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.
While wool accounts for only about 30% of his income, Free State farmer Le Roux Fourie views it as a crucial element in his cropping and livestock operation. He spoke to Sabrina Dean about the value of this commodity, especially in light of its consistently high price.
The proven economics of the Kalahari Red breed motivated Cobus Meyer to branch out into goat production on the family farm near Leeudoringstad. He told Annelie Coleman that establishing his Greenstone Kalahari Red Goat stud had been the best business decision he had ever made.
The Blaine family near Kei Road in the Eastern Cape began breeding Merinos in the 1880s, and by the 1940s had established the Ross Dohne stud. This became a foundation stud in the Dohne Research Station’s breeding project near Stutterheim. Tom Blaine spoke to Mike Burgess about their determination to adhere to the ‘original true intention’ of the Dohne Merino.
Volumes of formally marketed communal wool in the Eastern Cape have increased from 222 610kg in the 1997/1998 season to more than five million kilograms in 2017/2018. Mike Burgess spoke to communal wool farmer Xolisa Bomela about the ups and downs of sheep farming in the Ntseshe region of the former Transkei.
In a desperate attempt to limit livestock losses due to predation, Karoo farmer Eddie Steenkamp devised a plan to protect his livestock, and has achieved remarkable success. Jeandré van der Walt visited him to find out more.
After teaching herself cheesemaking, Estee van Aswegen entered her Baris cheeses at the South African Dairy Championships and won top of class.