Editors Note

Welcome to the first issue of Harvest SA for 2017

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Life is full of surprises, not all of them pleasant. The biggest shock to the system came recently with the announcement that the dreaded Fall Armyworm had been discovered wreaking havoc on proudly South African crops. A creature of nightmare with the potential to reduce the hard work of years to nothing overnight, this is one crawling creature that cannot be underestimated. Fortunately, our agricultural sector is teeming with experts in pest control, and we are sure you'll appreciate their expert opinion in this edition of Harvest SA.

Indeed, it seems that knowledge has become the key to success in just about every agricultural endeavour. A hit-and-miss approach is bound to fail; nowadays it takes precise knowledge of production techniques as well as marketing methods to make the grade. Whether it is a question of large, complicated topics like climate change, which affects everyone in ways that are sometimes hard to understand. the best ways to raise crops, the most effective water management techniques, or practical advice on cash-flow (to name a few topics), you'll be enlightened by the expert opinion contained in this issue.

You'll also find out things you might not have suspected previously. Did you ever imagine that bats could be an effective form of natural pest control? Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a crop-sprayer pilot? Did you know that cow dung can be used to generate energy and fertiliser at once? The world of agriculture is filled with marvels – if only we had enough pages to cover them all!

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