Drone technology and agricultural biotechnology scream the future of agriculture. This became very clear during a recent Farmer’s Day hosted by FarmSol in Senekal, Free State.
The future of drones in agriculture looks promising. To many farmers, drones are becoming an affordable tech to address several production challenges. This rings especially true for award-winning Free State farmer, Clifford Mthimkulu, who uses crop-spraying drones to protect his maize and soya beans.
Power of technology on display
The farmer’s day, hosted on Mthimkulu’s Astoria Farm, saw farmers from all corners of the province make their way to the farm. There, they were trained on how to harness technology to increase production and yields.
The event garnered support from Toyota Ficksburg, Standard Bank, DeKalb, Grain SA, VS Kunsmis, WenKem SA, Precision Planting, Climate Fieldview, Abinbev, Sacta, Siqalo Food, and the Free State department of agriculture.
Janus Earle of OVS Agri, a supplier of all McCormick, Landini and Rostselmash Products as well as general agricultural equipment, did a demonstration with a high-speed disc tilling machine. This machine allows for better trash flow and incorporation, while simultaneously lifting the soil for less compaction. This effectively improves the quality of soil and helps maximise crop yields. Photo: Duncan Masiwa
Free State farmers listening with interest to Johan Kriel, provincial coordinator for Grain SA’s Farmer Development Programme. Kriel has a heart for agriculture and has helped many new farmers with their agricultural dreams. Photo: Duncan Masiwa
Drones take to the sky
Clarens Chemicals in Bethlehem also attended the farmer’s day. Pieter Boshoff exposed attendees to aerial pesticide spraying technology. Traditionally this has always been done using conventional fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters with a pilot onboard, but drone technology is now being used. The crop-spraying drone by Clarens Chemicals is easy to operate and saves farmers time, money and crops. Photo: Duncan Masiwa
The farmer’s day featured VS Kunsmis’ Jacques Jordaan, a sister company of VS Agri, a widely diversified manufacturer of agricultural inputs and services; Dr Jan Strydom, an independent agronomist at Sion and Owner of Axarea Precision Planting; and Jan Kotze from Nutrigrun, a supplier of fertiliser, seeds and more. Photo: Duncan Masiwa
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