Uses of timber in the Agriculture Sector

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Agriculture plays an important role in fostering economic growth, reducing poverty, and improving food security in South Africa. More than 70% of the rural population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods. Some of the food we consume is from farms that fall within strategic water source areas. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the soils and biodiversity around these critical areas are conserved through sustainable farming methods.

Farmers need to be encouraged to practice a strong commitment to conserving the natural environment by farming in a way that is profitable for business, society and nature. One aspect of saving costs is by using timber and wooden poles for building and fences.

Global warming and the Agriculture sector

When building your structures and fences with timber and wooden poles, you practice forest sustainability as wood is a natural resource. Why is forest sustainability so important? Because our forests play a very important role when it comes to reduce the release of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the main cause of global warming. Global warming can have a major impact on the Agricultural sector. The main cause of global warming is the amount of Carbon dioxide released into the air. Humans have increased atmospheric carbon percentage by 43% since the start of the industrial revolution and the net effect is that the atmosphere can absorb more moisture thereby increasing global temperatures. As the air warms the space between the air molecules increases allowing for more water vapor to be absorbed. That is why we are experiencing an increase in the severity of cyclonic storms for example.

Before global warming vs after global warming.

It is likely to contribute substantially to food insecurity in the future, by increasing food prices and reducing food production. 

– Food may become more expensive as climate change mitigation efforts increase energy prices. 

– Water required for food production may become scarcer due to increased crop water use and drought. 

– Competition for land may increase as certain areas become climatically unsuitable for production.

– Extreme weather events, associated with climate change may cause sudden reductions in agricultural productivity, leading to rapid price increases.

In theory, we need to stop producing carbon. This may not be a simple practice as we all need to live daily with energy for warmth, transport, and cooking of food but every effort can make a difference.

The use of timber in Agriculture

We wrote a whole article about the positive effects timber has on global warming. You can read about it in detail by clicking on this link: . If we can make a difference in global warming, it will certainly have a positive impact on agriculture. 

Additionally, timber is a natural resource. Timber and poles that have been CCA pressure treated are do not release any chemical vapor into the air. It is therefore deemed as safe to use in the Agriculture Sector. Its natural aspect also blends in with nature which means there is no unwanted obstruction in the animal or plant environment.

Ways to use timber in Agriculture

Here is a list of a few ways different kinds of farmers can make use of timber in their methods;

Cattle pens with treated wood.

Timber Cattle Pens for Cattle Farmers

Cattle farming is a popular way to make a living in South Africa. Building a cattle kraal will help keep your livestock from wandering off. CCA-treated construction timber poles can be used for this feature.

We preserve our timber poles through pressure treatment, this is often referred to as the CCA treatment class where each class has a specific application. The H5 Treatment class is specially treated for use in applications where there will be in-ground contact. Therefore this is the class that you will need when building a cattle kraal.

You can create big, open holding pens for your cattle, while still keeping the sorting pens as narrow as possible. 

To build a cattle kraal that will last, you must use the correct sizes (especially thickness) poles to construct your kraal. Because cows and bulls tend to push and lean against fences, you need your kraal to withstand all of the pressure from the animals daily. You can read our Constructing a cattle kraal pen blog for more tips.

Fencing posts wit CCA poles.

Fences and enclosures

Fences may be used to protect or divide property, to improve its appearance, confine animals, or to exclude animals. Whatever its purpose, one should plan a fence carefully. This is especially important on farms where fences represent a large investment and their location and arrangement may affect production efficiency.

Permanent fences — those intended to last for many years with minimal repairs — should be well constructed and made of good materials, CCA Treated Construction timber (Available at Sabie Poles) is mainly used. The H4 Treatment class is specially treated for use in applications where there will be in-ground contact. 

Posts for fruit/citrus netting.

Fruit/Citrus Netting

Whether you are a long-time farmer or someone switching over from another industry like macadamia farming to citrus farming you need to know all about citrus netting. But why are citrus trees covered with netting?

 Here is a brief list of all the reasons you need citrus netting:

  • To produce seedless oranges, tangerines (naartjies) and other citrus fruit. (Which is generally the market standard in South Africa)
  • Protect Citrus Trees from weather conditions such as frost, wind and harsh sunlight.
  • Prevent orchard damage caused by birds

While there are many ways to install shade netting over your citrus crops, you must look at the appropriate supplies for doing it. Because farmers are dealing with food that will eventually make its way to South African tables.

CCA Treated Timber poles are a long-term cost-effective method of protecting your trees without having to worry about the effects it will have on your ground, water and fruit trees. CCA Treated Poles deliver an awesome “none” rating by SAWPA. This means there is no bleeding, leaching, or evaporation of chemicals when the timber is properly treated according to SABS standards.

Trellis used for fruit and vegetables.

Fruit and Veg Trellis

Vine vegetables and fruit like pears, grapes, tomatoes, etc. all need something to hold onto while they grow upwards. That means that you need to build something that will allow them to flourish. 

For this, we highly recommend building your very own Trellises. This is a relatively easy thing to build with CCA Treated Timber like Laths and droppers and does not require a lot of skills. Always ensure your timber is pressure-treated. If you build this with untreated timber, the timber will start to rot and be attacked by insects. To build a trellis, you can head on over to The Spruce for some helpful tips and guides. 

barn built with wood.

Timber frame barn

Structurally, timber frame barns are very sound. Because of the size and strength of the timbers, you can create a larger structure without having to worry about load-bearing walls. This makes construction faster and easier, with an end product that’s much more durable than structures made using traditional building methods. 

CCA-treated construction timber is ideal for this project as it is strong and durable when constructed. If you’ve decided that having a custom timber frame barn is for you, here’s a general guide for how to go about building one. Follow this link: Building a timber barn

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