ARC Animal Production Institute

Nelspruit, South Africa

ARC Animal Production Institute

Nelspruit, South Africa
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Schoeman S.J.,University of Pretoria | Cloete S.W.P.,Private Bag X1 | Cloete S.W.P.,Institute for Animal Production | Olivier J.J.,Private Bag X1 | Olivier J.J.,ARC Animal Production Institute
Livestock Science | Year: 2010

The small stock industry in South Africa is of crucial importance as 80% of the agricultural land is unsuitable for intensive agricultural production. The contribution of 19 resource sheep flocks and goat herds towards breeding objective formulation, genetic improvement and parameter estimation was summarized. Substantial genetic gains resulting from selection for a range of economically important traits were demonstrated, lending impetus to the development and extension of the National Small Stock Improvement Scheme (NSIS). Responses in monetary values in the respective participating small stock breeds ranged from R0.098 for the Dormer to R0.818 for the S.A. Mutton Merino per small stock unit per annum for animals born in the interval from 2000 to 2006. This response is well below what was attained in the resource flocks and in the best participating flocks and herds. Even with this less than optimal change on a national basis, the impact on the sectoral economy is substantial. When related to the cost associated with the NSIS, this improvement is highly cost-effective. The impact of research and development in the small stock industry is therefore substantial, and the small stock industry is foreseen to continue playing an integral role in the national economy. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Short A.,ARC Animal Production Institute | Yunusa I.A.M.,University of New England of Australia
African Journal of Range and Forage Science | Year: 2010

Using the results from a long-term grazing trial in the Dry Highland Sourveld of the KwaZulu-Natal province, we prepared a water use efficiency value (the ratio of the increment in annual biomass to total annual evapotranspiration) for this rangeland type. Using seasonal biomass measurements recorded between March 2000 and March 2007, we developed a model for predicting the increment in annual biomass using a regression relationship between fPAR (fraction of photosynthetically active radiation intercepted by the vegetation canopy) and measured standing biomass. This regression model was used to estimate the growth rates from fPAR for the period 2001-2006. During the period 2004-2007, when complete meteorological records were available, we calculated reference or potential evapotranspiration (ET0) using the Penman-Monteith equation. To approximate actual evapotranspiration (ETa), we used the MODIS leaf area index to approximate canopy conductance component (Gs) of the Penman- Monteith equation. Using the adjusted fPAR curves as a surrogate for plant growth, and ETa, we calculated a water use efficiency value for these grasslands of 7.5 ± 0.48 kg DM mm-1 ha-1 y-1. This value relates well to other published water use efficiencies for natural rangeland. © NISC (Pty) Ltd.


Van Heerden S.M.,ARC Animal Production Institute | Smith M.F.,ARC Biometry Unit
Food Chemistry | Year: 2013

The shoulder, loin and leg from P-class pork carcasses were used to determine the nutrient composition of both raw and cooked cuts. Significantly lower fat content were observed in the current study for the leg (5.21 g/100 g) and loin (6.99 g/100 g) compared to the shoulder cut (10.32 g/100 g). The overall percentage fat for all three cuts was less than 10% which is recommended by the South African Heart Mark. The cooked loin cut contained the most protein (27.50 g/100 g) of the three cooked cuts. When compared to other meat products (beef, mutton and chicken) it is clear that pork is a good source of B vitamins, especially vitamin B3. The cooked loin cut contained the least vitamin B1 (0.22 mg/100 g), B2 (0.02 mg/100 g) but the most vitamin B3 (7.09 mg/100 g), of the three cooked cuts. The 100 g cooked shoulder, loin and leg cuts provide on average 40.11% protein, 5.19% magnesium, 3.37% calcium, 24.29% phosphorus, 18.22% zinc, 22.33% iron and 22.50% vitamin B1, 2.57% vitamin B2 and 42.6% vitamin B 3 of Recommended Daily Allowances for males, age 25-50. Energy from a 100 g portion provides 5.81% of the Recommended Daily Allowances. To conclude, the pork cuts are undoubtedly a good source of nutrients that is required for good health because it is high in protein, have a low fat content and are a nutrient-packed choice for the family and compares favourably with the fat, energy, and cholesterol content of many other meats and poultry. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Scholtz M.M.,ARC Animal Production Institute | Scholtz M.M.,University of the Free State | van Ryssen J.B.J.,University of Pretoria | Meissner H.H.,189 van Riebeeck Avenue | Laker M.C.,477 Rodericks Road
South African Journal of Animal Sciences | Year: 2013

