Understanding beef production systems

18 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Cattle farmers should understand the different production systems, because the system they choose determines the sustainability and profitability of the farm.

According to Olebile Olibile, a mentorship student at the Meatco Okapuka Feedlot, there are a variety of ways in which beef production systems can be classified.

The most practical classification is where the production system is defined by the age and body mass at which the animals are marketed.

Additional beef production systems include carcass classification, feed management and the breed of animals.

Olibile says a common mistake made when talking about beef production systems on farms is that it is often limited to extensive, semi-extensive and intensive production systems, which only describes the management part of the production system.

“There is also a further misconception that a farmer who uses an intensive production system, as opposed to the extensive system, is more likely to have a profitable operation. This is not entirely true as two farmers can be equally profitable even though they are using two different management systems.”

Under the weaner system a cow herd is run on the farm and their calves are sold once they have reached the age of six to eight months.

The number of weaners produced depends on the size of the cow herd, which is determined by the grazing available on the farm to keep the cows in good condition throughout their production cycle.

With regard to the long-yearling system (tollies), Olibile says that once bull calves have been castrated they are let in the veld and stay on the farm until they are 12 to 18 months old before they are marketed. In this system, the herd composition is determined by the age at which the tollies leave the farm. “Meaning that in most cases, the gender ratios will be slightly shifted towards steers rather than cows.”

Under the oxen-off veld system, castrated bull calves stay on the farm longer than yearlings and therefore a farmer's calculations of the grazing available must factor in the oxen and not just cater for the cows.

“With this system, the castrated bull calves are marketed at a much later stage when an age greater than two years is reached.”

With the buying-in system, a farmer would buy animals from an auction, irrespective of their age, keep them for a certain period during which they are fed to gain body condition or mass, and then market them.

“This is one system that is slowly gaining popularity, especially with the past droughts. The biggest challenge with this system is that the farmer must have good timing and understanding of the markets,” says Olibile.

He says although little is said about heifers, they are also often marketed.

Similar News

 

Agri marked by insecurity to youth – Kauaria

15 hours ago | Agriculture

NAMPA RUNDUDeputy minister of higher education, training and innovation, Venomuinjo Kauaria, said the agricultural sector in Namibia is often marked by high...

Green scheme windfall for private sector

3 days ago - 18 June 2021 | Agriculture

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKGovernment is set to offer its green schemes to private-public partners as...

Calle reveals reasons for culling Agribusdev

4 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Agriculture

MATHIAS HAUFIKU WINDHOEK Way forward: · Abolish Agribusdev ...

SA on track to harvest record soya bean crop

5 days ago - 16 June 2021 | Agriculture

ANNELIE COLEMANSOUTH AFRICAThe current spike in soya bean production is good news for South Africa since it will mean that significantly less of the commodity...

Making agriculture sexy again

6 days ago - 15 June 2021 | Agriculture

Mariselle StofbergThe Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) officially handed over the School Garden Funding Project (SGFP) at Auas Primary School in Windhoek on 9 June. Auas...

Agribusdev workers living in fear

6 days ago - 15 June 2021 | Agriculture

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKWorkers at the troubled parastatal mandated to manage the country’s green schemes...

Agra weaner championship resumes

1 week 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

1 week 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

1 week 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

2 weeks ago - 03 June 2021 | Agriculture

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

Latest News

Vehicles sales unresponsive to low...

15 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUDespite interest rates being low to make borrowing attractive, new vehicle sales remained weak for the month of May.Last week, the Bank of Namibia...

Nightmare ride with father’s dead...

15 hours ago | Health

Henriette Lamprecht WINDHOEKA woman whose father died of Covid-19 at home in Okahandja was...

More succumb to acute oxygen...

15 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKNamibia’s Covid-19 battle is now characterised by critically ill patients gasping for air as they line up in desperate need...

Only six vaccinated dead from...

15 hours ago | Health

Jo-Maré Duddy WINDHOEKOnly six people who were vaccinated against Covid-19 have died since the third wave hit Namibia in May.All of them...

ILO, EU supporting Namibia’s fisheries...

15 hours ago | Economics

The International Labour Organization (ILO), with support from the European Union (EU), has launched the Sustainable Supply Chains to Build Back Better (SSCBBB) project which...

2.6% wage increase for construction...

15 hours ago | Labour

Kenya Kambowe RUNDUDespite the Covid-19 pandemic’s negative impact on the economy, construction industry...

EDITORIAL

15 hours ago | Opinion

We are not okay. Most of us are struggling. Uncertainty, fear, anxiety and depression have become deeply interwoven into our collective psyche as Namibians amid...

Namdock and MANWU signed an...

15 hours ago | Economics

On 3 June 2021, established ship repair and wholly Namibian-owned company Namdock (Namibia Drydock and Ship Repair), signed a Recognition and Procedural Agreement with trade...

Nigeria urged to make forex...

15 hours ago | Economics

CHIJIOKE OHUOCHA AND ESTELLE SHIRBONThe World Bank urged Nigeria to provide a clearer and more predictable foreign exchange management system, suggesting that its response to...

Load More