Owner of Hartebeestloop Bonsmaras, Dr Joggie Briedenhann, has carefully planned this year’s Hartebeestloop Bonsmara auction and Farmers’ Day on May 26 and 27 on his farm near Stampriet.
It promises to be the most spectacular Bonsmara auction ever with international speakers who will lecture farmers during the two-day event. Briedenhann says the speakers should get everyone thinking and the Farmers’ Day lectures have been planned to improve the profitability of certain farming operations and to explore the development of new opportunities. “Changing circumstances force us towards precision farming in the livestock industry and Hartebeestloop Farmers Day offers you an excellent opportunity to learn more about it. Precision farming is the only option for the future,” Briedenhann says.
Bonsmara is the only beef breed in the world created through a well-documented crossbreeding programme with the aid of objectively recorded performance data. “At Hartebeestloop, we acknowledge Professor Jan Bonsma and his team for their pioneering work, which lead to the Bonsmara being the most prominent of beef cattle in Namibia and South Africa. The Bonsmara breed is not static and we constantly try to contribute to the advancement of the Bonsmara based on current market forces and consumer demands. Hartebeestloop Bonsmaras strives to be on the forefront when it comes to good stockmanship and the use of the latest technology, to better the Bonsmara breed and the beef cattle industry in general,” explains Briedenhann. “I understand the difficult times that most farmers are currently facing – I am [exactly in]same boat! Fortunately some areas received relatively good rains and the drought is not as severe as was initially predicted,” he comments. the Farmers’ Day’s topics have been handpicked so that you have control over the implementation thereof,” says he adding that the Bonsmara system for performance testing is the best on the market and precision farming means that the most profitable animals are selected, out of those animals that have already passed the Bonsmara performance testing. These are the cattle that generahe notese the most profit – very productive and highly efficient. Really the best of the best. It is not a matter of choosing with the eye and the heart any more – current science allows you to select for performance, profit and “the eye and the heart.
Briedenhann says they farm for optimal yield (meat and income) per hectare – but for that they require special animals. Precision-tested animals are those animals that produce the same or more income on less hectares, compared to other cattle. The financial benefit for you as farmer is permanent and is linked to the animal’s genetic make-up that has been thoroughly bred in through years of selection.
“It is difficult for the farmer to immediately switch over to a precision-farming system – it is a process that extends over a period of time and it is not a single event. The first step is to make the decision that we cannot keep on farming as in the past and then the next step is to introduce precision-tested animals into you herd. As a farmer you have control over where you buy and the type of animals you buy. Remember – you buy into the precision farming philosophy of one of the most fertile and highly reproductive – and productive Bonsmara herds. I am convinced that these more profitable animals are needed to ensure the long term success of livestock farming,” Briedenhann notes.
He says this year they will also introduce the ELITE-HART female animal system. Only commercial animals of outstanding quality will be offered on auction. All commercial animals are first evaluated by a senior Bonsmara evaluator and has to at least meet the minimum Bonsmara requirements. In the event that both the veterinarian and the senior evaluator are satisfied with the animal, then a GOLDEN ear tag is attached that reads “HART ELITE”. For the farmer this is his guarantee of quality.
“For the first time we will offer 3 x DNA tested polled Bonsmara Bulls. It is a first for Namibia! We are excited about this new project and we foresee that polled animals will have a great impact on the Bonsmara breed in the future,” Briedenhann concludes.