be very effective, for if it is not serious problems like the polluting of the source, soil degradation and source depletion can occur. (It is worth a mention that other alternatives should be considered – even before one gets to the problem- situations mentioned!!! Alternatives such as rainwater harvesting systems and if still safe & suitable, waste water from municipalities).