Pineapples are sweet, nutritional and can be used in a variety of ways in home cooking. Moreover, pineapples are regularly purchased in bulk by food manufacturers who turn the fruit into various beverages, sweets, baked goods and other food products.
Pineapples rank second on the list of the most consumed fruits in the world and constitute up to 20% of the world’s production of all tropical fruits. Since the 1960’s, the level of pineapple farming has increased dramatically. The fruit popularity in the world can be explained by the breeding of new species, in particular one that is referred to as “Gold“. The fruit is now prepared, canned and consumed in various forms such as pineapple chunks, slices, juices, jams, marmalade, crushed and dried pineapples. Pineapples are also used in cereals and as a snack food. Pineapple fruits are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin B6, Copper and Manganese.
The soil for pineapple farming should b well drained and slightly acidic in nature with pH levels around 4.5 to 6. The soil has to be light and can be sandy, alluvial or lateritic but not heavy clayey soil. The fruit is suitable for cultivation either near the seacoast or inland areas but the minimum temperature ranges should be in between 15.5 to 32 degrees C. The plants flower from February till April and bears fruit from July till September.
Pineapple plants get ready for harvest in 2 to 2.5 years. Flowers appear after 12 months from planting and fruits appear after 15 or 18 months. The ripening of fruits occur after 5 months from flowering. The fruits for table use are harvested when completely ripe whereas the fruits for canning are harvested at an early stage. Each variety has a different eye color in the fruit indicating its maturity or ripening level.
Kew – It is a leading commercial variety valued particularly for canning. Its fruits are big sized (1.5 – 2.5 kg) oblong and tapering slightly to the crown. The fruit with broad and shallow eyes becomes yellow when fully ripe.
Gian Kew – The variety is synonymous with Kew except for the size of plant and fruit which are larger than Kew as the name signifies.
Charlotte Rothschild – The fruit is similar in taste and other characters to that of Kew.
Queen – Its fruit are rich yellow in color, weighing 0.9 – 1.3 kg each. The flesh is deep golden – yellow, less juicy than Kew, crisp textured with a pleasant aroma and flavor.
Mauritius – It comes medium in size, its fruits are deep yellow and red. Yellow fruits are oblong, fibrous and medium sweet compared with red ones.This is ideal for table purposes.
Jaldhup & Lakhat – Both are under the Queen group with fruits smaller than Queen. Lakhat is markedly sour in taste, whereas Jaldhup has its sweetness well- blended with acidity.
Generally, commercial pineapple farming demands sufficient area of land and proper irrigation facility. In addition to that, the farm must have proper arrangements for plant protection. In this business, you can expect a substantial ROI and quick payback but you will need a well-structured farming business plan to get you going.
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As countries make the switch to renewable energy, solar power is a major player. All you need is sunlight and land to use for solar panels. It’s that easy. Over the course of a year, a study in “Nature Sustainability” analyzed what is known as “Agrivoltaics”. This is a land-sharing process tat integrates agriculture and solar energy int a symbiotic system; meaning that vegetables are planted in the shade of solar panels.
The agrivoltaics system assisted crops by regulating air temperatures, reducing direct sunlight, and increasing moisture in the air. Panels also protected the crops from intense winds and sunlight. Not only did the panels help the plants, but the plants also increased the efficiency of the solar panels by cooling them via transpiration. In mixed crop solar farms, the skin temperature is 18 degrees cooler than in open fields. This can create a much safer work environment as some farm laborers are at risk of heat stroke and other heat – related dangers.
A team of French scientists lead by Christopne Dupraz were the first to use the term “Agrivoltaic”. It basically means when solar panels and food crops are combined on the same land to maximize the land use. It’s an idea to maximize the land use. It’s an idea which could bring food producing to the next level. Researchers from the University of Arizona have claimed growing crops in the shade of solar panels can lead to two or three times more vegetable and fruit production than conventional agriculture.
The scientists said that their measurements showed how shading from the panels had a positive impact on air temperature, direct sunlight and atmospheric demand for water. The shade provided by the PV panels resulted in cooler daytime and warmer nighttime temperatures than the traditional, open-sky planting system they said. There was also a lower vapor pressure deficit in the agrivoltaics system, meaning there was more moisture in the air.
Solar farming is a field filled with hundreds or maybe thousands of solar panels oriented into the sun. Instead of potatoes, beans or tomatoes planted in the soil, solar panels cover that land, while energy is being produced. It is obvious that traditional farming is a relatively risky business because one is very much dependent on weather conditions. If there is just the right amount of sun, rain and if there no extreme storms, strong winds etc. Thus, not to worry about all these environmental factors and still get income is really uplifting and a bit too good to be true. Therefore, next to power generation, solar farms found another niche “agrivoltaics” – or in other words APV-. It is an amazing idea for a environmentally conscious world, both agribusiness and society.
There are three types of agrivoltaics that are being actively researched:
1. solar arrays with space between for crops;
2. stilled solar array above crops; and
3. greenhouse solar array.
All three of these systems have several variables used to maximize solar energy absorbed in both the panels and the crops. The main variable taken into account for agrivoltaic systems is the angle of the solar panels – called the tilt angle. Other variables taken into account for choosing the location of the agrivoltaic system are the crops chosen, height of the panels, solar irradiation in the area and the climate of the area.
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Starting a pet grooming business is not only a relatively easy business to start up, it can also be quite profitable especially if you have strategies in place that make you stand out from your competitors. The demand for other pet services have grown as owners now also want their pets to live long, stay healthy as well as happier.
Popular Pet Services:
* Dog training.
* Pet behavioral consulting;
* Pet portrait photography;
* Pet Sitting; and
* Upscale and holistic spa services.
