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  • Agriculture that appears to be more eco-friendly but uses more land may actually have greater environmental costs per unit of food than “high-yield” farming that uses less land, a new study has found.

  • Scores of Heads of State and Government from Africa and other representatives convened in China’s capital Beijing for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit. 

  • Beekeepers lose colonies of honeybees on a regular basis; a bee is a fragile creature with a short lifespan even in the best of times, and there are many, many issues that can cause the loss of a colony.

  • While some farmers are struggling with the drought, others are seeing their profits increase – and their farms

  • Some African countries are still sceptical about planting Genetically Modified (GM) crops. However, farmers in the southern tip of the continent, South Africa, have long been planting GM crops for over a decade and there seem to be greater benefits in terms of yields and savings on input costs.

  • While many South Africans are familiar with stories of how little you could buy for just R1 in the 1980s and 1990s, it wasn’t too long ago that South Africans were paying just R270 to fill their petrol tank (45 litres).

  • The Chemical Review Committee (CRC), a subsidiary body of the international Rotterdam Convention, recommended international trade measures for four additional chemicals known to be harmful to human health and the environment.

  • In a video clip recorded during Pres Ramaphosa’s visit to the United Nations in New York, he categorically states that no white farmers are being murdered on their farms and that no illegal land grabs have taken place.

  • Food production doesn't have to be a victim of climate change. New research from Michigan State University suggests that crop yields and the global food supply chain can be preserved by harnessing the critical, and often overlooked, partner in food supply -- soil.

  • Mercedes-Benz last week unveiled the electric Actros heavy-duty truck.  The first eActros was delivered to German logistics company Hermes in September for use under real-life conditions. By the end of this year, Mercedes-Benz will have ten such vehicles on the road with customers. Series production is planned for 2021.

  • Two weeks ago, I highlighted the effects of 16 per cent VAT on farmers and how they can cope with effects of Increased cost of chemical pesticides. One such coping mechanism was the adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). One rice farmer with a burning desire to produce high quality rice with minimal chemicals wanted to know how practical it is to apply the IPM in rice fields. 

  • The latest RepTrak Pulse Survey for South Africa shows which local brands are most trusted and reputable among South African consumers.

  • The new Case IH Advanced Trailer Brake System represents a major advance in tractor safety and can now be specified as an option on Puma 185, 200, 220 and 240 CVX models.

  • The march of technology appears relentless in agriculture. But it’s also sometimes gradual, waiting for that trigger issue or event to drive new tools from research facility to farm. At the 2016 Farm Progress Show Case IH shared a vision for the autonomous tractor, turning the Magnum into a cab-free wonder that got a lot of attention.

  • New chemical and green product ranges known as “Residual Barrier Technology” (RBT) has recently been released after continuous research and new technological development to provide sanitary protection against reducing the large number of viable micro-organisms on contaminated surfaces. The product is UK manufactured and distributed by RBT247 in South Africa. 

  • From the invention of hoes, scythes and ploughs to the introduction of tractors, innovation is at the heart of agriculture. Today, a number of digital technologies — from autonomous robots that pick fruit to subterranean farms — are helping transform the industry.

  • South Africa’s agricultural sector accounts for approximately 12% of its export earnings with the fruit and vegetable industry showing rapid growth during the past 20 years. 

  • The tough economic conditions in recent months have impacted on the daily lives of all South Africans and have been of great concern to government. The rise in the oil price, change in sentiment towards emerging markets and deteriorating international trade relations have been among the contributing factors. 

  • The answer to the question about where salaries and wages come from will in many cases be from government or companies or other business ventures.

  • Many of the farmers Aaron Bobeck works with see a return-on-investment from using precision technology. But the 31-year-old says he also encounters many who are frustrated and on the verge of turning their backs on it.

    “I think it’s hard to quantify ROI for a lot of precision ag--it’s different for everyone and how they use it,”says Bobeck, who farms 1,800 acres of corn and soybeans with his dad and uncle in north-central Indiana and works on the side as a precision technology consultant. “Many folks have been burned by expensive, cost-per-acre data or decision services that didn’t deliver what they promised.”

    If you land squarely in the frustrated camp, Bobeck says there are still basic things you can do to use precision technology and pick up some benefits. Here are four he recommends:

    First, take stock of the kinds of precision tools you currently have. Evaluate whether you use all the existing features to their full advantage.

    “Most everyone has auto-steer but they don’t necessarily use it on end rows, along the edge of fields,” he says, as an example. “I have some other folks who are starting to use field boundaries in different ways.

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