Stockfarm - latest Issue
Volume 7, Issue 4, 2017
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 2 –2 (2017)More Less
The saying, ‘Practise what you preach’ means that a person should do what he intended to do – which often is more difficult in practice than it seems. We approach Stockfarm’s content strategically and always handle topics that not only are relevant to our readers, but are necessary for the development of a stable agricultural environment, in a responsible manner. This means that we sometimes have to write about unpopular or sensitive topics. One such topic is land, land reform, land ownership and the future of productive agricultural land. It has never been Stockfarm’s objective to talk politics, and after seven years of avoiding landmines and potholes, I think we can now put that feather in our cap. But how does one talk about land without touching on politics? And we must talk about this issue, because without land it is impossible to farm.
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 6 –7 (2017)More Less
#AgriOperationPhakisa receives attention
BathoPele kicks off 2017 with a bang
DAFF signs memorandum of understanding with China
UK cattle breeding breakthrough
Celebrate World Veterinary Day
What the budget means for agriculture
SA hand shearer wins
New advisers for Eastern Cape areas
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 8 –9 (2017)More Less
Apart from predators, disease and bad weather conditions, stock theft is one of the numerous risks every livestock farmer has to face on a daily basis. Researchers have found that stock theft is the result of mainly poverty and drought conditions, with the latter resulting in low yields (Dzimba and Matooane, 2005; Cheserek et al., 2012; Khoabane and Black, 2012). If we compare livestock theft to other crimes in South Africa, it seems as though it is one of the country’s less serious problems. As a result of its seemingly lower importance, very little research has thus far been done with
Author Ansofie van der WaltSource: Stockfarm 7, pp 12 –13 (2017)More Less
Employers have to manage business risks daily to ensure profitability and sustainability. Compliance with labour legislation is non-negotiable, and non-compliance poses a major risk for the employer. Restrictive labour regulations have been highlighted by businessmen as one of the most challenging aspects of doing business in South Africa. It is important to take into account the role of labour in the workplace and to realise that legislation can be used to the advantage of the employer. The modern trend among business owners, regardless of the size of the institution, is to focus on core activities and to outsource other activities not regarded as such, such as security, tax, transport, marketing, a cafeteria on the premises, etc. Compliance with labour legislation requires specialist expertise. It is therefore recommended that employers also outsource their labour risks to experts who can offer guidance where necessary, thus limiting legal liability. By doing so, the agricultural employer can concentrate on his/her primary business, namely agriculture.
Author Andries GouwsSource: Stockfarm 7, pp 14 –15 (2017)More Less
The semen of purposefully selected French Charolais bulls, is used in a carefully planned breeding programme in Namibia to breed adapted animals that excel and which are sought-after in cross-breeding systems, a popular practice in making the country’s beef production more profitable. Early in his farming career, Johann Britz realised that he would have to put more meat on his Brahman weaner calves if he wanted to be sustainable. He used a Charolais bull in a cross-breeding system and was so impressed with the results, that he established a stud. He could not find bulls in Southern Africa that met his requirements, and turned to sires in France for semen for an artificial insemination (AI) programme. “The French connection led to a huge breakthrough to my farming enterprise, and today I have Charolais cattle with outstanding performance and wonderful results in my commercial herd,” Johann says.
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 17 –19 (2017)More Less
Henri Barry of the farm Lismore, near the mission settlement of Suurbraak in the Swellendam area, farms with his son Jonathan, and he is gradually shifting more of the responsibilities to Jonathan. Jonathan is the fifth generation Barry on the farm, and they are descendants of the family after whom the town Barrydale, not far from Lismore, was named. The farm is situated on the banks of the Buffeljags River and even though he has irrigation rights to the river, Henri does not make use of it. “I do not have a pump on the farm and only make use of gravitation. Half of the farm is situated in the Langeberg mountains, and I get my water from the mountain. We irrigate 120ha of the 150ha irrigable land on the farm.”
