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It was an honor to attend the Agri Tsitsikamma East farmers day which was held at Rheebokrant Farm on Tuesday the 12th of September. Most talks of the day were focused on soil water and nutrient dynamics with emphasis on building soil carbon. Notable talks were by agronomist Peter King and Fanie Yssel. Peter spoke about the practical application of micro nutrients to dairy pastures. He noted the lack of consensus within the research community about the suitable norms for micronutrient application rates in dairy pastures. Another interesting talk was by Fanie Yssel from Small Karoo Seed Marketing who spoke about soil and water management of the maize crop. An important takeaway point from his talk was the emphasis on always keeping the soil covered. He mentioned that when the soil is bare, it loses water and carbon, both which are crucial for crop growth.

Check out the images below to see how the day progressed.

Portia Phohlo

Portia Phohlo

Portia is a Trace and Save researcher and has been part of the team that works on the Woodlands Dairy sustainability project for the past 4 years. She studied B.Sc in Agriculture where she majored in crop and soil science at the University of Fort Hare. She went on to do her honors and master’s degree in soil science at the University of the Free State. She is very passionate about soil health and soil microbiology and believes that applying soil health principles will rehabilitate degraded soils.

In her free time, Portia loves catching up on House of Cards and The Walking Dead series. The latter she says she finds it fascinating how a dead decomposed organic material can still be conscious, this actually breaks all rules of microbiology according to her. When she’s not watching that, she enjoys watching motivational videos from Ted, especially ones by her idols Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Brene Brown.
Contact Portia on any of her social media platforms or alternatively email her at
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Twitter: @motsedisi
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Portia Phohlo

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