Established in 1935 in response to the severe drought of the 1920’s, The Worcester Veld Reserve is the propagation of seeds of indigenous veld species, unique to the area. The requirement was to provide help to the farmers to improve their veld, which had already severely deteriorated because of the drought. The reserve covers 110 hectares, 25 of which are arable. The long-term rainfall is 212 mm per year with the highest annual rainfall of 426 mm.
The farm’s main objective is seed production for the re-establishment and improvement of natural pastures. Species established include:
Tripteris sinuata (karoobietou)
Eriocephalus africanus (Kapokbos)
Hirpicium integrifolium (tuft)and
Chaetobromus dreageanus (hartebeest grass)
Inclusive of these species, seeds harvested in large quantities are readily available to farmers to improve their veld and use in research projects.
This farm plays a pivotal role in the veld research programme of the Directorate: Plant Sciences. Research includes germination and seed bank studies in the nursery, plant surveys for veld condition assessments, rehabilitation of degraded land/old veld, and farm visits advising farmers on veld condition and improvement.
Sustainable Resource Management (Landcare), Farmer Support and Development and Veterinary Services also have offices at Worcester Veld Reserve.