Genetic progress in dairy herds is affected by sire selection. However, despite careful selection procedures, female progeny of selected sires produce at higher, similar or lower production levels than their mothers. This is because of the random combination of genes and the varying effect of environmental factors on the production performance of dairy cows. Dairy…

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Climate outlook for 2020

The variable and changing climate Climate conditions were in general unfavourable for agricultural production in the recent past seasons. Severe drought over most of South Africa and especially the central, western, south western and south eastern parts of the country already persists since about 2012. In areas where higher rainfall amounts occurred was the distribution…

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Recently, on social media, the size of dairy cows was discussed among dairy farmers. Most held the opinion that there are advantages to cows being smaller. It was suggested that smaller cows, on a daily basis, consumed less feed and had lower maintenance requirements than larger cows. However, while these opinions are technically correct, little…

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Honey bees threatened

Daardie bottel op die rak met die goue, stroperige vloeistof is uiters gesog by alle mense alhoewel dit ‘n plaas se prys is. Sedert oertye is heuning nie alleen die natuur se wondergawe as soetgoed vir die mens nie maar ook die bron van baie geneeskundige waarhede omdat dit heeltemal natuurlik is en mikro-hoeveelhede natuurlike…

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Fish and seafood value chain

Seafood products are among the most important internationally traded food commodities. The world seafood industry plays a significant role in the economic and social well-being of many nations, as well as in the feeding of a significant part of the world’s population. Fishing and fish farming have emerged as one of the major food processing…

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Om koeie te koop

Om die regte koeie te koop is moeiliker as wat baie mense dink. Die aankoopplek, finansiële vermoë van die koper en redes waarom koeie verkoop word dra alles by tot die gehalte van diere wat gekoop word. Daar is ook verskeie risiko’s met die aankoop van koeie. Dit geld vir beide die koper as vir…

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Adding value to a dairy herd

Dairy farmers are always looking at ways to increase the value of their herds. The management style has a major effect on the value of cows, heifers and their combined output. Although some farmers may be good at producing feeds; such as growing pastures, making hay or silage, some do not apply good animal management.…

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Agricultural value chains

The agricultural value chain concept has been used since the beginning of the millennium, primarily by those working in agricultural development in developing countries. Although there is no universally accepted definition of the term, it normally refers to the whole range of goods and services necessary for an agricultural product to move from the farm…

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Replacement heifers

Dairy farmers always aim to reduce the production cost of milk to increase profit margins. Heifer rearing is a direct cost and produces no immediate income; therefore, efforts are made to reduce this cost. However, heifer rearing is an integral part of a dairy herd and cost saving efforts should not reduce their future production…

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Including live weight in cow selection

The genetic merit of a dairy herd depends on the average breeding value of the group of bulls selected annually to service cows and heifers. Sire selection is usually based on a varying emphasis of conformation and production traits. In the USA, currently, more than 40 traits in dairy cows are being measured and genetic…

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