University of Stellenbosch Experimental Farms Department
University of Stellenbosch Experimental Farms Department – See Details Below:
The University owns two experimental farms (Welgevallen and Mariendahl) that are used mainly for the training of undergraduate students and for research projects of postgraduate students and academic staff of the Faculty of AgriSciences. The farms serve in the first place as field laboratories where research projects and training of students are conducted under highly controlled conditions. However, the farms are managed in a way that simulates the practical conditions on commercial farms in the agricultural industry. Where feasible, the spare capacity of the experimental farms is utilised for commercial production in order to manage these farms as self-sufficiently as possible.
Welgevallen was purchased in 1917 at the founding of the Faculty, specifically, because it was a condition that an experimental farm had to be within walking distance of the campus. Its original size was 278 ha, of which only 120 ha remain available.
Welgevallen is used mainly by the academic departments of the Faculty of AgriSciences. The entire Department of Agronomy is situated at Welgevallen, where it has several laboratories, controlled-climate growth chambers and plastic tunnels, as well as small experimental plots. The department of Horticulture has well-established deciduous fruit and soft citrus orchards at its disposal, while the Department of Viticulture and Oenology has well-established vineyards producing grapes of the highest quality. An experimental wine cellar equipped with the latest technology and where wine is made on a semi-commercial scale has been erected on the banks of the Eerste River