Farmer's Weekly | 9 August 2013
The Beefmaster sale was an opportunity for commercial cattlemen to view the pick of the breed and buy bulls for the coming breeding season.
The Beefmaster Society’s National Sale took place on 10 July in the Parys Afridome. With 40 bulls and 40 females on offer, it was, as always, a great success. The society’s AGM had been held the previous day, followed by a formal evening function and dinner afterwards.
The auction, which was presented by Optima, was an opportunity for breeders to present their finest genetic material to potential buyers. The society invited all interested commercial cattlemen so that they could buy superior quality bulls for their herds for the coming breeding season.
SA Stud Breeder
Beefmaster Alliance in Gauteng represents the largest registered Beefmaster herd in South Africa, and consists of more than 1 800 females. Some 700 bull calves are performance tested annually. Since 2006 approximately 2 800 bulls have been performance tested. Annually 200 bulls are selected for the Beefmaster Alliance production sale, which is held on the first Thursday in August.
Since 2002 only American semen has been used for artificial insemination (AI). Between 800 and 1 000 female animals are AI’d annually. These include heifers aged between 12 and 15 months, which are synchronised and inseminated. Heifers must calve at 24 months and conceive again every year in order to remain in the herd.
The Vleissentraal/SA Stud Book Elite Platinum beef cattle breeder of the year is Beefmaster Alliance. Here are Tony and Anabela da Costa, Ansie and Gideon Brits, with Anton Vos, managing director of Vleissentraal.
The Beefmaster Breeders Society encountered friendliness, great hospitality - and some impressive herds on its annual tour.
Every year, the Beefmaster Breeders Society organises a tour to visit breeders in different parts of the country. This year the destination was the Eastern Cape. The excitement was palpable as the bus left therendezvous point at CBC school in Bloemfontein, at 10am on 11 March.
Breeders came from all over – Ermelo, Middelburg, Vrede, Lichtenburg, Ladysmith, Parys, Kriel, Wolmaransstad and Amersfoort. And they shared stories of how early they had had to get up to catch the bus – some started their journey as early as 2am!
Met erkenning aan Landbou Weekblad en ANDRIES GOUWS (skrywer van die artikel)
Dié Beefmaster is ‘n koei duisend (daar is 37,456 koeie in die ras).
Die Beefmasterkoei, AHA 00/120, is ‘n sprekende voorbeeld van doeltreffendheid. Sy is twaalf jaar oud, het al elf kalwers gehad waarvan ses bulle reeds as teelbulle verkoop kon word.
Onverbiddelike streng seleksie vir vrugbaarheid sorg daarvoor dat die Van-Dev-Beefmasterstoetery se tussenkalftydperk op gemiddeld 364 dae en die gemiddelde ouderdom met eerste kalwing op 25 maande staan.
Mnr. Pieter van Deventer boer al 20 jaar deeltyds en het onlangs na die plaas Klipfontein naby Coligny in Noordwes verskuif om sy boerdery langs dié van sy skoonpa te vestig. Hy bestuur nou die boerdery ook. Sy stoetery bestaan tans uit 90 teelkoeie en 80 verse.
“Ek het in 1993 my eerste kruisrasbeeste gekoop en die jaar daarna ‘n Beefmasterbul. Daarmee het ek die kudde opgeteel en in ‘96 ‘n klompie ou Beefmasterkoeie by ‘n bekende teler gekoop wat ek uitgesoek het op grond van die gehalte van die kalwers wat saam met hulle geloop het.
“Uit die staanspoor het ek streng vir vrugbaarheid geselekteer. My kudde se dektyd begin op 1 Desember. Die koei loop 75 dae en die verse, wat gedek word as hulle gemiddeld 14 maande oud is, loop 45 dae by die bul. Enigeen wat oorslaan word summier geslag.
“Ek speen die kalwers as hulle gemiddeld 7 maande oud is. Almal met ‘n indeks onder 90 en wat nie die keuring slaag nie, word summier uitgeskot. Die verse gaan veld toe en wanneer nodig met ‘n produksielek gehelp om ‘n teikengewig van 320 kg teen dektyd te behaal.
“Dieselfde maatstaf geld vir die bulkalwers en die beste helfte van die wat gehou word, deurloop ‘n fase D-toets. Die wat daar nie goed presteer en nie in sterk manlike bulle ontwikkel nie, word ook uitgeskot. Die wat ek nie self gebruik nie, verkoop ek op ‘n veiling wanneer hulle 30 tot 36 maande oud is.
“In die koeikudde selekteer ek vir koeie wat lank doeltreffend produseer. Dié koei wat vanjaar Elite Platinum-status verwerf, se ouma het 20 jaar en haar ma 15 jaar oud geword. Laasgenoemde het 12 kalwers gehad (met ‘n tussenkalfperiode van 399 dae).
