Windhoek-Agra announced and awarded the 2017 national champion and regional winners for the sixth Agra weaner competition at a gala dinner held in Windhoek on Thursday, October 5.
The competition recognises and rewards producers for good quality weaner calves.
Bertus Calitz of Okatjeru Farming from the Gobabis district is the 2017 national champion. He was also the winner in 2015.
The national champion is selected from all the regional winners in the following competition categories: calves with feedlot potential, calves with veld potential and heifers with breeding potential.
The regional winners are:
Heifers with Breeding Potential: Kuhn’s Boerdery
Feedlot Potential: R.G. Dorgeloh
Veld Potential: N. Ngawetene
Heifers with Breeding Potential: Marco Farming (N Du Plooy)
Feedlot Potential: J.A. Calitz
Veld Potential: L.M. Van Heerden
Heifers with Breeding Potential: Leeb Farming
Feedlot Potential: Leeb Farming
Veld Potential: J.H. Knipe
Reflecting on the competition, Titus Koen, Agra’s general manager for auctions, said that after three years of drought the conditions this year were very favourable for the industry, resulting in a successful weaner season with record numbers and prices.
“As a result the producers significantly benefited from the high market prices,” he said.
Koen said that 15,940 cattle were sold at this year’s weaner auctions compared to 5,977 cattle sold in 2016.
The average weaner calf price for last year was N$3,900 compared to this year’s N$6,800, which represents a growth of 74%.
The main sponsors of this year’s weaner competition were Bank Windhoek, Sanlam, Santam and Feedmaster.
The total sponsorship for this year was more than N$430,000, which was used to award the various category winners and the national champion.
Dawid Krause and Christo van Zyl, both from Feedmaster, facilitated the judging.
Krause said the judging criteria included fertility, growth ability, capacity to produce meat as well as farming practices such as de-horning, branding and mass uniformity.
He advised farmers, especially those located in the southern regions, to implement effective animal feeding programmes to better their chances of winning in the competition.
Arnold Klein, Agra’s chief executive officer, thanked the various sponsors.
“Your dedication, through your active involvement by attending auctions, exhibiting your products and services and by networking with the producers and Agra staff, is indeed commendable,” he said.
“We believe that you have gained some return on your investment by not only getting exposure but also by reaching customers, and we hope to have you on board with the 2018 weaner competition.”