Pressure is mounting on dairy farmers to reduce their carbon footprint. The good news is that research shows it is not only possible, but can be done in a way that increases productivity.
The money-maker in the herd is the bull, says eastern Free State Simbra breeder Rick Dell. He spoke to Annelie Coleman about the management and selection of breeding bulls for commercial cattle herds.
Don McHardy says his interest in Droughtmasters was a natural progression in his quest to breed more efficient beef cattle that are able to realise optimal financial returns.
The cattle industry is one of the chief targets of climate activists who propose plant-based diets as a way of reducing global warming and moving towards sustainable food production. Sara Place, chief sustainability officer at Elanco Animal Health, spoke to Lindi Botha about the underestimated power of cattle to contribute to the well-being of people and the planet.
One of the basic principles of successful livestock farming is the implementation of a seasonal breeding strategy. Prof Frikkie Neser of the University of the Free State spoke to Wouter Kriel about putting a breeding season plan in place, and how to ensure that bulls are healthy and able to perform optimally.
The demand for red cattle has always been high in South Africa. To enter this market and offer breeders an alternative to the traditional options, the Du Plessis family, who owns the Brandwater farming business, managed to establish one of the country’s most successful Droughtmaster studs. Chris du Plessis spoke to Denene Erasmus.
André Hamman and his wife Maritha moved from Pretoria to retire to the coast. But instead of gardening and golfing, they took on a mammoth restoration project and built a mixed farming and tourism business anchored by a Nguni stud.
When his cattle business was hit hard by drought, fifth-generation North West farmer Loutjie Campher started breeding Charolais as a means of rebuilding his herd.
Now semi-retired from farming, Adriaan Odendaal of Villiers in the Free State is able to devote most of his time to the improvement of his almost 10-year old Rocky Droughtmaster stud. With the use of a new breeding method, he is confident that he will achieve his goal of breeding a uniform herd that is true to type within a few short years.
Anneri Otto, who farms near Coligny in North West, never planned on becoming a farmer. However, when unfortunate circumstances forced her to take charge of her husband’s operation, she rose to the challenge, and now produces Hereford and Angus cattle, as well as pecan nuts.
Voermol’s wide product range of licks means that farmers can provide their animals with optimal nutrition year round.
Young Bonsmara farmer Keneilwe Raphesu knew the path to achieving her dreams lay in further training, so she joined a development programme for emerging farmers. She spoke to Siyanda Sishuba about the lessons she has learnt so far.