The success of a livestock breeding concern depends on choosing a breed that makes economic sense and optimises return on investment. For a part-time farmer, an additional requirement is that the breed is hardy enough to thrive without pampering. Part-time stud breeder Dirco Swart of Frankfort told Annelie Coleman that the Beefmaster ticked all these boxes.
What started off as a hobby for Theuns Bruwer and Pierre Veldhoen seven years ago has turned into the registration of an Angus stud with successful and highly respected breeding stock. Jeandré van der Walt visited their stud, Windmeul Angus, outside Paarl in the Western Cape.
Llewellyn Angus, an animal scientist, Simbra/Simmentaler breeder, and SA Interbreed Judges Association examiner, says that grazing and fertility management are both crucial to profitable beef cattle farming. Here he shares the basic principles of managing fertility in a beef herd.
Zachariah Matli’s journey to running a viable beef cattle operation has had its frustrations, but he is on his way to becoming a commercial producer. Sustaining him has been his own tenacity, and steady support from commercial farmers and government.
Stress in cattle can cause these animals and their handlers numerous problems, and ultimately lose money for the cattle farming business. Dr Johan Cloete, a ruminant technical veterinarian with MSD Animal Health, says it is essential for handlers to understand cattle behaviour in order to achieve reduced stress.
The Arwin Farms Bonsmara Stud, founded in 1982 in the Dordrecht district of the Eastern Cape, is run entirely off the veld. Mike Burgess visited Johan and Michael-John Greyling to find out more about their grass-based beef genetics, and the lessons they learnt along the way.
Producing world-class stud cattle is a challenging endeavour, but judging by the stacked-up ribbons at the RiHugo farming enterprise, Rian Maree has found the winning recipe. He spoke to Lindi Botha about practising rigorous selection on his Brahman herd.
Dr Enslin Coetzee and Issie Liebenberg, the owners of the ZEC Angus stud, breed for efficiency and functionality. They produced the bull Match, which took top honours at the Interbreed Bull Growth Test Class 2019 at the Bloem Show.
The Afrikaner, once the most popular breed in Southern African, is ideally suited to today’s uncertain climatic conditions, says Namibia-based breeder Jan Blaauw, co-owner of the Salztal Afrikaner stud.
Respected show judge and Simbra and Simmentaler breeder Llewellyn Angus has received many awards for his animals and his contribution to the industry. Here he shares his 12 fundamental principles of accurate performance testing and the use of estimated breeding values.
Breeding with structurally faulty animals can set a herd’s quality, productivity and profitability back several years. Knowledgeable breeders Ting Braithwaite, Tim Hempson and Ndumiso Gule, all based in KwaZulu-Natal, share their tips on what to look for when considering which animals to buy as a nucleus or replacement breeding stock.
Cattle farmers in Southern Africa have had a difficult year, with ongoing drought and foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks. Louis Steyl, CEO of the Bonsmara Cattle Breeders’ Society of South Africa, says that the Bonsmara, with its adaptability and high functional efficiency, has proved itself the ideal breed to cope with, and thrive in, these challenging conditions.