Author Jackie TurnerSource: Stockfarm 7, pp 21 –21 (2017)More Less
Stockfarm asked Jackie Tucker, a ruminant specialist at Chemuniqué, a company that focuses on the improvement of animal production, about the effect of nutrition on lameness in cattle. Her first comment was that it is a very complex problem. There is no single cause and most certainly also no quick solution. Management, the environment and nutrition are some of the factors that play a role in the prevalence of this condition. “Lameness is divided into two groups, namely bacterial/contagious lameness and mechanical lameness. Bacterial lameness is linked to hygiene and biosecurity, while mechanical lameness can be attributed to environmental conditions such as the surface the animals walk on, the design of the milking parlour, heat and nutrition.
Author Charlie ReinhardtSource: Stockfarm 7, pp 22 –23 (2017)More Less
Utilisation of weeds by browsers and grazers is determined by several factors, including the type of animal, weed type, alternative food plants and the environment. Although the nutritive value of a weed may be high, it may be toxic or unpalatable due to chemicals produced by the plant. Livestock and game might not feed on a particular weed, even though it is not toxic, because the animal has not ‘learned’ to ingest it and prefers other vegetation. Animals are forced to ingest plants that would normally be avoided or rarely utilised when drought and overgrazing cause significant reduction in plant biomass and species diversity.
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 27 –29 (2017)More Less
Prosopis trees and plants such as blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) are the cause of many a problem in numerous livestock production areas, among others reducing the carrying capacity of the land by half. A deforestation project can cost the landowner a lot of money. Dr Niekie van Aswegen of De Aar not only approaches his farming enterprise scientifically, but also employs an economic approach. His problem is Prosopis encroachment, but he uses a mixer and pelleting machine to transform these invasive species into a good basis for his livestock feed. The cost savings and beneficial deforestation gained in the process, more than makes up for the machines he had to buy for this purpose.
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 37 –37 (2017)More Less
The problem with a cliché is that it is usually true. The result is that people take a truth, declare it a cliché and regard it as less important while it actually should be given priority. This is what usually happens with statements such as: “The agricultural youth of today guarantees the agriculture of the future.” It is stated often and everyone agrees, but few people actually do something about it. Stockfarm has actually faced the challenge and in its first year of existence, attempted to do something substantial about it. Our first bursar at the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2011, WA Lombard, is currently studying towards his doctorate. He is a regular author of articles in Stockfarm and coordinates the Stockfarm Schools Stud Project. Over the years, we have been involved in several other projects, such as being the media sponsor of the National Youth Show for the past two years. However, with the Stockfarm Schools Stud Project we really feel as if we are starting to make a contribution. Not only is the youth favoured, but it also adds a lot of value to the South African stud industry and societies.
Author Helena TheronSource: Stockfarm 7, pp 38 –41 (2017)More Less
Rhino genetics are characterised by small populations and genetic bottlenecks. Efforts to conserve genetic diversity aim to slow down the inevitable extinction rate of certain subspecies. Every rhino in the world is being threatened by largescale poaching, as a result of the misconception in Asia that the animal’s horns have medicinal value. Rhino are classified with horses and zebras under the order Perissodactyla – animals with an odd number of toes. Horses and zebras have one toe, while rhinos have three. Furthermore, rhinos are classified in the family Rhinoceroses, under which five species and several subspecies are found worldwide. Approximately 3 500 single-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) are found in India and Nepal, while the Javanese (Rhinoceros sondaicus) and Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) – with around 100 animals remaining each – are classified as critically endangered. In South Africa, two rhino species are found, namely the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum) and the black rhino (Diceros bicornis). Although approximately 20 000 white rhinos are found in Southern Africa, their Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) status is “near threatened” as a result of large scale poaching for their horns. The roughly 5 000 black rhinos in Africa, however, are classified as “critically endangered”. According to fossil records, the Ceratotherium and Diceros species diverged seven million years ago. There are currently three black rhino and two white rhino subspecies.
Author Carin VenterSource: Stockfarm 7, pp 42 –43 (2017)More Less
The success of rearing Angora kids can be rewarding, but only if the process is handled correctly by the producer. Several methods have been used to outsmart predators or erect the right infrastructure. Locally, as well as in Australia, protective coats have even been tested to allow kids to cope with freak weather and they have been fed chocolate maize to increase their blood glucose levels.
