Since its introduction to South Africa 114 years ago, the Braunvieh, with its good walking ability and non-selective grazing habits, has adapted well and can thrive under some of the harshest conditions in the country. Hans Bester and his three daughters run the Witbek Braunvieh stud on Sussiesdeel farm in Vrede, Free State, and spoke to Annelie Coleman about the advantages of this hardy breed.
Most South African beef producers sell their weaners straight to feedlots for finishing. Chéri-Lynn Steyn, a master’s student in agricultural economics, explains how backgrounding these animals can increase the income of commercial beef farms and even of the feedlots themselves.
Lerato Senakhomo, the 2020 Agricultural Research Council's National Emerging Beef Farmer of the Year, runs her Nguni herd in a semi-intensive feeding system. She believes the keys to successful cattle production are proper planning and good time management. Siyanda Sishuba visited her farm in Gauteng.
The use of top genetics and agrotechnology enables Kluitjieskraal Jersey Stud in the Western Cape to weather the impact of volatile prices and rising input costs. Stud manager Arno Schoonwinkel outlined his methods to Glenneis Kriel.
The Miller family from Cathcart in the Eastern Cape pride themselves on their adapted and efficient Winston South Devon cows that consistently produce record-breaking bulls. James Miller explained their selection and management protocols to Mike Burgess.
Prevention is better than cure, and this mindset is especially applicable when it comes to preparing calves for their productive adult lives. Dr Schabort Froneman, technical manager for ruminants at Zoetis, provides some pointers on how to raise healthy calves that can become healthy adult animals.
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.
As seasons change, so do the feeding requirements of your animals. Voermol has a range of products to keep your animals performing at their best during any time of the year.
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.
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.
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.
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.