Cornel van Heerden is the Eastern Cape’s 2016 TAU SA’s Young Farmer of the Year. Mike Burgess visited him recently on the farm Wildefontein in the Lady Grey district to learn how he established an award-winning livestock enterprise while saving money, and why his extensive Bonsmara beef operation has proved such a success.
The Nagenoeg Polled Hereford Stud was established by Gerhard Botha and his father, Manie, on their family farm near Barkly East in 1975, but by the 1990s only commercial animals were being farmed. The stud was re-registered in 1997 and has excelled.
The Romagnola cattle breed is a relatively new entrant to Namibia, but is set to add great value to the country’s beef production industry in the long term. Annelie Coleman visited Babette Stöck and Andreas Wiese, owners of Ongeama Romagnolas near Windhoek, to find out more.
The modern Santa Gertrudis is a compact, well-adapted animal that excels on the veld and in the feedlot, says stud breeder Desmond Robertson. Annelie Coleman reports.
Mike Burgess visited Christo Nowers at the state-run Dohne Agricultural Development Institute near Stutterheim to better understand how the herd has achieved an average calving percentage of 83,8% since 2000, and an average herd ICP of 380 days.
Improved cow productivity reduces greenhouse gas production, according to specialist Agricultural Research Council researcher Prof Michiel Scholtz, who gave a presentation on the topic at the 1st International Conference on Tropical Animal Science and Production in Thailand. For this reason, he says, it is important to understand the basics of cow productivity.
Cloete Afrikaners takes the increasing consumer demand for grass-fed beef seriously. Adrian Cloete spoke to Gerhard Uys about the challenges of doing so in an industry currently geared to the interests of feedlots.
Winterfeeding, according to Free State commercial cattle farmer Johan Dannhauser, should not be seen as a separate operation. Rather, it is part of a year-round system that involves all aspects of herd production and pasture management.
Using estimated breeding values has dramatically improved the stud genetics of Free State breeders Chris Nel Snr and Chris Nel Jnr of Eversar Sussex stud. Yet they continue to take visual evaluation very seriously. They explained to Gerhard Uys how they combine these methods.
In preparation for winter, most farmers in summer rainfall areas are supplementing their livestock feed. However, agricultural researcher, Jan Hoon, explains that normal winterfeed supplementation is not enough for animals in drought-stricken areas.
In 2015, Flippie Kotze and his son, Walter, sold a Brangus bull for a SA record price of R500 000 at the National Brangus Sale in the Free State. Mike Burgess visited the Kotze family farm, Swartfontein, in the Aliwal North district of the Eastern Cape, to find out more about the Twee Plus Brangus stud’s recipe for success.
Bothaville Stud breeder, Herbert Bruinette, has succeeded in breeding Afrikaner cattle with excellent breeding values and muscling through the introduction of Bonsmara genetics into his herd. He started in 2008 in consultation with animal scientist Danie Bosman. Annelie Coleman spoke to them to find out more about the project.