Bark Borers and their Kin in Macadamias

by Schalk Schoeman, Rersearch Extension Manager, SAMAC The polyphagous shot hole borer was positively identified on macadamias in the South Coast during March this year. Various bark borer species were observed on macadamias since 2014 and their incidence has been increasing every year since then. This situation is not unique and other countries with subtropical [...]

South African scientists on pandemic’s frontline (Financial Times. London, 15th February 2021).

Decision to halt AstraZeneca roll-out highlights vital role played by country’s experts. Scientists are concerned the South Africa coronavirus strain could be far more widespread in the UK than test results show, threatening plans to start lifting lockdown once vaccines have been deployed. South Africa’s pause of its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in response [...]

Moth Borer Complex on Macadamia

Schalk Schoeman - SAMAC The economic importance of the moth complex is often vastly underestimated as growers often tend to only take notice of the direct kernel damage reported by various kernel processing facilities. Typically, this type of damage seldom exceeds 5% which is accepted as a general action threshold in lieu of a more [...]

Setting up an Orchard For Success – Part 2: Soil Preparation – Dr. Theunis Smit

Setting up an Orchard For Success – Part 2: Soil Preparation – Dr. Theunis Smit

In the first part one of this series of articles we have focused on the identification and selection of good quality trees, which in my opinion is one of the most critical steps in macadamia farming. Placing an order for tree should, in all cases, precede the land preparation phase of setting up a new [...]

Loading soil with biochar allows farmers to cut way back on irrigation. By Emma Bryce, for Anthropocene Magazine, October 23, 2020

DAILY SCIENCE Loading soil with biochar allows farmers to cut way back on irrigationAt high applications levels, researchers found that biochar can not only soak up a lot of carbon, but also reduce the need for irrigation by almost 40%. Biochar – the charcoal product used to enrich agricultural soil and trap carbon—may have a [...]

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 [...]