Home

Newsletters

NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE
SUBSCRIBE
UNSUBSCRIBE
FORWARD TO A FRIEND
Contact us
Projects
Forums & Seminars
Company Profiles

Forthcoming Events


Job Opportunities in Africa
Media Partners
About Us

 
 














CATEGORY. WATER & IRRIGATIONRETURN TO NEWSLETTER INDEX PAGE
VIEW ALL ARTICLES
spacer

Agri weave: For better water retention and easier crop management


PROMOTIONAL FEATURE | 21 JULY 2014

Spilo Technical Textiles's Agri weave product allows for a significant reduction in water and herbicide consumption, among numerous other benefits. The product is specifically designed for use in the farming of fruit, vegetables, essential oils, olives, Proteaceae, medicinal plants and flowers.

Spilo, a division of Gelvenor Consolidated Fabrics, was founded in 1951 in Paarl, South Africa. The business has grown from being a producer of jute-woven bags for the local grain industry to an exporter of a wide variety of synthetic technical fabrics that supplies several sectors, including agriculture.

Agri weave is a permeable yet durable woven synthetic mulch, it permits the flow of water and air to the soil, while blocking out sunlight and hence reducing evaporation.

It also affects the germination of weeds, reducing reliance on noxious herbicides and other organic chemicals, making management of crops much easier.

Production and distribution of Agri weave has grown exponentially over the past three years, with more weaving machines being set up or converted to producing Agri weave to meet ever-increasing demand from agriculture.

Agri weave is currently being exported into other countries in Africa and is already used in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Uganda, with consignments headed to Kenya and Tanzania.

It is expected to greatly assist these rapidly developing agriculture sectors. Spilo is currently also growing its distribution footprint in Africa, and actively looking for potential partners.

Ideal for fruit farmers

The success of Agri weave in protea/fynbos farming has sparked interest from the fruit sector. Trials involving citrus, deciduous, stone and other fruit are under way and already showing positive results.

Many blueberry plantations in southern Africa use Agri weave. According to Hannes Steenkamp of South Cape Fruit, it achieves "better growth and higher yield".

"Agri weave also assists with general management and reduces labour costs," he adds.

Increasing demand

Fruit, flower and vineyard farmer Kevin Snyman confirms this.

"We're continuing to monitor water usage, but it's safe to say that we have thus far experienced a saving of between 20% and 30% because of Agri weave and the reduced evaporation rate it creates," he says.

Savings in herbicides have also been significant, he adds.

With increasing demand for products and technologies that can reduce water and herbicide consumption, Agri weave is effectively marketing itself through successful usage and word of mouth.

"Europe and several other countries are accustomed to farming in this way and now is the time for southern Africa to embrace this tried-and-tested technology," says protea cultivation specialist Dr Gerhard Malan.

Less labour for weeding

One of the advantages of Agri weave is to remove the need for tedious hand-weeding in organic farming, where chemicals/herbicides are not permitted. This was confirmed in trials conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

"Using Agri weave weed-mat for addressing challenges and labour costs associated with weed control in organic farming was extremely successful, based on results from an experiment involving essential oil-bearing crops and comparing a weed-mat and manual weeding," says Ebrahim Wadiwala, enterprise development specialist with the CSIR.

"Plants grown in the weed-mat require an average of 24 man-hours per month on an area of 2 400m² for weed control, while manually weeding the same area requires an average of 320 man-hours per month. This is 13 times more man hours than the weed-mat."

Additional advantages

An ongoing trial is evaluating the effectiveness of Agri weave at weed control by preventing harmful crawling insects from gaining access to the crops (trees, in this case) by using the weeds as 'bridges'. This could potentially save farmers considerable sums by helping to prevent fruit or crop loss.

It has also been proved in trials that the weed mat helps to retain moisture and ensure soil temperature control, which greatly assist with root development and general growth.

"Agri weave lets the soil have a more uniform temperature between day and night," says Dr Eduard Hoffman, head of soil science at Stellenbosch University.

"The average temperature was three degrees lower. This is much more in summer – 5°C cooler compared with the control – especially in the top 5cm of soil. This will prevent root die-back closer to the soil surface."

Contact details

For more information, or to request a quote, contact George Taljaard at:
MAIL.  georget@spilo.co.za
WEBSITE.  www.spilo.co.za

SIGN UP FOR
OUR NEWSLETTER
VIEWED.  4236 
 
spacer

Tags


agri weave

 
THIS ARTICLE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED BY
AGRI4AFRICA

 
                                             
© 2012-2017 AGRI4AFRICA
TIGME.COM | GOVISIT.NET
Newsletter signup buttonP.O. Box 410
Kleinmond 7195
Western Cape
South Africa
Phone. +27 28 272 9071
Contact us by Email
Right column footer