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  • Wool and maize perfect partners on marginal lands

    Wool and maize perfect partners on marginal lands

    Le Roux Fourie, who farms in the Brandfort district of the Free State, believes that the only way to produce more is by optimising resources to unlock their full value. In a summer cropping area, he says, the best way to achieve this is through a sheep component, specifically wool sheep. “Brandfo...
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  • Success with premium free-range chickens

    Success with premium free-range chickens

    Having grown up on a maize and cattle farm in Viljoenskroon in the Free State, Lynne Griesel understands the work ethic required to make a success of farming. “It’s early mornings and late nights. Success comes with constant hard work, day in and day out. It’s not about working hard for just a se...
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  • Dairy cows exposed to heavy metals worsen antibiotic-resistant pathogen crisis

    Dairy cows exposed to heavy metals worsen antibiotic-resistant pathogen crisis

    Dairy cows, exposed for a few years to drinking water contaminated with heavy metals, carry more pathogens loaded with antimicrobial-resistance genes able to tolerate and survive various antibiotics. That’s the finding of a team of researchers that conducted a study of two dairy herds in Br...
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  • Compliance, enforcement needed to curb brucellosis in KZN

    Compliance, enforcement needed to curb brucellosis in KZN

    he dramatic increase in the recorded cases of brucellosis (Brucella abortus) in cattle in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) since 2019 is a reflection of many livestock owners’ lack of compliance with legislation, combined with government’s failure to enforce this legislation. This was the view stated in the B...
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  • Brucellosis in cattle

    Brucellosis in cattle

    Brucellosis is a highly contagious, anthropo-zoonotic bacterial disease that is primarily present in animals but can be transmitted to humans. The disease is typically found in cattle, goats and sheep, but many wildlife species in South Africa have also tested positive. This is, however, only sig...
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  • 5 Cattle diseases that can kill your business

    5 Cattle diseases that can kill your business

    Farmers should aim for healthy and disease-free animals that are cost-effective and create prosperity on farms. “If your animals aren’t healthy, you cannot make money,” says Dr Jan du Preez, vet and managing director for the Institute for Dairy Technology. Diseases are prone to infect healthy ani...
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  • Biosecurity in poultry.

    Biosecurity in poultry.

    Location, house design and construction Disease management is an important component for sustainability of poultry project. It is imperative that farmers should understand the most common means of transmitting animal diseases so that issue of biosecurity can be put in place. It is well known that...
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  • Vaccinate your horse!

    Vaccinate your horse!

    In 2019, there was considerable discussion on social media about vaccination against African horse sickness (AHS). For many years, until about 2015, owners were told to vaccinate between October and December, so immunity would be high in the horse sickness season, which was traditionally between ...
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  • The fertility factor in mohair success

    The fertility factor in mohair success

    Paul Webber can look back on a memorable 2019 mohair season. He not only achieved the highest price of R621/kg for a bale of 24-micron good-style kid mohair in April, but ended up being awarded the Daidoh Trophy for the highest average price for a summer kid clip. Having won the same trophy in 20...
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  • Poultry litter to biogas adding more value to farm waste

    Poultry litter to biogas adding more value to farm waste

    Smaller poultry businesses, comprising mainly broiler and egg producers and suppliers of day-old chicks, are helping address the need for job creation. But this growing industry has a problem: how to manage the environmental impact of ever-greater volumes of poultry litter. The premise of our res...
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  • Feeding your sheep sorghum

    Feeding your sheep sorghum

    Many communal farming areas have fallow maize lands that have not been used for years. This is not only a waste of space; it leads to the loss of valuable topsoil, which can silt up village dams. In many cases, communities do not replant their lands because the conditions are too dry for maize. A...
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  • Choosing Afrikaners for extensive beef production

    Choosing Afrikaners for extensive beef production

    “The Afrikaner is a low-input animal with good-quality beef. Herein lies the real value of the breed,” says Jacquies Steenkamp, who registered his Derus Afrikaner Stud in 1996. Today, he runs 240 Afrikaner female animals, half of which are registered, in the Rouxville district in the southern Fre...
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  • Why every farmer needs a dog

