In this, the last edition of The Macadamia for the year, we are delighted to join the industry in congratulating Jill Whyte, chairperson of the Green Farms Nut Company, on her recognition as Mpumalanga Female Exporter of the Year from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and, in partnership with her husband Alan, as Farmer of the Year in the Limpopo province from the Agricultural Writers SA.

There is little doubt the contribution by the Whyte family to the growth and development of the macadamia industry in South Africa has been pivotal to its current and future success.

We wish Jill and Alan all the very best for the year and season ahead.

The world’s farmers are under massive pressure to improve the impact of their agricultural practices on the environment as the reality of the climate crisis hits home.

Consumers, particularly in Europe, the UK and the United States, are increasingly questioning the ethical integrity of the products they buy and what impact agricultural value chains are having on the environment.

Along these lines, we have headlined the story of macadamia and sugarcane farmer Dave Bell’s flock of sheep, who each day, graze the verges and between the lines of trees on his extensive operation in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

No neatly mown lawns or clipped verges – or “green deserts” – on this property, but rather, the orchards vibrate with the healthy sound of bees and the “good” insects, as indigenous Nguni sheep manage the grass and verges while paying for their upkeep with pocket money left over from the sale of male weaners.

Two articles on the importance of bees in the orchards highlight the absolute necessity for farmers to become well acquainted with the dangers of pesticides and how they affect bees, whose presence is critical to a good nut set and improved yields.

And our resident expert, Kobus van Niekerk, gives expert advice on the development of windbreaks in the orchard.

As cliched as it might sound, time does indeed fly and 2019 is almost behind us.

As the team at The Macadamia, we would like to wish all our readers, advertisers and contributors a peaceful and safe festive season, followed by a prosperous year ahead.