Beekeeping and the Challenges that Face the Industry Part Two

By Inge Lotter 15 October 2020 The Effect of Pesticide and Fungicide Application on Apis mellifera (honey bees) In the previous article we looked at one of the challenges that face beekeepers in South Africa which is theft and vandalism of their bee hives. The second and very serious challenge that beekeepers face is directly [...]

Blossom Blight on Macadamia

Maritha Schoeman Plant disease specialist ARC-TSC The summer rains came early this season but the rain also brought a reason for great concern for the macadamia growers in the form of possible flower diseases.  Flowering this season was extremely good, but the rain came at a time when many flowers were only a few days [...]

Setting up an orchard for success – Part 1: Selecting Good Quality Trees

We often get asked the question “how old will my macadamia trees get”? Well, no one is really sure, but what we do know is that they will be around to feed our grandchildren when taken care of. The real question that we need to ask ourselves is will our trees be able to produce [...]

Using Wetting Front Detectors (WFD) as a Cheap and Easy Way to Manage Water and Nutrients in Macadamias – Dr. Theunis Smit

When it comes to managing water and nutrients in macadamias, we are often left with two options. We either have to spend a fortune on high-end equipment to help us manage our resources or we simply neglect to monitor water and nutrient use. Fortunately, some basic and inexpensive tools are available to help growers manage [...]

Beekeeping and the challenges that face the industry

By Inge Lotter 4 September 2020 Part One: The plight of the honeybee is a global concern. The agricultural sector is heavily reliant on bee pollination (some industries more so than others), impacting on crop quantity and quality i.e Blueberries that have virtually unmarketably small fruit without adequate pollination. As the sector expands to meet [...]

Taking Care of your Frost-Damaged Trees – Dr. Theunis Smit

With the rapid expansion of the macadamia industry into sometimes more marginal areas, this year’s winter has proven to be rather challenging for most macadamia growers. Not only have growers reported a large number of small trees dying but there have also been some reports on the death of mature macadamia trees. Macadamias, being subtropical [...]

Irrigation and Water Management During Flowering

By Theunis Smit, White River Macadamias, and many other fruit trees tend to flower in spring, a season which is characterized by moderate temperatures, varying degrees of wind and more often than not a significant lack in rainfall.  Not only is rain scarce during spring, it is also the driest part of the year considering [...]

How a Barberton Farmer Caught Macadamia Thieves Red-Handed

How one Barberton farmer stalked a gang of nut thieves over three months until he caught them red-handed and made an arrest for theft - with cunning and a shotgun. To protect his identity we will call this hero farmer "Tom" and refer to the arrested thief as "Jerry". Tom farms a hundred plus hectares [...]

How biochar helps improve your soil’s ecosystem

The Role of Biochar in the Soil: The role of biochar in the soil is electron transfer and adhering to a coating of materials that help it capture and exchange nutrients. See this article explaining what co-composting does to biochar. Nearly all of the benefits of biochar in the soil come from the coating of [...]