The general perception that livestock is a major contributor to global warming resulted mainly from the FAO publication, Livestock's Long Shadow, in 2006, which indicated that livestock is responsible for 18% of the world's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This figure has since been proved to be an overestimation, since it includes deforestation and other indirect contributions. The most recent figure is in the order of 5% - 10%. Although only ruminants can convert the world's high-fibre vegetation into high-quality protein sources for human consumption, ruminant production systems are targeted as they are perceived to produce large quantities of GHG. Livestock is also accused of using large quantities of water, an allegation that is based on questionable assumptions and the perception that all sources of food production require a similar and equal quantity and quality of water. In the case of ruminants, extensive systems are usually found to have a lower per-area carbon footprint than grain-fed systems, but a higher footprint if expressed in terms of kg product. Feedlots maximize efficiency of meat production, resulting in a lower carbon footprint, whereas organic production systems consume more energy and have a bigger carbon footprint than conventional production systems. Cows on pastures produce more methane than cows on high concentrate diets. In South Africa, as in most of the countries in the sub-tropics, livestock production is the only option on about 70% of the agricultural land, since the marginal soils and rainfall do not allow for crop production and the utilization of green water. An effective way to reduce the carbon and water footprint of livestock is to decrease livestock numbers and increase production per animal, thereby improving their efficiency. © resides with the authors in terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 South African Licence.


Motiang D.M.,ARC Animal Production Institute | Webb E.C.,University of Pretoria
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2016

This paper evaluates the socio-economic characteristics of small-holder cattle producers in the North West Province and investigates the relationship between these characteristics with cattle off-take. A questionnaire aimed at capturing cross-sectional data on factors affecting cattle off-take for 2011 breeding season was administered through face-to-face interviews of 308 respondents. Respondents were predominantly middle and old age males. Households headed by seniors (>65 years) tended to be larger than others. The majority (58%) of household heads regarded farming as their form of self-employment while only 15% had temporary or permanent employment outside agriculture. Most (82%) households relied on income from cattle followed by other livestock (55%) and social grants (47%). Female headed household relied on small businesses, which correlated positively with the sale of cattle and sheep. Households which depend on employment had less number of persons attending tertiary education and sold more cows. As expected, farmers sold more male animals (62.8%) than females mainly through auction sales. Unlike previous studies, our study shows that income from outside agriculture supplements cattle off-take. Households owning herds smaller than 11 head had higher overall herd off-take, as well as off-take for females than steers. Affiliation to and official position in community associations suppressed the cow sales but induce steer off-take. We conclude that financial burdens in households with smaller herds compel those households to sell potential breeding stock. We recommend the development of an animal recording system and that future interventions focus on the strengthening of women and community associations. © 2016, Fundacion CIPAV. All rights reserved.


Scholtz M.M.,ARC Animal Production Institute | Scholtz M.M.,University of the Free State | McManus C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Okeyo A.M.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Theunissen A.,Land Reform and Rural Development
Livestock Science | Year: 2011

Developing countries from the southern hemisphere have similarities in terms of climatic and agricultural conditions and cattle are the most important livestock species in these countries - which leads to many areas of similar interest and opportunities regarding beef cattle production. The increase in demand for meat in developing countries offers large market opportunities for livestock producers. If the productivity of beef farmers can be improved to commercial levels, it may have the potential to address poverty in these agriculturally based economies. Climate change is predicted to be highly dynamic and can have adverse effects on crop and livestock productivity. The cattle breed to be used and the production strategy to be followed in developing countries of the southern hemisphere will depend primarily on the environment and level of management. The availability of diverse cattle breed resources with adaptive and productive differences will allow breed types to be matched to different environments, management capabilities and markets. In the harsh and undeveloped areas or pastoralist systems, pure breeding with e.g. Sanga, Zebu or naturalized breeds may be the only production strategy that can be followed. In the more developed areas, crossbreeding with small indigenous cows may succeed in improving the output of beef cattle farming. It is believed that crossbreeding will gain importance in many developing counties in the southern hemisphere. It is therefore essential that crossbreeding studies be conducted where necessary, to supply information regarding heterosis and for the development of multi-breed genetic evaluations, breeding objectives and decision making. By describing production environments it may be possible to identify genotypes that are adapted to a specific environment. However, tools are needed to overlay geo-referenced data sets onto the different environments. Statistical science continues to support animal breeding and improvement, especially with respect to production traits. Traits linked to fertility and/or survival are still problematic and the appropriate quantitative breeding technology to properly handle these traits still needs to be developed. Gene or marker assisted selection may play an important role in selection for disease and parasite resistance or tolerance, since it is generally difficult to measure these traits directly. Strategies that utilize EBVs derived from genomic analyses (genomic EBVs), together with conventional mixed model methodology, may speed up the process of breeding animals with subsequent higher and more efficient production. The application of a landscape genetics approach offers the potential to greatly enhance the knowledge of how landscape heterogeneity influences the genetic population structure, gene flow, and adaptation. Results from these studies can be used to address questions related to species management and conservation. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Basha N.A.D.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Basha N.A.D.,University of Khartoum | Scogings P.F.,University of Zululand | Dziba L.E.,ARC Animal Production Institute | Nsahlai I.V.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2012

