Senwes Scenario June/July 2018 - Page 9

AGRICULTURAL meat is the end product. Each of these production systems require particular management knowledge about health, feed, biological productivity, record-keeping, marketing and risk man- agement, in addition to basic similar cattle management practices, in order to be successful. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES? The advantages of a cattle component as part of grain farming are as follows: ➊ Diversification or mitigation of general risks, but particularly price risk: Grain and specifically maize and milling products such as Hominy Chop, are the primary source of energy for ani- mals in South Africa. A low grain price is a favourable price f or animal produc- tion. ➋ Optimal utilisation of land: Natural graz- ing on overlapping land - or planted grazing on marginal land for grain pro- duction can be used productively for animal production. ➌ Additional sources of feed: The basic resource determined for the capacity of animal production, is feed. Grain farming provides different sources of feed, which are not at the cost of grain production and which can be used productively for animal production. ➍ Capacity for feed production: Silage is at the cost of grain production, but can be used as a feed bank for the cattle component in a strategic and cost-ef- fective manner. ➎ Effective utilisation of resources: Animal production requires specialised equip- ment, but some equipment, labour and management capacity used for grain farming can also be used for the cattle component. ➏ Efficient financial management: An ani- mal factor enables the farmer to man- age cash flow, income tax and costs more effectively. KNOWLEDGE AND INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIRED An animal production component requires specific equipment, infrastructure and knowledge. The following should typically be taken into account: • Handling facilities such as a loading bay, handling pens and crush, fencing off with wire fences, and walkways, food and water troughs. • Feed handling and processing equip- ment such as grass-cutting and baling machines, silage cutters (can also be outsourced), feed loading and trans- porting equipment, milling equipment to process grain and/or roughage, storage facilities for feed. • Labourers trained in the handling of cattle and who are naturally attuned to working with animals for daily supervi- sion and management. • Specific knowledge regarding animal production management and manage- ment capacity to make strategic and correct decisions on a timely basis. AVAILABLE SOURCE OF FEED The primary resource which will deter- mine the size of the cattle component, is the available feed quantity. The following sources are typically produced by grain farmers, which can be utilised for animal production: • Maize and milling products such as Hominy Chop, when grain is available on the farm or in the area. • Baled crop residue removed from the fields and stored and fed as roughage. • Crop residue on the field which can be grazed after the harvesting process. • Natural grazing on marginal soil and/or headland (wenakkers) which is cut as hay. • Planted grazing which can be pro- duced on marginal or unsuitable land for grain production. • Green grazing grazing as annual crops, planted on fields for strategic reasons, such as rotational cropping. • Stower or dried maize which can be milled as feed. • Silage from maize cut in a limited area, stored and fed throughout the year. As soon as a decision has been made on the best feed sources, it will be necessary to calculate the realistic quantities and availability of each source throughout the year. This information is the basis of a feed flow programme for the animal production system being chosen and will determine the number of animals to be fed with a specific source(s) of feed. It will also deter- mine the feed supplements to be used in order to be able to provide balanced feed, thereby ensuring maximum production. Om die produktiwiteit van produksiestelsels vir beeste te verbeter. Adviesdiens vir herkouervoeding Voerprosessering, voedingsbestuur en formulering van voere vir volhoubare produksieprestasie Formuleer en verskaf konsentrate om formulasies te komplimenteer Dr. Kobus Swart 083 262 0946 • SENWES SCENARIO | WINTER 2018 7