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.
Dr Heidi-Jayne Hawkins, head of research at Conservation South Africa and an associate at the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Town, spoke to Roelof Bezuidenhout about research findings indicating that rotational grazing management has little effect on veld characteristics across the farm fence lines of South Africa.
Neville Bradfield is one of 18 South African Romagnola stud breeders who have established themselves since the Italian breed’s arrival in Africa 25 years ago. Mike Burgess visited his farm in the Eastern Cape to see how he has incorporated the breed into his mixed farming operation.
Leading Boran stud breeder Hurwitz Farming in Mpumalanga operates a number of enterprises, the latest of which is a silage contracting business. Pieter Dempsey interviewed Jarren Hurwitz to find out more about the new technology in silage that is making their operation different.
Tuli breeder Ben Raath believes his indigenous cattle hold their own against top feedlot breeds in terms of profitability on a weight per hectare basis. Sabrina Dean visited his farm near Britstown to learn about the commercial potential of the cattle, particularly with worsening climate change.
During a cattle information day hosted by the Berg Farmers’ Association in Barkly West, Johan Mouton, manager of research and development for ruminants at RCL Foods, shared some advice on how to manage feeding for livestock after a drought.
Allistair and Laurence Brown, owners of the Duncraggan and Primeston Beef Shorthorn studs, produced the 2018 Agricultural Research Council National Special Performance Beef Shorthorn bull. Mike Burgess visited the brothers’ farm near Alexandria in the Eastern Cape.
Cow longevity is crucial to optimal productivity in beef cattle production, says Anette Theunissen, an animal scientist based at the Vaalharts Research Station.
Harrismith breeder Dr Elsie Campher’s Helpmekaar Brangus herd embodies generations of top-quality genetics. She says the stud, founded by her father, is a ‘priceless genetic treasure’.