SUSFARMS®

SUSTAINABLE SUGARCANE CULTIVATION

SASRI has been a long-standing proponent of sustainable sugarcane cultivation, supported by decades of research. Recommendations resulting from laboratory, glasshouse and field trials over the years have considered not only the economic advantages of a practice, but also how socially and environmentally responsible these practices are.

A locally-relevant and globally recognised continuous improvement system called SUSFARMS® was developed over the years with input from a number of stakeholders.

SUSFARMS® is a practical tool that guides implementation of better management practices (BMPs). It is a comprehensive collection of legislative requirements as well as BMPs that can (amongst others) ensure worker health and safety, facilitate more profitable production and promote environmental stewardship.

The accompanying Progress Tracker is a self-assessment tool that can be used to determine performance against a set of measures and offers advice on how to improve the situation. In the KZN Midlands region, SUSFARMS® is being used to demonstrate to our major consumers our commitment to sustainable sugar production.

Download Progress Tracker and associated Notes (Windows)
This is a compressed ZIP file. After unzipping, copy the uncompressed SUSFARMS folder to any location on your PC.
This Progress Tracker covers the period 1 March 2021 – 28 February 2022.

Download Progress Tracker and associated Notes (Mac)
This is a compressed ZIP file. After unzipping, copy the uncompressed SUSFARMS folder to any location on your device.
This Progress Tracker covers the period 1 March 2021 – 28 February 2022.

Important Note for MAC users:
The SUSFARMS Progress Tracker was designed using the Windows operating system and works best on Windows.
However, we have a work-around for Mac users. While the Tracker will work, there are two issues MAC users need to be aware of:
Form Reset: The CLEAR ALL button will not work. This is not a major issue.
Copy and Paste: The original version prevents users from copying answers from one cell and pasting it into another to protect the integrity of the calculations attached to each cell.
Users of this modified Mac version must make sure that they answer each question without copying and pasting answers, as the system does not block this automatically.

Download SUSFARMS® Manual
You should only download this file if you wish to have all PDFs from the NOTES folder above as a combined single PDF file.

For more information on how to use SUSFARMS® please contact your Extension Specialist or use the contact details below.

Dr Louis Titshall

Senior Soil Scientist

Details

Senior Soil Scientist

Tel: 031 508 7400 (Switchboard)
Tel: 031 508 7437 (Direct)
Email: louis.titshall@sugar.org.za

Role & Overall Purpose
  • Undertake soil and plant nutrition research and develop recommendations for sugarcane production.
  • Transfer technology and best practices to growers and other stakeholders.
  • Promote best practices for soil health and site sustainability.
  • Mentor junior scientists and staff.
Expertise

Soil chemistry and fertility, plant nutrition, soil and foliar diagnostics and analytics, soil organic matter, soil health, site sustainability monitoring, soil physics.

Research Interests
  • Soil fertility and plant nutrition.
  • Soil health and quality.
  • Rapid screening and diagnostic tools for soil and plant nutrition, and health monitoring.
  • Site sustainability monitoring.
  • Understanding the impacts of management practices on soil quality and function.
  • Conversion of science outcomes to practical best practice and operational guidelines.
  • Value-chain integration of research outcomes and operational practices.
Key Outcomes
  • Best operational practices for crop nutritional and soil health based on scientific outcomes.
  • Responsible use of soil amendments used in crop production.
  • Efficient tools and techniques for improved soil assessment and monitoring.
  • Adoption of sustainable practices that ensure long-term productivity and profitability of agroecosystems.
Key Publications

Taylor T, Hughes J, Titshall LW. 2016. Mineralogy of volcanically-derived, alluvial soils at Moshi, Tanzania. Soil Research 54(8): 926-936.Mthimkhulu S, Podwojewski P, Hughes J, Titshall LW, Van Antwerpen R. 2016. The effect of 72 years of sugarcane residues and fertilizer management on soil physico-chemical properties. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 225: 54–61

Podwojewski P, Grellier S, Mthimkhulu S, Titshall LW. 2014. How tree encroachment and soil properties affect soil aggregate stability in an eroded grassland in South Africa. Soil Science Society of America Journal 78: 1753-1764

Bame IB, Hughes JC, Titshall LW and Buckley, CA. 2014. The effect of irrigation with anaerobic baffled reactor effluent on nutrient availability, soil properties and maize growth. Agricultural Water Management. 134: 50–59

Titshall LW, Rietz DN and Dovey SB. 2013. Management impacts on the long-term soil productivity of southern African commercial forestry plantations. Southern Forests, 75(4): 169-183

Bame IB, Hughes JC, Titshall LW and Buckley, CA. 2013. Leachate characteristics as influenced by anaerobic baffled reactor effluent application on three soils: a soil column study. Chemosphere, 93: 2171-2179.

Norris M and Titshall LW. 2012. The distribution of inherent phosphorus in fifteen water treatment residues from South Africa. Water SA, 38:716-720.

Taylor TS, Titshall LW, Hughes JC and Thibaud GR. 2012. Effect of tillage systems and nitrogen application rates on selected physical and biological properties of a clay loam soil in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. South African Journal of Plant and Soil, 29: 47-52.

Dlamini, P, Orchard, C, Jewitt, G, Lorentz, S, Titshall, LW, Chaplot, V. 2011. Controlling factors of sheet erosion under degraded grasslands in the sloping lands of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Agricultural Water Management, 98:1711-1718.

 

 

Titshall LW. 2015. Residual effects of long-term fertiliser application on soil chemical properties. ICFR Technical Note 06/2015. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2014. Sixth rotation growth results from Acacia mearnsii fertiliser trial provide insight into the residual effects of fertiliser application. ICFR Technical Note 03/2014. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2014. Growth responses to late-rotation fertilisation of pine sawtimber stands: 2.5 year results. ICFR Bulletin Series 07/2014. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2013. Mid-rotation fertilisation of eucalypt pulpwood plantations: Final results. ICFR Bulletin Series 09/2013. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2013. Post-thinning fertilisation of three Eucalyptus grandis sawtimber stands; Tzaneen: 43 month growth responses and an economic feasibility analysis. ICFR Bulletin Series 06/2013. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2012. The development of a soil and plant reference and archive collection at the ICFR. ICFR Bulletin Series 05/2012. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2012. Evidence of residual phosphorus after mid-rotation fertilisation in three eucalyptus pulpwood stands. ICFR Technical note 03/2012. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW, Rietz DN and Dovey, SB. 2012. A general review of site and management factors affecting long-term site productivity of commercial forestry plantations. ICFR Bulletin Series 07/2012. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Qualifications
  • BSc: Grassland Science and Zoology (Univ. of Natal, 1998)
  • BSc Honours: Grassland science (Univ. of Natal, 1999)
  • MSc: Environmental Science (Univ. of Natal, 2003)
  • PhD: Soil Science (Univ. of KwaZulu-Natal, 2008)

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