Plant mixtures differ to a large extent in nitrogen (N) composition. Nitrate-N: ammonium-N ratios vary according to raw material contents. The optimum nitrate: ammonium-ratio is close to 3:1 while 100% ammonium-N could impair plant growth and yield (Adriaanse 1990).



    Inorganic nitrogen (N) dissolved in groundwater could be lost for crop production through downward and sideway movements of groundwater, resulting in lower yields and profit margins above costs. Differences in leaching between N sources can effectively be utilised to reduce the risk of N leaching.

  • Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev say they have conducted a pilot study that showed that raw human excrement can potentially be converted to a safe, reusable fuel and a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

  • Diversified chemicals group Omnia says its innovative nitrophosphate plant under construction in Sasolburg will materially improve the company’s overall competitiveness in the production of fertilisers, despite an upward revision to the project’s capital cost.

  • High crop yields often come under scrutiny because of the fertilizer levels needed to produce such yields and because of the perception and reality of the potential environmental impacts of those inputs.

  • Nitrogen pollution is produced by a number of interlinked compounds, from ammonia to nitrous oxide. While they have both natural and human sources, the latter increased dramatically over the past century as farmers scaled up food production in response to population growth. Once these chemicals are released into the air and water, they contribute to problems that include climate change and “dead zones” in rivers, lakes and coastal areas.

  • South Africa's farmers compete in a global village and have to use the latest technology to ensure that decision-making is as effective as possible. Technology also has an important role to play in empowering small-scale farmers to make their businesses more viable. 

  • One way to improve profitability, is to reduce input costs. When it comes to maize, one of those inputs – and a particularly significant one at that – is nitrogen fertiliser. But how much could you save if your maize, like legumes, could fix its own nitrogen?

  • If you started your day wearing clothing made of cotton, eating multigrain cereal doused with milk or filling your vehicle's tank with an ethanol blend, you may want to thank a farmer.

  • An average of 40% of the nitrogen fertiliser applied to crops isn’t utilised and could be lost. However, by making small changes to fertiliser use, farmers can reduce these losses and boost margins.

  • Only focusing on the transfer of land to previously excluded communities as a measure of successful land and agriculture reform, as currently appears to be, is spectacularly misplaced.  

  • Scientists have engineered new signalling networks to produce crops that need less fertiliser. The novel synthetic plant-microbe signalling pathway could provide the foundation for transferring nitrogen fixation to cereals.

  • The reason the productivity of industrial agriculture is now under threat is because it has been systematically degrading the human and natural capital on which it relies.




Farming Diary


2:00 pm 09.17.2019 - 3:00 pm 09.18.2019


10.03.2019 - 10.04.2019



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