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DESCRIPTION OF PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Topography and Soil Characteristics

Rekopane is characterized by a flat topography with not much altitude variation, as clearly shown by the contour lines on the farm map.

Soil

Prior to a new development, consultants analyze the soil profiles, nutrient status and drainage capacity of the spesific area. The suitability of different cultivars is discussed and recommendations for improving the soil conditions are made.

Soil Erosion

Soil erosion is not a problem. Drip-irrigation minimize run-off and the embankments of the ground canals are planted with "kweek". The invader reeds also aid in keeping erosion on the embankments at bay.

Water

Description of the Water Source at Naftali

The farm uses two water sources for irrigation. Firstly, the Steynsvoor Irrigation Board whose source is the Gifkloof Irrigation Scheme.

Secondly, the water is pumped directly from the Orange River. The perennial river is the life-line of this semi-arid region, without which intensive farming would be impossible. The river's main catchments areas are the Gariep and Van der Kloof dams that ensure a constant supply of water and help to control floods.

Irrigation

Canal systems are used for flood irrigation that works with gravitational force. The quantity of water pumped from the river is measured by a collection of meter readings on the pumps and by applying a formula to ascertain the water usage. Each hectare receives around 15 000 cubic liters of water per annum.

Drip-irrigation is controlled from different irrigation stations. In order to determine irrigation requirements, soil moisture levels are monitored using a neutron register meter. With drip irrigation, each hectare receives between 8 000 - 12 000 cubic liters of water per annum.

Domestic Water Supply

The farm managers and workers rely on water stored in the storage dams for their consumption. About 50% of the water is purified; the rest of the water is filtered by means of a very coarse filter.

Waste Water

Domestic waste-water is collected in septic tanks, which are emptied as and when required. No domestic or agricultural wastewater is allowed to enter the natural water sources bordering the farm.

 
     
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