Syngenta National Potato Farmer of the Year 2019

Syngenta Nasionale Aartappelboer van die Jaar 2019

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ENGLISH

The Syngenta National Potato Farmer 2019 was announced at the Syngenta evening function of the Potatoes South Africa Congress on 18 September at the Tsogo Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel in Cape Town.

George Barnard, the winner of this prestige award, is a processing producer in the Marble Hall area. He annually plants between 200 and 300 hectares of potatoes, all under irrigation. He produces potatoes for only three processing companies, Simba, McCain and on a smaller scale for Willards. 

George’s unique management practices enable him to follow a three-year rotation system, with two crops planted per pivot annually. One such practice is the strict biological programme implementing a product derived from mushrooms. The antibiotic secreted by mushrooms enables George to control parasitic bearing fungi and bacteria in the ground naturally.

George furthermore attributes his success to his approach to water management. Water scheduling is done in two ways, through traditional probes and neutron probes with which he measures the moist in the soil. George explains that the biggest problem producers in South Africa face with irrigation, is not the high temperatures but rather relative humidity. A high relative humidity causes a plant to grow an hour or two longer per day which is George’s secret to yield.

A second water management practice is the manual digging of small holes every 1m to 1,5m between the rows. The holes fills with the irrigated water and prevents it from flowing out of the field. The accumulated water then seeps into the soil profile as per the drainage rate. When the plant becomes bigger and the water need increases, the fine root hairs grow towards the little pool to absorb water there. This enables George to obtain an enormous input cost saving on power and everything that goes with it, as well as an outstanding increase in yield.

AFRIKAANS

Die Syngenta Nasionale Aartappelboer 2019 is tydens die Syngenta aandfunksie by die Aartappels Suid-Afrika Kongres op 18 September by die Tsogo Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel in Kaapstad aangekondig.

George Barnard, die wenner van hierdie gesiene toekennig, is ‘n verwerkingsprodusent in die Marble Hall area. Hy plant jaarliks tussen 200 ha en 300 ha aartappels, alles onder spilpuntbesproeiing. Hy produseer aartappels slegs vir drie verwerkingsmaatskappye, Simba, McCain en op ‘n kleiner skaal vir Willards.

Aartappels word by George in twee seisoene per jaar geplant. George se unieke bestuurspraktyke stel hom in staat om ‘n drie jaar rotasiestelsel te volg, waar daar elke jaar twee oeste per spilpunt geplant word. Een so ‘n praktyk is die streng biologiese program wat gevolg word met ‘n produk wat van sampioene vervaardig word. Die antibiotikum wat ‘n sampioen afskei maak dit vir George moontlik om al die parasities-draende swamme en bakterieë wat in die grond is op ‘n natuurlike manier te kan beheer.

George skryf sy sukses spesifiek toe aan sy metode van waterbestuur. Waterskedulering word gedoen op twee maniere, deur tradisionele “probes” en die neutron vogmeter waarmee hy die vog binne die lande meet. George verduidelik dat die grootste probleem waarmee produsente in Suid-Afrika onder besproeiing sit nie hoë temperature is nie, maar relatiewe humiditeit. ‘n Hoë relatiewe humiditeit in die land veroorsaak dat ‘n plant vir ‘n uur of twee ure per dag langer groei wat George se geheim is tot opbrengs.

‘n Tweede waterbestuurpraktyk wat beoefen word is klein dammetjies wat met die hand elke 1m tot 1,5m in die landery gekap word. Die gaatjies veroorsaak dat water wat besproei word nie uit die land kan wegloop nie. Water akkumuleer daar en kan dan deursyfer in die grondprofiel soos wat die dreinering tempo dit toelaat. Wanneer die plante groter word en die waterbehoefte meer raak, groei die fyn haarworteltjies na daardie dammetjie om daar te gaan water opneem. Daardeur kry George ‘n ongelooflike insetkoste-besparing op krag en alles wat daarmee gepaard gaan en ook ‘n uitstekende verhoging in opbrengs.

Released by the Communication Deparment of Potatoes South Africa/
Uitgereik deur die Kommunikasie Departement van Aartappels Suid-Afrika
Hanrie Greebe: hanrie@potatoes.co.za,  (076) 116 7206
Mea Botha: communication@potatoes.co.za

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