Microbiologist and KwaZulu-Natal farmer Morgan Brand used the scale of permanence as a guide to set up his farm. He joins us on this week’s podcast to unpack the factors farmers need to consider when setting up a new operation.
Brand explains that the scale of permanence is a checklist of nine fundamentals to consider right at the start of setting up a farm. Those factors are climate, geography, water systems, access, fruit/forestry/livestock, buildings, fencing, soil and economy.
Analysing the climate in your farming area is of the utmost importance. Brand says that climate encompasses both weather-related factors like temperature, winds and rainfall, and socio-economic factors. “There’s a lot you can bring into this, but it is specific to your context. So, what are your climate-related questions? Figure them out, brainstorm, write them down.”
The geography of the land is second on the list, and Brand says farmers need to consider the physical lay of the land and how it will affect their venture. “Analyse the land – the land shape, the land form – and understand its aspects. Where is it facing – north, southeast or west for light? Understand its steepness on a gradient, [how it relates to the] water [supply], and also how that gradient changes as you move around.”
All farming ventures need water, so your water supply needs to be a major consideration when you lay out your operation. You need to determine the source of your water and if you need licensing for it. You also need to think about irrigation and water storage. “With water, you look at how it naturally moves around: where is it going, how is it doing it and where is it being destructive? Understanding how it’s going to cause you trouble is important.”
To hear Brand talk our listeners through the rest of the checklist, take a listen to the podcast by clicking on the links at the end of this article.
Other podcast highlights:
This week’s episode of the Farmer’s Inside Track podcast also features other highlights that farmers will find useful:
- Poultry farming: The South African Poultry Farmers and Suppliers Association talks about the prevalence of scammers in the poultry industry. Spokesperson Jay Venter chats about how to avoid being tricked.
- World Rabies Day: Afrivet’s Dr Didi Claassen talks to us about the rabies outbreak and reminds us that rabies vaccination is compulsory by law.
- Animal nutrition: Voermol’s Dr Francois van de Vyver gives us more insight into animal nutrition. He shares a few tips on how to ensure your animals are properly nourished.
- Book of the week: Our book of the week is The New Corner Office: How successful people work from home by Laura Vanderkam.
- Farmer’s tip of the week: Our farmer’s tip this week comes from Mpumezo Ndima, a farm manager from KwaZulu-Natal.
- SoilSistas: This week’s #SoilSista, powered by Food for Mzansi and Corteva Agriscience, is farmer Mapaseka Dlamini from Gauteng. This farmer has experienced some hard times but came out victorious.
How to listen to Farmer’s Inside Track
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