Nguni cattle can complement a timber business nicely – and are likely to captivate their owners with their beauty and no-nonsense traits. Brett Peatie and Brian Magor of Midlands Imperial Investments spoke to Robyn Joubert about Ngunis.
Whether producing feedlot or veld beef, the Afrikaner is an excellent choice. A hardy, easy-calving breed with high disease-resistance, it excels under a wide range of conditions. Commercial cattle farmer Susan Scheepers from Stoffberg, Mpumalanga, has struck a balance between meat production and fertility, making her Samaroux herd of Afrikaners profitable.
While a fast-paced urban lifestyle is behind the need for commercial high-producing poultry breeds, a market exists in rural areas for a no-fuss, dual-purpose chicken. Husband-and-wife team Jaap and Shirley Schoeman believe they've bred the answer to this demand.
Don't be fooled by the Dexter's size - this dual-purpose breed carries a higher proportion of its body weight as saleable meat than most beef breeds, and offers sterling weight gain and feed conversion. Annelie Coleman spoke to Piet van der Merwe, SA Dexter Breeders' Society president, and discovered demand for this breed far exceeds supply.
You have to confront sentiment about your livestock head-on when faced with drought, says Trenly Spence, a Nguni stud breeder and holistic cattleman who has weathered 25 months of drought in the Karoo. Heather Dugmore reports.
Brian Angus is the owner of the first and largest herd of Japanese Wagyu cattle in South Africa. He desired to introduce South African gourmets to locally-produced Wagyu beef.
James Raw - chasing opportunity
As many as 14 000 birds in one laying house, with one operator handling the eggs? Precisely measured amounts of feed, water and vaccine delivered automatically? Electronically controlled ventilation? Lloyd Phillips reports how this five-star treatment uses economies of scale to achieve greater hatchability in broiler hens.
In only 32 years Smithfield Merino farmer Eddie Prinsloo has increased the ewe crop on Heuningkrans Stud from 500 to about 2 000, and in February this year at its sale, Heuningkrans achieved an average price per ram of R7 300 - the highest average price ever achieved by a single Merino breeder in South Africa. Gavin Isted writes.
'Sansor notes that neither kikuyu nor rye grass could pose a threat [to biodiversity].
It will cost a Limpopo cattle farmer about R12,75/kg to produce a weaner, which will be sold for about R12/kg on average.
In 2003 Reuter Sorour and Andrew Tilsley, joined later by neighbour Alec Botha, began producing organic-in-conversion milk for Woolworths via their national organic centre for milk production near Bloemfontein, Homsek Dairy. Today Andrew and Alec have reverted to conventional milk production while Reuter remains deeply disillusioned, thanks to what they call a controversial certification process and a battle to receive significant premiums for their milk. Mike Burgess visited the farmers near Ficksburg to hear their side of the story.