Another very popular service is “Mobile Pet Grooming”. This service involves the use of specially equipped vehicles that travel to pet owners homes. It allows groomers the ability to perform a full range of services right outside the customer’s door. This is a very in -demand service because:
– It’s convenient for the customer.
– It reduces potential stress on the pets.
– It’s perfect for home – bound older people who have companion animals.
On the downside, initial start – up costs for such an enterprise are hefty. Those in a position to make an investment in this are virtually guaranteed high business growth dividends.
Pet Health Insurance
Sales of pet policies have begin to accelerate in recent times. This trend is expected to proliferate dramatically and offer the enhanced potential for pet business growth due to a number of factors:
* People increasingly regard their pets as beloved family members;
* Pets (like people) are living longer, requiring more complex and extended medical care.
* Advances in the veterinary technology have resulted in more costly medical care.
Considering that pet parents are expected to spend even more on their companion animals in the future, the sky’s the limit for those who have a good head for business and genuine love of animals. Remember that for the most part, customers will be entrusting a beloved pet to your care so you should always make sure that you treat their animal with respect at all times and never make any negative remarks about its condition or appearance.
Customers are likely to include:
– Owners of breeds that require regular grooming. Many owners will have neither the necessary skills not the time to groom their pets regularly and so prefer to have a professional do it for them.
– Professionals and enthusiasts who breed and show animals – particularly dogs and cats.
– Owners who are not physically able to groom their own pets.
– Owners of animals that need flea or other parasite treatments.
– Owners of animals that have been referred to you for grooming by a vet.
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Chicory is a woody, perennial herbaceous plant and it is a member of the daisy family of plants called “Asteracease”. Chicory produces tubes or roots in the first year and develop a flower only in the second year.
Chicory root has a lot of health benefits on the human body, because of its ingredients. Chicory is an excellent source of potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. In South Africa, Chicory is grown almost solely for the root. This is cut into cubes which are dried, roasted and milled and used for blending with coffee. Chicory is also consumed fresh, usually in salads or as a cooked potherb. The leftover parts of the root which are too small to be cubed are sold as stock feed.
Chicory prefers fertile, well-drained soil rich in organic malter. Loams, silt loams and clay loam soil often produce higher yields than lighter textured sandy soil as the latter has lower water retention ability and the crop suffers moisture stress sooner. Chicory is a cool – season plant. It grows fastest when conditions are warm and the monthly temperature does not exceed 25 grade Celsius. The plant can survive moderate but not severe frost.
There are 3 main types of Chicory gown for their leaves:
1. A bitter – tasting loose – leaved form is grown as a green winter vegetable, especially in southern Italy.
2. A narrow – leaved, witloof or Belgian form has a compact, elongated head (chicon) which is blanched for use in salads or cooked dishes.
3. A broad – leaved (usually red) form produces cabbage – like hearts. These are generally less bitter than the other forms and are eaten raw or cooked. These forms are often used as a winter salad crop.
Chicory requires 75 to 90 mm of water per month for 160 000 to 180 000 plants per hectare, and then increasing 120 to 140 mm per month during the last 2 months before harvesting.
The best time to plant Chicory is in the spring season. Seed should be sown in a fine-textured seed bed, at a depth of not more than 6 cm in rows spaced 45 – 60 cm apart. When the plants reach the four-leaf stage they are thinned to stand 20 to 25cm apart in the row. The plant density is about 150 000 plants per hectare. Ideal planting time for sandy coastal regions (dry land) is from Feb. to May. Up country dry land plantings can be planted from March to middle September.
Chicory irrigation periods should not be longer than 4 hours at a time; 3 to 4 hours are ideal. Some more irrigation is needed for Chicory in drier areas.
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Barley is mainly produced in the Western Cape under dry land conditions. Two-thirds of our barley is produced in the areas around Caledon, Bredasdorp, Napier, Swellendam, Heidelberg and recently, patches of the Swartland region too. The remainer of the barley production is in the Northern Cape under irrigation – Vaalharts, Douglas, Barkley West and Modderrivier. Barley is also grown by some small-scale farmers at Taung in the North West Province.
The barley marketing season in South Africa commences on 1 October and ends on 30 September the following year. After wheat, barley is the most important small grain in South Africa. Its main uses includes:
* production of malt – used for the brewing of beer;
* animal feed; and
* pearl barley.
The planting equipment used for wheat is also suitable for barley. Do not plat barley seed too deep, as this can affect seedling emergence. Planting density can range from 65kg/ha to 100kg/ha depending on the state of the seedbed, planting date, irrigation method and planter used. The average recommended planting density is 80kg/ha, given a 100% germination capacity as well as a 1000 kemel weight of approximately 40kg. Aim to establish 130 to 140 plants/m2 at harvesting. Between 65kg/ha and 80kg/ha seed ought to be sufficient under centre pivot conditions with optimal seedbed preparation.
In -expensive and easy to grow, barley provides exceptional erosion control and weed suppression in semi – arid regions and light soils. It also can fill short rotation niches or serve as a topsoil protecting crop during droughty conditions in any region. It is more salt tolerant than other small grains and can sop up excess subsoil moisture to help prevent saline seep formation. Barley prefers cool dry growing areas. As a spring cover crop, it can be grown farther north than any other cereal grain, largely because of its short growing period. It can also produce more biomass in a shorter time than any other cereal crop.
Quick to establish, barley out-competes weeds largely by absorbing soil moisture during its early growing stages. It also shades out weeds and releases allelopathic chemicals that help suppress them.
Barley can reduce incidence of leaf-hoppers, aphids, army-worms, root – knot nematodes and other pests, a number of studies suggest.
Barley has an upright posture and relatively open canopy that makes it a fine nurse crop for establishing a forage or legume stand. Less competitive than other small grains, barley also uses less water than other covers crops.
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