AMW Boerdery on the farm Jakkalsvlei southwest of Clanwilliam produces up to 470 kg/ha of Rooibos a year. Wimpie Smit, co-owner of the farm, credits the results to sound production management which includes soil preparation, crop rotation and rigorous weed management, and of course favourable climatic conditions.
According to Smit, the way in which the soil is prepared before planting has a huge impact on production, adding that ripping and tilling is key to loosen the soil and manage weeds before planting. He usually does a deep rip of 60 cm to 70 cm. “The soil needs to be loosened to allow the roots to grow deep. There are a couple of lands that I don’t rip before planting, because of the high stone fraction in these soils.” He adds that plant materials harvested from un-ripped soil are up to 20% shorter.
As seedlings are always planted in wet soil, some producers plant seedlings with water. Smit, however, still plants the old-fashioned way: by hand and after rain.
Read more about Wimpie Smit’s Rooibos production methods here:
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