The outbreak of Covid-19 and the consequent initial 21-day national lockdown in South Africa, which has since been extended, caused a slowdown in sales for almost every sector in South Africa, including the agriculture sector.
Despite the lull, Pratley marketing director Eldon Kruger expects that demand from the agriculture sector will return to normal in the coming months, especially since the sector – which was designated as an essential sector by President Cyril Ramaphosa – was not affected as severely as non-essential sectors.
“We continue to see agriculture and farming as a significant growth market for Pratley,” adds Pratley national sales and marketing manager Mark Bell.
One of the products the Pratley Minerals division is focusing on promoting in the agriculture sector this year is the Pratley Clinomix livestock feed additive. Some of the benefits of Clinomix include increased non-protein nitrogen for ruminants and a significant reduction in odour and faecal moisture.
Pratley Clinomix is an effective mycotoxin binder that also improves the flowability and anti-caking of feed. In addition, it effectively alleviates acute and chronic diarrhoea in high-density feedlots and farms.
Pratley Minerals is also promoting Clinoxin – a broad-spectrum mycotoxin binder that is particularly useful in the poultry industry – to the agriculture sector. It controls mould proliferation and selectively binds mycotoxins, especially aflatoxins, in contaminated animal feed. It also has the benefit of reducing ammonia levels and faecal moisture in poultry houses.
Clinoxin and Clinomix are registered remedies with the South African Department of Agriculture.
Pratley also continues to focus on products from its adhesives division that can be useful in agricultural applications, including adhesives used for general repair, farm maintenance, and the specific repairs of agricultural and mechanical equipment.
Along with the company’s traditional high-performance epoxy and acrylic products, the company is also focused on promoting new additions to its superglue range, as well as its new room temperature vulcanising silicone gasket maker.
The gasket maker is a high-quality silicone-based sealing compound, which cures at room temperature to form a tough elastic rubber seal.
Bell explains that the compound is temperature resistant from –50 ºC to 300 ºC for short periods.
“The product is chemically resistant to petrol, diesel, paraffin, water, oil and anti-freeze, which makes it ideal for repairs on most farming implements and tractors,” he says. He adds that the compound is also non-corrosive and has no negative impact on electrical components, such as electrical sensors, which are found on muchmodern farming equipment.
Further, Pratley has two new products in its superglue range – Pratley Superglue Single Use and Pratley Superglue Gel – which Bell believes are both useful in the agriculture sector, owing to their unique features.
“The Pratley Superglue Single Use is ideal for quick and easy small repairs. The convenient 1 g single-shot tube ensures fresh superglue and eliminates the problem of dried-up nozzles,” he explains, adding that the sealed tube with a nozzle-pierceable membrane ensures that no leakage occurs.
“It is ideal for carrying around in a farmer’s bakkie for emergency repairs.”
The Pratley Super Glue Gel is an ultra-fast curing, high-performance superglue that has non-drip and gap-filling properties.
“It is ideal for repairs on farming equipment that normally has vertical or uneven surfaces. It’s gel-like consistency means it also performs very well on porous substrates,” Bell says.
The gel product is also supplied in leak-proof tubes with a diaphragm and self-piercing nozzle.
In addition to its continued strategy to leverage the agriculture sector for local growth, Pratley is also focusing on furthering its relationship with agricultural cooperatives in the broader Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
“We export our products throughout the SADC region, and they can be found in all our neighbouring countries. The products can be bought at large agricultural suppliers, motor vehicle repair shops, as well as most hardware retailers,” Kruger concludes.