Farmer’s Weekly brings you the latest cattle farming news and updates from South Africa and the rest of Africa.

Afrikaners on veld – this female farmer’s success

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.

A no-fuss, farm-bred, dual-purpose chicken

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.

The Dexter: Dynamite in a small package

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.

Drought-proof Ngunis

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.
wagyu cattle

Wagyu Cattle: Producing Kobe beef at R1 500/kg

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.

Top young farmers face the future enthusiastically

James Raw - chasing opportunity

Broiler eggs -mega hatchability

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.

Heuningkrans Stud: a South African legacy

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.

Activists call for ban on pasture grasses

'Sansor notes that neither kikuyu nor rye grass could pose a threat [to biodiversity].

Weaner input costs override profits

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.

Organically overboard

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.

Tri-national pride in Angus gene pool

South African cattle breeder Nico Olivier has negotiated semen and embryo exchange with top studs in Paraguay and Brazil. Animals from Nico's Angus Africa stud are winning championships and strengthening gene pools in the huge South American cattle industry. Glenneis Erasmus found out more.

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