About the Agricultural Crop Research Services Directorate


The Directorate comprises of three Sub-Directorates, namely:

(i) Crop Science Research Services

(ii) Analytical Services

(iii) Farming Systems Research

Their respective purposes are:

  • To undertake Crop production Research Services
  • To undertake Farming System Research
  • To provide Analytical Services, Soil Fertility and Biochemistry Research, as well as Biometric Statistical Services

The customers/clients of research are farmers, advisors and extension officers, industry, NGO’s universities, ARC, companies, commodity organizations e.g. Potato SA, Grain SA etc., and organized agriculture.  



Analytical Services Laboratories consist of 5 laboratories:

  • Soil Fertility Laboratory, where soil samples are analysed to ascertain their fertility status and from these results, Lime and Fertilizer recommendations are generated for over 80 different crop types.
  • Plant Nutrition Laboratory, where plant tissue is analysed for the nutrient status, which is a helpful management tool, assisting in highlighting any nutrient toxicities or deficiencies in the crop.
  • The Feed Laboratory is used to ascertain the quality of feed and forages for livestock feeding.
  • The Salinity Laboratory analyses for soil texture, soil salinity, lime and water quality.
  • The Plant Health Laboratory is a diagnostic laboratory to identify crop diseases and offer solutions as to how to treat the disease identified.

The critical role of Analytical Services Laboratories is as follows:

To provide an accurate, efficient, scientifically based analytical service with recommendations and diagnostic advice emanating from research norms, in support of improved agriculture in the Province.


Annual Operational Plan

The outputs in terms of research and technology development and transfer as well as support from the Analytical Services as a Sub-Directorate are documented in detail in the 2018/19 Annual Operational Plan for the Directorate.

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