Farm productivity depends on seasonal management

12 May 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER

WINDHOEK

Farmers need to be responsive to seasonal changes because farm productivity depends on the animal, the environment, and the management.

Therefore, farmers need to develop appropriate management plans that are responsive to the conditions in their production environment.

These include seasonal feed shortages and prevailing health risks. A closer and regular inspection of livestock will be needed to allow quick response to any abnormality or change in livestock health and behavioural conditions.

According to Agribank’s technical advisor for livestock and rangeland, Erastus Ngarukathe, many farming areas in Namibia have received a lot of rain compared to the previous seasons, recording above-normal annual averages.

Ngarukathe says while rangeland productivity has improved in some areas although the quality of the grazing materials is still not the finest, livestock body conditions are high.

“It should however be noted that the quantity and quality of the grazing materials the animals are eating now have an influence on their endurance until the next rainy season which can also not be surely predicted.”

Thus, Ngaruka says farmers need to continuously ensure that their livestock survival and performance are not compromised.

Challenges

He says that since the normal dry season is approaching, there are specific challenges that farmers will face. These are associated with livestock nutrition, health, and reproduction.

Livestock require sufficient supply of nutrients throughout the year as a response to seasonal changes in rangeland conditions and body demands.

He says grazing livestock such as cattle and sheep are the most vulnerable to nutritional deficiency, especially mineral deficiencies because the soil-mineral concentration especially in sandy areas is beyond the grass root zones for uptake.

“As winter approaches, the grasses stop growing and go into the dormancy period where the nutrients are relocated to be stored in the root system as reserves for regrowth in the next season.”

Supplements

Ngaruka says that during this time, grasses are drying up and shedding seeds and, in the process, vitamin A and much of the protein are lost.

Therefore, he says that farmers need to inoculate their animals with vitamin A and to provide protein lick supplements.

He adds that one of the ingredients needed in the winter supplements is urea as it enhances the digestion of dry forage materials through increased population and strength of the rumen microorganisms responsible for digestion in ruminant animals.

Later in the dry season, the animal’s demand for energy increases as the grass plants become depleted or scarcer or grazed to the maximum.

Thus, energy supplements need to be added to the protein supplements and in certain cases especially when there is grazing shortage, roughage feeds or hay will be needed to fill the rumen, Ngaruka explains. Since many farmers have planted crops, they can cheaply use processed crop residues as dry season feed supplements.

Similar News

 

Agra weaner championship resumes

3 days ago - 09 June 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKAgra Auctions recently launched the annual Agra Weaner Championship Series for 2021.The Agra Weaner Championship Series rewards Namibian producers for excellent farming practices.Agra believes...

The basics of chicken production

3 days ago - 09 June 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKPoultry farming is a fast-growing emerging farming enterprise across Namibia.Chickens are kept for the production of meat and eggs that provide a healthy source...

Many in Kavango West travel 31km for water

4 days ago - 08 June 2021 | Agriculture

NAMPA RUNDUKavango West Region Governor, Sirkka Ausiku said 32 per cent of the population in that region still travel at least 31 kilometres to access...

Climate change to blame for increase in plant pests

1 week ago - 03 June 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKDue to the impact of climate change, plant pests that ravage...

LPO concerned about Meatco resignations

1 week ago - 02 June 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) has expressed concern with regards to...

Give your chickens enough water

1 week ago - 02 June 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK Water is considered one of the most essential sources of nutrition in chicken farming.The Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU) said...

Divided we fall: ‘Factionalism’ blamed for Meatco resignations

1 week ago - 01 June 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKAlleged deep-seated divisions among Meatco board members – including lack of consensus on opening opportunities to do business in...

Cattle marketed decline by nearly 40%

1 week ago - 01 June 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe total marketing of cattle declined by 39.8% during the first quarter...

Red line removal to cost Nam N$6b

1 week ago - 31 May 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKNamibia stands to lose more than N$6 billion in revenue if attempts to remove the controversial veterinary cordon fence...

Herd rebuilding continues

1 week ago - 31 May 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKWith continued herd-rebuilding exercises, a further decline in cattle marketing is expected for 2021, with the Meat Board forecasting formal...

Latest News

Minimum wage discussions continue at...

1 day - 11 June 2021 | Economics

The newly established Wage Commission is in Rundu to investigate the possibility of introducing a national minimum wage in the country.At a meeting held at...

Career partnerships – mentor, coach,...

1 day - 11 June 2021 | Columns

Chaze NalisaA few weeks ago, I shared an article titled ‘Network is a Currency’. In today’s piece, I would like to draw attention to network...

Aiming to make a positive...

1 day - 11 June 2021 | People

Enzo AmueleBeatus Amadhila was recently appointed Powercom’s new chief executive officer, with effect from the start of June.“While I had to hit the ground running,...

2021’s breakout star

1 day - 11 June 2021 | Art and Entertainment

WINDHOEKMICHAEL KAYUNDEWith a track record that could impress anyone willing to pay attention, elia da vincii continues to develop himself on all levels. The song...

SA's rooibos tea on EU...

1 day - 11 June 2021 | Business

Like champagne, roquefort and Kalamata olives, South Africa's world-famous rooibos tea has been added to a European Union (EU) list of protected agricultural products and...

Capricorn Group gives women’s cricket...

1 day - 11 June 2021 | Sports

Staff Reporter Capricorn Group and its subsidiary Capricorn Asset Management, and Capricorn Private Wealth, sent off the Namibian national women’s cricket team – The Eagles...

Group sales manager shares his...

1 day - 11 June 2021 | People

Staff Reporter Ian Grassow is a proud Namibian, born in Walvis Bay, and is currently in the Group Sales division of Paratus Namibia.Ian has been...

When challenges become accomplishments

1 day - 11 June 2021 | People

Wetumwene Shikage Simone Mouton is a senior consultant at Alexander Forbes (AF) Financial Services She was born in a small village in the...

EDITORIAL: Mitigate Covid with productive...

1 day - 11 June 2021 | Opinion

We are reliably informed that plans are afoot to tighten Covid-19 regulations in the coming days, as the country undergoes its most deadly spell of...

Load More