Customers inspire AgriTurf and Reinke’s team so that they can help their farmers plan superior solutions that make a meaningful difference in water and irrigation management.
In 1980, Dries Venter, the owner of Tzaus Bonsmara stud located approximately 50 kilometres north of the Outjo district in Namibia, began farming with nothing and had to borrow everything he needed to start.
He took out a loan for a security deposit for 200 heifers and he was required to pay initial instalments of R5 000. The loan was to be repaid over a period of five years with interest. Dries says: “That is how I started farming; for two years I only ate porridge to build up my farm.” The desire to become a farmer developed in him from a young age.
In 1981, Dries began raising Bonsmara cattle. “After completing my education in agriculture, I moved on to researching the various cattle breeds. My preference went to the Bonsmara breed, but I also had a lot of respect for the Afrikaner breed,” he said. However, Bonsmara was the only breed that was developed scientifically and subjected to performance tests. After all, Professor Bonsma did performance tests on his cattle and did not just look at their heads and horns, and Dries found that his policy appealed to him quite a bit.
For eight of the past ten years, Dries has experienced drought. Because of this, he was forced to invest almost all the money he made from selling his cattle in feed, so he decided to start producing his own feed in an effort to save money. “When I decided to install an irrigation system, I discovered that my land was covered with rocks”. Dries explains that he used a road grader for three years and removed between 2 500 and 3 700 tonnes of rocks from the land.
Dries laughs as he elaborates: “People who came to my farm thought I was crazy, but I already started, and I couldn’t stop.”
When his neighbour invited him to visit a friend’s farm, he saw the LEPA irrigation system that was installed by AgriTurf – that is when he decided to plant his own feed. When he visited the farm, they attached a sprinkler to spray directly from their water tank as a demonstration. “I was astonished by the size of the drops that fell in such a large area, with such low pressure,” he says.
Reinke uses lighter, but stronger steel for their pivots, which means they consume less power, and he learned this after conducting his own research on pivots. As he has a limited electricity budget and does not want to deplete his water supply, Dries was impressed by Reinke’s efficiency when it comes to power consumption and proper water application. He says: “Reinke is a price competitive centre pivot that uses less water and power, which is very important for me.”
Dries only has single phase power on his farm, but AgriTurf and Reinke helped him to overcome this limitation. He says: “They provided me with all the equipment I needed for my single-phase power, and they installed solar panels on top of that to combine it so that I do not need three-phase power.”
From February to March 2021, he had a challenging time setting up the Reinke pivot during the rainy season. He adds: “I also have not yet finished removing all the rocks at that time.” As he was still removing the remainder
of the rocks, he could only plant his first oats on August 16, 2021. After harvesting the first crop, the field was ploughed and prepared for planting Rhodes grass.
Dries says: “We are now planting Rhodes grass because it is perennial with a lifespan of approximately 4 years, after which I will decide whether I will continue with this grass, or plant something else.” When they planted and ploughed the oats, it caused a significant change in the texture of the soil, even with the already acidic groundwater and soil. The soil structure has greatly improved as a result of this.
The Reinke pivot works perfectly on his farm. He is fully satisfied with the product and service he received. Dries declares: “AgriTurf’s customer service is outstanding. I know if I ever have any problems, I can just call, and they’ll come and help me. “I am a big advertiser for Reinke in my area.”
For more information on how AgriTurf can assist you with all your irrigation needs and the distribution of Reinke products in Namibia, contact them at email@example.com or (+264)83-330-8380, or visit their website www.agriturfnamibia.com. Alternatively, contact Patrick Ellis on +27(0)31-350-4525, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at www.reinke.com for more information.