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Beef cattle basics: Choose the right breed for your farm

Bos indicus, B. taurus or Sanga cattle: which do you choose? Dr Michiel Scholtz and Prof Japie van der Westhuizen spoke to Glenneis Kriel about these breeds.
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Improving heat stress management in beef cattle

Anette Theunissen, an animal scientist based at the Vaalharts Research Station, explains the results of a study conducted by researchers at the Agricultural Research Council’s Animal Production Institute, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, to evaluate the use of a temperature humidity index as a measuring tool for heat stress in beef cattle.

Mentorship: lessons from a pioneering Boran breeder

Johan Erasmus, who farms near Derby in North West, is one of the pioneers of the Boran cattle breed in South Africa. He uses his experience as a stud breeder and a commercial crop farmer to assist and mentor new farmers in a number of Southern African countries.

Keep bulls fit and fertile: advice from a Bonsmara breeder

The 2020 Unistel/SA Stud Book Developing Breeder of the Year, Bookholane Mokoena of Boggie Bonsmaras in Nigel, Gauteng, says that one of his most important breeding aims is to maintain optimal body condition, with the goal of producing cattle that are fit and efficient.

How trusting her instincts has paid off for Brahman breeder

From small beginnings, Lizemari de Klerk, who farms just outside Pretoria in Gauteng, has expanded her Brahman cattle operation from only three cattle to a breeding herd of around 200 animals. Her relentless quest to improve the quality of her animals has earned her a loyal client base.

Measuring and improving the performance of cattle in feedlots

An Agricultural Research Council study of the performance of Brahman bulls in feedlots across South Africa has highlighted the non-genetic traits, such as environment and herd of origin, that affect the average daily gain and feed conversion ratios of the animals. Researchers Melville Ferreira, Alfredo Lepori and Frans Jordaan explore the importance of the results, emphasising that maximum feed efficiency is essential for the long-term sustainability and profitability of the beef industry.

Top Santa Gertrudis breeder’s endless search for perfection

Having farmed Santa Gertrudis cattle for nearly half a century, Amy Williams is sought after for her professional advice, and many farmers credit her for their success. Moreover, her stud has continued to produce award-winning animals year after year, proving that her expertise and passion are undiminished.

Weighing your cattle: a crucial step towards profitable livestock production

Technological advances are making it easier to weigh livestock and use this information to influence herd management decisions. Glenneis Kriel spoke to a number of experts about the advantages of weighing livestock regularly.

North West cattle farmer puts his trust in proven stud bulls

Kgomotso Bantsho has been farming Bonsmara cattle and goats full-time in North West since 2017. He says that support from other farmers is critical, and that each farmer needs to learn which management practices will work best for him or her.

On a quest to breed ‘the perfect Brahman’

A dream to farm Brahman cattle saw Auldrich Spies switch from construction to farming. Ironically, it was his initial ignorance that led him to become a successful stud farmer today. Lindi Botha visited SS Brahmane in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.

Record-breaking, high-altitude Ngunis

On 9 May 2020, the Biggs family, who farms in the Eastern Cape, sold a Nguni herd sire for a world-record price of R310 000. Clive Biggs spoke to Mike Burgess about the family’s well-adapted Nandi Nguni stud in the foothills of the Drakensberg near Cedarville.

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