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  1. #21
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    Default Re: How long does it take for farm land to go bush.

    I can strongly recommend ‘Caring for natural rangelands’ by Ken Coetzee. First edition done in 2005, plenty new information, 259 pages. Order copies directly from Ken Coetzee +27 76 227 5056 or [email protected]. Only R350.00.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: How long does it take for farm land to go bush.

    I take it that they are no extension officers left in the area. The Dept of Agriculture (with all it various name changes over the years) offered an excellent service, free of charge, well it used to. I left after 21 years of service as a technician when the new RSA began.
    It might be worthwhile to check what is still available. Our farm files started in about 1951, in it you would find a farm map that was updated from time to time. It was a reasonably clear aerial photo of the farm.
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: How long does it take for farm land to go bush.

    Dewalt, Derek Hanekom closed down Ag Tech services in 1994, I was at the meeting when he announced it. We all walked out.
    This is why we now have Bird flu, swine fever, F and M. No stock inspectors, no help for emerging farmers, but you know all this.

    Veld rehab in SA is very difficult and very long term. grazing practices in the Karroo aimed at improvement can take generations. 100mm rain, cold winters, short growing season, very brittle.
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  5. #24
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    Default Re: How long does it take for farm land to go bush.

    It's most refreshing to read a post on a slightly different topic from what is normally discussed on the forum.

    In the Thathe Vondo Mountain pass in Venda, Limpopo, there was a beautiful coffee plantation on the hillside. The local chief then decided he wanted to have his land back. The company that was farming there packed up and left, leading to a loss of about 3 000 jobs. In less than 5 years, the farm was so outgrown with natural vegetation, you cannot see the coffee plants, which remained on the farm and were never removed. Someone who does not know the history, may not see the difference between the farm and the unfarmed portions of the mountain.

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  7. #25
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    Default Re: How long does it take for farm land to go bush.

    Quote Originally Posted by pwgg View Post
    Dewalt, Derek Hanekom closed down Ag Tech services in 1994, I was at the meeting when he announced it. We all walked out.
    This is why we now have Bird flu, swine fever, F and M. No stock inspectors, no help for emerging farmers, but you know all this.

    Veld rehab in SA is very difficult and very long term. grazing practices in the Karroo aimed at improvement can take generations. 100mm rain, cold winters, short growing season, very brittle.
    And he laughed at me when I told him land reform wont work without the the above.
    And look where he and emerging farmers ended up!



  8. #26
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    Default Re: How long does it take for farm land to go bush.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swannie1960 View Post
    As Luka has said: it depends on the type of veld and the rehabilitation has to be managed. Previously cultivated bushveld often gets taken over completely by sekelbos, rendering it useless for anything. Grasslands like Freestate and North West are probably the easiest to re-instate.

    Sickle bush is considered a veld restorer, it takes over where the veld has been overgrazed, or where there were fields. The nature reserve I grew up on has heavily overgrown with sickle bush and was part of a study on the effects of overgrazing. It takes over quickly, under 20 years, but sticks around for about 100 years while the soils restore themselves and other plants start growing again.
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  10. #27
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Re: How long does it take for farm land to go bush.

    My comment is not about the real-life recovery period, but just to add the official (legal) view on recovery to 'bush' status:
    It appears that it is set out in the listing notice 1: List of Activities and Competent Authorities identified in terms of sections 24(2) and 24D of NEMA published in GG 3828, Regulation Gazette 594, on 4 December 2014, R. 546:
    “"indigenous vegetation" refers to vegetation consisting of indigenous plant species occurring naturally in an area, regardless of the level of alien infestation and where the topsoil has not been lawfully disturbed during the preceding ten years”.
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  11. #28
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    Aug 2013
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    Default Re: How long does it take for farm land to go bush.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy529 View Post
    Hi all
    Not quite sure in which section this belongs.

    I guess this can be a very complex and loaded question, but in general terms, to those in the know, how long would you say will it take for deserted farm land used for planting and grass lands used for grazing, to recover to the point where it can be considered as natural velt again, being on par with the surrounding natural bushveld?

    Are we talking 5, 10, 20, 50 years assuming decent rains etc.

    Don't even know if I worded this correctly.
    Indeed a very complex answer as there are many variables. Just within Dinokeng Game Reserve the answer will greatly differ between two neighboring properties. Some of those 20 ha properties will take decades to rewild. Especially if no effort is made to remove a pecan orchard... some will never, as they are actually deteriorating despite being part of a reserve - Pom pom weed one of the reasons.
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  12. #29
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    Aug 2013
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    Pretoria
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    Default Re: How long does it take for farm land to go bush.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Leigh View Post
    My Uncles farm in Swaziland. This photo was taken in 2002 about 5 years after my uncle stopped farming due to ill health. He started subdividing and was selling off portion of the farm .

    The lands in the black border were active fields, primarily cotton, that had probably not been farmed for 5 years already. The pink line is the old road in. The yellow line is the new road to the upper right field (I helped clear the field). You can see how the road changed to the lazy line as the farm went to ruin.

    Attachment 708118

    20 years later the reclaiming is very evident. So roughly 25 years from the cessasion of farming activities until the bushveld really takes over.
    Attachment 708119

    As a side note.To see this happening was one of the saddest things I have been witness to. We basically had our formative years on this farm, fishing, hunting, exploring and being young boys. I miss the place to this day and I miss my uncle. He taught me the importance of reading and knowledge that was attained through reading.

    It was a beautiful farm with 2.5km's of river frontage on the Usutu River and as a result yields were high. I remember digging up baby potato's and having them on my plate withing 2 hours, salt, black pepper and butter ....... pudding. Let me stop else this post will never end. RIP Uncle Rudi, your legacy lives on.
    Even after 25 years, the rewilded areas are still monotonous, and it will take another few decades for it to be truly wild. For us humans it is a liftetime but for mother Earth it is nothing... one thing is certain, nature is hugely resilient!
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