Agra and Hartebeestloop once again presented an excellent event with the annual Hartebeestloop Farmers’ Day on 28 May and the Hartebeestloop Bonsmara auction on 29 May 2015. The hall on the farm was packed for the lectures on Thursday and the auction on Friday performed above expectation, confirming that this event is a highlight on stud breeders’ calendar.
Owner of Farm Hartebeestloop, Dr Joggie Briedenhann, offered 44 bulls with six more coming from guest sellers. All the bulls were sold. The average price was N$55 560. The top price for a Hartebeestloop Bonsmara bull was N$300,000; the second highest price was N$200,000 and two more bulls sold for N$150,000 each. Forty buyers registered for the auction and as the policy of Dr. Joggie Briedenhann is that he has no reserve price for the bulls, buyers had the opportunity to buy well-adapted bulls of good genetic quality at very reasonable prices.
The auction was preceded by the annual Hartebeestloop Farmers’ Day on 28 May, hosted by the Agra retail division for the third consecutive year. It was once again a very successful information day where more than 130 guests were entertained by valuable and relevant information, focusing on farming in Southern Africa; veld management; breeding of polled Bonsmara and fertility of bulls.
Dr Briedenhann started the program giving information on the polled Bonsmara breeding program. They use DNS tested polled Simmentaler, Braunvieh, Tuli and Senepol to breed towards pure polled Bonsmara. Breeders had the opportunity to see and learn about examples of the progress in this “long, challenging, exciting and full of surprises” project, as described by Dr. Briedenhann.
Theo Venter political and policy specialist at the Potchefstroom Business School gave an overview of agriculture in Southern Africa and left the audience with the question whether we are passive or active and whether we are opponents or supporters.
Kobus Marais shared valuable information on rangeland management and with his experience, had a valuable contribution to make to the farmers’ day. Marais has been involved since 1997 in a stock farming partnership that farmed on an area of approximately 70,000 ha in the Kalahari dune veld north east of Upington.
With the help of grazing experts he developed a grazing system which was practical and effective and addressed the risks of the area.
Dr Martin Ferreira, veterinarian and consultant for Virbac gave a comprehensive lecture on the important aspects of the scrotum of a bull as part of the fertility of the animal. He also gave a practical demonstration on how to test the fertility of bulls and how to do sample collection to test for sexually transmitted diseases.