All indications thus far point to an outbreak of the African Armyworm in parts of the Free State. Cropwatch members are currently undertaking field surveys and monitoring. DAFF has been notified as the migrant pest task team and inspectors is required to monitor the outbreak should it be the African Army worm. In addition, traps have been placed to scout for the presence of the Fall Armyworm in the region; if present.
However, the first photos received from the Henneman-area, seems to be that of the African Armyworm, as confirmed by two entomologists.
The map below indicate the most recent portal updates for the African Armyworm.
Image courtesy of Cropwatch Africa
FOOTPRINTS... A CRITICAL REFLECTION
Following great uncertainty of the past year, Grain SA had to critically reflect and take decisive steps to create a new footprint for farming and local food production. Through all its efforts, and keeping a sustainable grain sector on the forefront of all its does, the organisation will continue to engage government and agricultural stakeholders in its efforts to ensure sustainable grain production and national food security.
With the annual Congress on 8-9 March 2019, Grain SA members, producers, government officials, role-players, academics, partners and stakeholders gathered on NAMPO Park to deliberate the 2019 theme, A A Critical Reflection for a New Footprint. This theme aimed amongst others, to emphasise the shape and size of footprints in agriculture. To find who is needed and will, wear the boots, show the way and leave meaningful footprints, since no one knows exactly what awaits behind the next hill. Surely the main purpose of a critical reflection is to take ownership, and Grain SA has, over and above critically reviewing its own footprint, urged Congress to make purposeful decisions and join the organisation on it's journey.
View the Chairperson's Report audio-visual presented at Congress below
Also presented at Congress, Grain SA's marketing and engagement activities throughout the year is highlighted below
STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT WITH TIA AND DST PAVES WAY FOR COLLABORATION Grain Research and Policy Centre
The Grain SA Research and Policy Centre team met with representatives from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), the Department of Science and Technology (DST) as well as the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) to discuss research conducted to date as well as future opportunities. The Research & Policy Centre team will work closely with representatives from the aforementioned partners to strengthen and expand agricultural research in South Africa.
Front row (l.t.r): Beaulla Mathebula, Annelie de Beer, Miekie Human, Sinethemba Zulu, Xolisa Melamane, Marinda Visser, Petru Fourie, Stefan Links
Back row: Sandile Ngcamphalala (left) and Ben Durham (right)
INVESTIGATION INTO FACTORS AFFECTING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE AGROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA
The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) is currently engaged in a desktop study to determine the factors which have a significant impact on the competitiveness of the Agrochemical value chain. The purpose of this investigation is to identify the factors that affect the competitiveness of the Agrochemical value chain in an effort to: (i) empower industry role players to make better decisions in positioning themselves appropriately, (ii) empower organizations in the industry to improve their service delivery by focusing on those issues which are of greatest importance to the Agrochemical value chain, and (iii) inform policy makers and other directly affected groups of the factors that affect the Agrochemical industry.
The purpose of this questionnaire is to solicit stakeholders’ opinions on the factors that are most likely to influence the level of competitiveness in the Agrochemical value chain. Respondents are also requested to weigh these factors in order of importance in terms of their impact on competitiveness.
Producers are encouraged to participate as each opinion is regarded as a significant contribution to better position the Agrochemical industry, not only in South Africa, but globally.
To download a copy of the Agrochemical Industry Competitiveness Questionnaire, click here
To complete the questionnaire online, click here
Closing date for submissions: 18 April 2019
CLIMATE RESILIENCE RESEARCHERS RENDEZVOUS IN RHODES Grain Research and Policy Centre
The Grain SA Research and Policy Centre team visited Rhodes University in March to meet with role players in the Climate Resilience Consortium. These role players included members of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Sensako, the University of Fort Hare and Rhodes University. The aim of the meeting was to bring together expertise from various institutions to assess how industry can tackle the effects of global warming on crop production. Ultimately, this consortium aims to ensure that research infrastructure and programmes are in line with longer term future conditions.
This visit identified key aspects of concern, i.e. increased temperatures, more frequent drought periods, erratic rainfall and elevated CO2. This information-filled day culminated with a tour of the elevated CO2 chambers at Rhodes University that is capable of testing crop response under future climatic conditions.
Front row: Peter Mavindidze, Richard Johnson Back row: Francois Koekemoer, Stefan Links, Lebogang Madubanya, Marinda Visser, Miekie Human, Petru Fourie, Charles Mutengwa and Brad Ripley
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