“AHA 00/120 is nou twaalf jaar, het elf kalwers gehad waarvan twee verse was en van die nege bulle wat sy geproduseer het, is vyf al as teelbulle verkoop en die sesde een kom vanjaar op die veiling, twee bulletjies is nog te jonk om vir keuring voorgelê te word. Die gemiddelde speengewig van haar kalwers is 270 kg. Haar ma het ook vyf bulle geproduseer wat verkoop kon word.
“Dié langlewende produktiewe koeie stam uit daardie ou koeie wat ek gekoop het en hulle het sulke geslaagde teellyne in die kudde gevestig. Die ekonomies gunstige eienskappe word verbeter met top bulle wat hy koop en saam met sy eie uitsoekbulle gebruik.
“Ek gebruik bulle selde langer as twee jaar. Deur voortdurend jonger en beter bulle in die kudde te gebruik, word genetiese vordering versnel.
“Dit is dié beleid en streng seleksie wat meegebring het dat drie van my koeie al, die status as Beste Produserende Elite Koei - verwerf het nl in 2008, 2012 en nou in 2013. Daarby was ek bevoorreg dat ek die laaste Famer’s Weekly- Beste Produserende Elite Koei en nou die eerste Landbouweekblad- Beste Produserende Elite Platinum Koei te kan hê,” sê Van Deventer.
Every year the Beefmaster Breeders Society organises a tour to visit breeders in different parts country. This year it was the second trip to the Eastern Cape, the first time was some years ago.
The trip started at the hotel at the top of the Barkley Pass, situated among majestic mountains capped with dramatic rock formations. Our first port of call the next morning was to Jaco Vorster's cattle. We could only be impressed with what we saw. Cows with growthy calves at foot, heifers strong broad and lengthy, all a type that are well suited to the area. This was something that stood out as we visited each herd, namely that by following the Lasater philosophy with breeding, the herd will become suited to the environment. The better suited, or rather adapted, a herd of cattle is to the environment in which it is farmed, the less stress there will be on management to generate the maximum of profit from that herd. Jaco also showed us a group of 50 young bulls running under hard conditions that are in a Phase D performance test. Not far away is the herd belonging to Anton Reabow. This is a younger herd but already the environment was expressing itself in the animals being slightly different. Good cattle, and Anton is on the right path on a very sour farm, breeding a herd to be watched in the future. What was encouraging to the tour group who were mostly breeders themselves, was that so many of the local farmers also attended the exposure of the cattle in these herds. This interest can only be good for the future of the breed. Then we moved on to Komga.
Two of the oldest Beefmaster herds are near Komga, namely Amberdene and Hart, owned respectively by Pierre Hart and Graham Hart. The ideals of the Beefmaster breed are to be seen in both these herds. It is difficult to avoid too many accolades when discussing these cattle. Once again cattle well adapted to their environment The standard of the bulls and cows is exemplary and they are not pampered. Females drop their first calves at 2 years, and need to pay their was every year by producing a calf, or they sacrifice themselves. Pierre showed us a group of “rough” cows that were suckling Beefmaster calves – the degree of prepotency of the breed was well evident. A neighbour of theirs is the Impact herd of Pat Bailey. Among his cattle we were shown females bought at the 4 X 4 sale. Although a young herd, the quality of his females and bulls is of a high standard. One of the established breeders on the tour expressed the opinion that this is a herd he will be keeping an eye on.
Next was a night spent just outside Queenstown. The Daybreaker herd was the first we visited. Llewellyn MacClean has been breeding Beefmaster for just over 20 years in a very hard and dry area on the Tarkastad side on Queenstown. Once again his cattle are hardy and well adapted to his severe farming conditions. Llewellyn imports a lot of Lasater genetics. His cattle pens were interesting in that they make his cattle management easy.
From there it was a long trip to the Penhoek pass to visit Justin and Geoff Stretton. What beautiful cattle in a drier area with severe winters. This Creative herd is also one of the original herds in the county and is therefore also well established. We saw groups of every herd on the farm, the young bulls were impressive and the calves and young heifers were a pleasure to see. We were not able to stay there for as long as we would like to have stayed, since we were running late with long distances to be covered on this the last day of the tour.
The last farm we visited was the Ivukile herd of Dries de Klerk on the way to Aliwal North. What a lovely setting with a dam surrounded by Poplar tees starting to get their autumn colours beneath a locally typical kranz. This is sheep and cattle country in a drier area where conditions are severe. Dries went to a lot of trouble to show us his cattle. The tour members enjoyed once again seeing very good cattle with good young bulls and sires that could only impress the visitor.
For up to 50 Beefmaster breeders to be together for three full days either enjoying the cattle and hospitality of fellow breeders whose herds we were visiting, or while travelling in the bus from farm to farm and even in the evenings and over meals, is a unifying factor within the breed. The farmers have the opportunity of sharing ideas and asking questions of each other that can only be beneficial to their own farming operations, but therefore also to the benefit of the breed. Breeding bulls for the environment in which you farm means that what you sell will be adapted to that environment, which leads to buyer satisfaction. Buyer satisfaction is the encouragement that the breeder needs for him to want to breed an even better animal for the market.