Cronje Boerdery in South Africa
A Family business run by Christo, Abrie and nephew Jaco. The farm management is divided between crop production lead by Christo, Abrie does the cows and sheep and Jaco the chicken production. Emmerentia was established in 1952 by their grandfather. Current structure has been successfully running for 15 years.
- Land area: 17 000 ha
- Plant production: 4500 ha maize, 2500 ha soya beans, 10 000 ha grassland
- Animal production: 3000 beef cows, 480 000 pcs/per cycle (7,4 cycle /year) of chicken and 3000 sheep.
- Animal and plant production:45 workers
- Soil type: shallow clay-sand soil, sandy, area is situated near to Harrismith
- pH average:pH 5,4
- Usual rain is late September till April: 550 mm -600 mm
- Farm Cronje and Bednar:3x SWIFTERDISC XE 12 000 equipped with 3 x FERTI-BOX FB 3000, FENIX FO 6000
The first SWIFTERDISC XE 12 000 (1x) harrowed 2000 ha in one season, on the dry hard land after the corn harvest. The wear off the A-disc disc, was very sufficient for the farm operators as we speak about the dry hard solid soil.
Depth set up was 5-6 cm as the corn stubbles needed to be left on the top soil to act as insulation against the land drying out.
Here we can see the importance of choosing the right packer for the land. The pass of the disc can leave small clods, but with the double packer (basket and flat-bar packer) the clods were removed.
In minimum vertical tillage, the farm needed a pass with strip-till technology and then seeding. The soil after the proper disc harrowing with an XE 12 000 was nicely ready for seeding thanks to the accurate machine design. The set-up of the XE 12 000 together with a FERTI-BOX was used in some places as a spreader of lime. Orthman strip-till is also a seeding machine here on the Cronje farm, this machine has been specifically designed here. Some of the soya beans are cultivated also with an XE 12 000 depending on stubble height.
Wheat test: seed sowing with an XE 12 000 and FB 3000:
The crop was ready to harvest, nice strong wheat with an expectation of harvest up to 8 t/ha.
The problem was the hail and storms just before the harvest started and the crop was damaged leaving a 1 t/ha harvest.
Seeding specification:140 kg/ha, 12 km/h, JD 8370R, 5-6 cm depth control, 13-14 km/h
- Wheat 56kg/ha,
- white black and peas,
- white reddish,
- cattle feed,
- FENIX cultivation with FB 3000 dosing (N,P,K) in one pass.
- Planting with SWIFTERDISC and FB 3000 wheat normally to harvest. Maybe soya beans too.
Quote from Christo: “I am impressed with the machines and the quality of the job! We have compared this with the big competitors on 200 ha and this machine is much better at the job so it stays!
African farming has to work on “120 %” because of the weather and overall conditions. The harvest is the most important of course.
Sometimes if we have 5mm rain we are happy, in summer season(September –end of March) we sometimes do not have rain for approx. 4-6 weeks. This can be damaging for the harvest yields.“
Soya beans we have an average 2,8 t/ha (13 % moisture),
Corn 8,5 -9,5t/ha (harvest below 14 % close 12 % moisture)”
The Bovelder breed is the main type of cattle and farm is selling them as a full cows on the market. Sheep full sell -intensive growth every 8 months.
Chickens 32 days 1,9 -2 kg – then to the market.