    Why every farmer needs a dog

    While I stood waiting outside the library for my mother to come and fetch me, a bakkie came speeding down the road, stopping in a cloud of dust in front of the vet’s office. A farmer got out and carefully lifted a heavy tangle of blankets from the back of the bakkie. There was a dog lying limply ...
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  • The importance of having a breeding season

    The importance of having a breeding season

    Having a breeding (and calving) season can optimise the reproductive performance of a breeding herd and the pre-wean growth rate of calves. This, in turn, can profoundly influence the profit margin of a beef cattle enterprise. The aim of a breeding season is to get the maximum number of female an...
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  • Grave concern for condition of Namibia’s FMD-protection fence

    Grave concern for condition of Namibia’s FMD-protection fence

    A widespread outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Namibia could potentially wipe out the entire livestock production industry in that country. Therefore, the condition of Namibia’s veterinary cordon fence was a serious cause for concern. Following outbreaks of the disease in Kavango East a...
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  • When performance fails to live up to breeding values

    When performance fails to live up to breeding values

    Using estimated breeding values (EBVs) is crucial in animal selection. Well-adapted, genetically superior animals perform better and are more efficient. Even though the environment plays a large role, it is the genetic value of a trait that determines the true potential of the animal. Some farmer...
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  • Beat the heat! How to care for livestock in extreme weather

    Beat the heat! How to care for livestock in extreme weather

    The South African Weather Service’s website states that if the maximum temperature in a particular area is expected to meet or exceed 5°C above the average maximum temperature of “the hottest month” for that area, and these conditions persist for three days or more, a heatwave may be declared. Th...
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  • Fighting food fraud from farm to fork with a mobile ingredient tracing system

    Fighting food fraud from farm to fork with a mobile ingredient tracing system

    Savvy shoppers increasingly expect to know the origin of the food they eat, whether they shop at farmers’ markets or big-box major retailers. A prototype app proposed by researchers at the University of Tokyo aims to provide full transparency from farm to table along food supply chains and ...
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  • Swine coronavirus replicates in human cells

    Swine coronavirus replicates in human cells

    New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that a strain of coronavirus that has recently alarmed the swine industry may have the potential to spread to humans as well. The coronavirus strain, known as swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV), emerged f...
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  • The future of pig genetics

    The future of pig genetics

    Over the past decade, the use of genomics in pig breeding has helped to accelerate genetic improvement and on-farm performance. “Genetics companies in general have made great strides over the years by making use of performance testing to govern breeding decisions,” says Jurgens Reynders, managing...
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  • Technology and animal welfare improve piggery profits

    Technology and animal welfare improve piggery profits

    CP Kriek and his wife Gerda swapped their industrial engineering careers for farm life in 2012 with the purchase of Bloubank Estates, the holding company for Taaibosch Piggery. “As engineers, we love challenges and taking things that aren’t working optimally and making them better,” says Kriek, w...
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  • Small-scale pig farmer implements commercial practices

    Small-scale pig farmer implements commercial practices

    Buti Malinga, together with his sister, Cathy, started Vukani Piggery in 2008 with nine sows after they acquired the 154ha farm, Bronkhorstfontein, near Vanderbijlpark through the state’s land reform programme. The pair had, in fact, grown up on the same farm. Today, thanks to their hard work and...
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  • Buffalo fly faces Dengue nemesis

    Buffalo fly faces Dengue nemesis

    Few beef producers in the temperate climate of southern Australia will have encountered the parasitic buffalo fly (Haematobia irritans exigua), a scourge of the cattle industry in the country’s tropical and subtropical north — but maintaining this state of affairs, and also lifting a ...
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  • Technology Achieves A Healthy Animal Husbandry

    Technology Achieves A Healthy Animal Husbandry

    From October 19 to 24. 2020, the 9th Forum On China Animal Husbandry Science and Technology was held in Rongchang, a city entitled “Land of Animal husbandry of China”. This forum is biennial since it started in 2004. As the highest level of event on China’s animal husbandry science and technology...
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