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Livestock value chain/Botswana - Consider genetics when buying cattle

05 August 2015

A Simmental stud breeder from South Africa advised farmers in Botswana to investigate genetics of cattle before buying them. In a networking session organized by Barclays bank, farmers were urged to refrain from buying bulls based on their looks, instead consider at an animal’s background information. The key importance is to consider the value of the meat and the calves it may produce as well as factor in environmental changes since they affect the growth and fertility of their cattle. Genes cannot be changed but rather passed on to offspring such as birth weight, growth and milk quantity. Proper bull selection has a bearing on the production of live calves and generic improvements in economically relevant traits. In order to determine optimum fertility, farmers must first look at the age of the first calve (AFC) and the inter-calving period. The breeder encouraged farmers to benchmark on each other every year and come up with good management strategies. As for Barclay’s head of business banking, disclosed a specific agric- strategy focused on commercial farming, feed-lotting and maize production.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201507141083.html
http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3158e.pdf

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