Unlocking the potential of the Merino Landsheep

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. The Merino Landsheep breed is known for exceptional …

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The fertility factor in mohair success

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. Washed and unclassed two- tooth Angora ewes on irrigated kikuyu pasture on …

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Breeding top-performing Dohne Merino on 95ha

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 …

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Intensive sheep farm achieves 180% per year weaning rate

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. At Pienaarsrivier, a grain and sheep farm near Riversdale …

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Maximising efficiency against heat stress in cattle

Expected temperature increases due to the effect of global warming will have a negative impact on the productivity of livestock. According to animal science researchers at the Agricultural Research Council, beef farmers will have to follow certain breeding objectives to lessen this effect. The Southern African beef cattle industry includes …

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How Beefmaster Group helps cattle farmers

In these times of uncertainty, cattle farmers can rely on the Beefmaster Group to help them overcome short-term challenges and access markets, says Roelie van Reenen, supply chain executive at the group. Beefmaster Group helps emerging and commercial cattle farmers that farm various breeds of cattle. During times of uncertainty, …

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Choosing Afrikaners for extensive beef production

Jacquies Steenkamp produced the 2019 Agricultural Research Council (ARC) Afrikaner National Performance Test Class bull. Mike Burgess visited him on his farm near Rouxville to see why he believes this indigenous breed is so well suited to extensive beef production in demanding areas. The Afrikaner is a low-input animal with …

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The importance of maintaining reproductive health in a herd

Fourth-generation farmer Gerhard Grobler says he has been able to achieve better results from his beef cattle herd after introducing crossbreeding. But, he adds, South Africa’s beef producers need to start managing animal health more proactively. Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, Gerhard Grobler, of Smitsfield farm in Lothair, …

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Record-breaking high-altitude Ngunis

On 9 May 2020, the Biggs family, who farms in the Eastern Cape, sold a Nguni herd sire for a world-record price of R310 000. Clive Biggs spoke to Mike Burgess about the family’s well-adapted Nandi Nguni stud in the foothills of the Drakensberg near Cedarville. Our goal is to …

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On a quest to breed ‘the perfect Brahman

A dream to farm Brahman cattle saw Auldrich Spies switch from construction to farming. Ironically, it was his initial ignorance that led him to become a successful stud farmer today. Lindi Botha visited SS Brahmane in Mbombela, Mpumalanga. Auldrich Spies grew up attending shows where his grandfather exhibited his prized …

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