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 45 –45 (2017)More Less
The genetic evaluation of a breed involves estimating its breeding values by means of internationally accepted methods. It also includes the estimation of hereditability and genetic correlations between traits. Breeding values are the most accurate tool for selecting animals. SA Stud Book uses best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) methodology, a method used across the world to estimate breeding values in beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. BLUP methodology is even used in the selection of trees and fish. SA Stud Book performs genetic evaluations for beef cattle based on the performance measurement of animals for economically important traits. Breeders measure their animals according to the requirements and guidelines of the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR). These measurements are included for genetic evaluation in SA Stud Book’s internationally approved evaluation methodology.
Author Alicia CloeteSource: Stockfarm 7, pp 47 –47 (2017)More Less
Bovine brucellosis is a chronic bacterial disease that leads to abortions, weak calves and a loss in milk production. The bacterium Brucella abortus mainly affects cattle, but any mammal can potentially be infected. Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease that can also infect humans – mainly when non-pasteurised milk is consumed or when materials from abortions or births of infected cows are being handled.
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 48 –49 (2017)More Less
South Africa has been blessed with lots of rain over most parts of the country since the start of the year. The rivers are flowing and farmers are rejoicing. But water and especially low-lying pools and marshes also have a downside – danger often lurks here in the form of liver and conical flukes. These flukes can infect animals if an intermediate host, the freshwater snail, is present. Stockfarm spoke to Louwna Fourie, veterinary technologist and owner of the Leeuwspruit Veterinary Laboratory in Standerton, about these two types of fluke.
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 51 –51 (2017)More Less
Anaplasmosis is the most widely spread of the tick-borne diseases, as it is transferred by five different tick species and flies. Non-sterilised needles can also be a source of infection. Under intensive conditions such as a dairy farm and in feedlots, stable flies can act as mechanical vectors. Anaplasmosis is caused by the parasite Anaplasma marginale. Most outbreaks occur in summer and autumn. The incubation period is between four and six weeks. Clinical signs include a high fever of 40°C and pale mucous membranes that occasionally turn yellow. The cattle are listless and weak due to anaemia. The rumen action is suppressed, leading to constipation. Cattle will die if they are not treated. A diagnosis of anaplasmosis can be confirmed by a blood smear.
Author Frikkie MaréSource: Stockfarm 7, pp 52 –52 (2017)More Less
Every owner must mark his animals according to the prescribed method, usually by means of branding or a tattoo. In cases where the mark has become unclear or invisible, the animals have to be re-identified. Many farmers continue to ignore these basic principles and one can’t help but wonder how many are simply ignoring other provisions of the act.
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 53 –53 (2017)More Less
Poultry reared for meat production are called broilers, and a broiler house is the structure used for rearing them. Proper planning of broiler housing facilities requires knowledge of broiler environmental requirements during various stages of growth. Major factors that should be considered are temperature, humidity and light. To manage these factors, the interior environment can be controlled using ventilating and heating equipment. The structure can either be fully enclosed or have curtains over a sidewall. The aim is to create an environment that ensures ideal growing conditions for optimum broiler performance.
Source: Stockfarm 7, pp 55 –56 (2017)More Less
Sernick is serious about the empowerment of emerging farmers. After a few minutes at one of their emerging farmer days, one realises the truth of this statement. The number of ways in which the Sernick Group supports emerging farmers continues to grow and expand. During their farmers’ day held in January, certificates were handed to students who successfully completed the training course. Nick Serfontein, chairman of the Sernick Group, noted that the hurdles emerging farmers encounter in the modern agricultural environment, are too great to overcome without assistance. He said land reform has failed and will remain a failure if major, successful farmers do not offer assistance. According to Patrick Sekwatlakwatla who has been responsible for Sernick’s empowerment initiatives since 2014, relevant information forms the basis of all empowerment initiatives. These initiatives include farmers’ days, formal and informal training, an annual carcass competition, an exchange scheme for bulls and a contract feeding programme in the Sernick feedlot. “If one takes into account that our annual population growth is 2%, which means that we will have to produce food for more than 75 million people by 2025, it is clear that we cannot afford to have agricultural land which remains unproductive.”