Prof Tertius Brand, a scientist in animal nutrition at the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, shares advice on how to manage a sheep flock during and after a drought in order for farmers to regain the profitability of their operations.
André and Brenda Swanepoel started farming Boer goats as a part-time activity on their smallholding in Mpumalanga. In no time at all, they found themselves running a thriving commercial operation, thanks to an almost insatiable local demand for goat meat. Lindi Botha reports on the enterprise and its future.
Andrew Jordaan Jr of Spekboomberg farm in Cradock in the Eastern Cape was named the Voermol National Sheep Farmer of the Year in 2018. Mike Burgess spoke to him about how he gets the most out of his ewes by leveraging both extensive and intensive production systems.
Through rigorous selection, Meatmaster stud breeder Nico Grobler from North West has succeeded in significantly reducing wireworm infestation in his Kern Meatmaster flock. This has enabled him to run the stud successfully in an area highly susceptible to the parasite.
Diversifying to vegetable seed production has enabled Karoo sheep farmer PF Theron to reduce his climatic and production risks while greatly improving profitability. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how he has managed this process.
Sheep production has become a numbers game, with an operation’s profitability being largely dependent on the farmer’s ability to produce large numbers of sheep at low cost. Farm manager Dirk Liebenberg spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how he achieves this goal.
The Patience family started farming on 95ha of rented land in Saron in the Western Cape in the 1960s, beginning with just 10 sheep and a handful of cattle. Today, Therecia Patience and her son, Gary, are on the same land, and are systematically improving the genetics of their Dohne Merino sheep. They spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about their successful operation.
Eastern Cape mohair producer Paul Webber has twice won the prestigeous Daidoh Trophy Competition for the highest average price for a summer kid clip. Mike Burgess visited him on his farm to better understand his mohair production system.
The Merino Landsheep is rapidly gaining popularity in South Africa due to the breed’s impressive performance in the feedlot as well as its value as a dual-purpose meat and wool sheep. Merino Landsheep stud breeder Ben du Plessis spoke to Annelie Coleman.
Kleiheuwel Trust, based in Bredasdorp, recently achieved one of the top 10 best prices in the history of South African wool sales, and the highest price during the previous season’s BKB wool auctions. Pam and André Christie-Smith spoke to Glenneis Kriel about their production approach.
Matthew Morgan of Tarkastad has developed his family farms vertically by establishing permanent mixed pastures for his 3 000 Merino ewes to lamb on. The excellence of his farming won him the title of 2019 Toyota-Agri Eastern Cape Young Farmer of the Year.
Sorghum makes excellent fodder for livestock and can cope with dry conditions better than most other grain crops.