Farming Methods in South Africa

© Chris Daly
A cow spray dipping after being milked.

Many different ways of farming are used in South Africa, ranging from intensive to extensive and free-range, conventional to organic, biodynamic and regenerative. 

In South Africa, there are no laws stipulating the minimum requirements for produce to classify as organic, biodynamic, sustainable, regenerative or free-range. Instead, different retailers have their own standards certified by third parties.

While the uninformed often blame farmers for unfriendly production methods, the majority of farmers in South Africa, regardless of the production method, see themselves as custodians of the land. Most farmers are also not “stuck” in one discipline, but rather see different farming methods as tools that should be adapted to production conditions and requirements.

Animal Instincts and Low Stress Livestock Handling

Besides making use of an animal’s point of balance and flight zone, low stress livestock handling takes prey animal’s natural instincts and fears into account....more

Biological Farming

Where conventional farming practices entail the use of chemical inputs to produce a crop or livestock, biological farming focuses on creating favourable soil environment....more

Environmentally Responsible Production

The scheme provides industry standards relating to waste and waste water management, biodiversity management as well as integrated pest management on the farm and in the cellar....more

Extensive versus Intensive Production

Intensive production is defined as an agricultural practice where producers spend a lot of money, labour and time in comparison with the area being farmed....more

Free Range Production

The term free range in its most simple form implies that animals are free to move as they want, almost like wild animals in the Serengeti....more

High Density Grazing

Karoo sheep farmer André Lund and Zimbabwean cattle farmer Johann Zietsman are seen as the pioneers of high density and ultra high density grazing in South Africa....more

Low Stress Livestock Handling

Instead of using restraints, noise, whips or sticks, low stress livestock handling uses animal’s natural instincts to manage livestock, such as sheep, cattle and horses....more

Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is a production method built on a “soil health mind set” – an understanding that the soil is not a growth medium but a living dynamic ecosystem....more

Sustainable Production

The word sustain means to continue, so sustainable production refers to the ability to continue production...more

What is Biodynamic Farming?

Biodynamic farming is different from other organic farming systems in that it combines farming actions with the spiritual science or ‘anthroposophy’....more