This study was conducted to determine the influence of plant chemical, physical and phenology properties on diet selection of Nguni goats during the dry, early wet and late wet seasons in savanna in South Africa. Diet composition was estimated by direct observation of two different adult Nguni goats randomly selected from a herd each day for 7-8. days in each season. Observations were made during active foraging periods for 2. h in the morning and 1.5. h in the afternoon. The duration of each feeding bout and the species of woody plant from which bites were cropped at each feeding station were recorded. Diet selection was determined from the relative duration of feeding. Diet preference of each species was expressed as an index calculated using the selection and relative abundance of woody species. Browse species consumed by goats were sampled and analysed to determine crude protein, neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre, acid detergent lignin, condensed tannins, cellulose and hemicellulose. Diet selection varied among the three seasons. The five species most selected (utilised) by goats were Scutia myrtina, Acacia nilotica, Dichrostachys cinerea, Acacia natalitia and Chromolaena odorata. S. myrtina was the most selected species during the dry season while D. cinerea was the most selected in the wet seasons. S. myrtina was the most preferred (highest utilisation relative to availability) in the dry and early wet seasons while A. nilotica was most preferred in the late wet season. Spinescent species were generally selected more than non-spinescent species in all seasons, while fine-leaf and deciduous species were selected more than broad-leaf and evergreen ones in the wet seasons. However, preference for broad-leaf and evergreen species increased in the early wet season. Although plant chemistry varied across seasons, it did not explain the preference of goats for various plant species in this study. Instead, effects of chemistry were species-specific. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the importance of evergreen browse species as a source of fodder when deciduous species are unavailable. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Meissner H.H.,1189 van Riebeeck Avenue | Scholtz M.M.,ARC Animal Production Institute | Scholtz M.M.,University of the Free State | Palmer A.R.,ARC Animal Production Institute
South African Journal of Animal Sciences | Year: 2013

Livestock production in South Africa contributes substantially to food security. It is also a topic of public debate because of lack of knowledge and wrong information. This article aims to provide information on the worth and impact of the livestock sect or information and statistics providing a baseline to guiding sustainability towards 2050. Seventy percent of agricultural land in South Africa can be utilized only by livestock and game and species are found in all provinces with high concentrations in the eastern higher rainfall regions. Statistics in 2010 indicate 13.6 million beef cattle, 1.4 million dairy cattle, 24.6 million sheep, 7.0 million goats, 3 million game species (farmed), 1.1 million pigs, 113 million broilers, 31.8 million layers and 1.6 million ostriches. The gross value of livestock products increased by 185% from 1995/2000 to 2006/2010. In relation to field crops and horticulture, livestock products increased their position from 42% to 47% of gross agricultural value. The main reason was a rise in the value and demand for livestock foods, particularly meat. Livestock foods contribute 27% of the consumer food basket on a weight basis. Consumption of livestock foods resembles that of developing countries with meat consumption being 50 - 90 g/capita/day, milk and dairy products 120 - 130 g /capita/day and eggs 15 - 20 g/capita/day. Since this is the average for the country with consumption by the rich and poor often differing tenfold, consumption of livestock foods by the poor is of concern, given the many health attributes of livestock foods. The livestock sector in South Africa is a major role player in the conservation of biodiversity through a variety of well-adapted indigenous and non-indigenous breeds and rare game species. It has also shown commitment to rangeland/ecosystem conservation through conservative stocking rates, with several studies and observations reporting improvement in the condition of the natural resource. The sector has always been a major employer, but employment rate has declined steadily since 2000 because of increased minimum wages, fewer commercial farmers and increased property size. Some 245 000 employees with 1.45 million dependants, in addition to dependants on communal land and emerging farms, are employed on 38 500 commercial farms and intensive units with wages amounting to R 6 100 million (South African rand). Livestock farming is the backbone of the socio-economy and provides the sustenance of most non-metropolitan towns and rural communities. © Copyright resides with the authors.


Strydom P.E.,ARC Animal Production Institute
South African Journal of Animal Sciences | Year: 2011

This paper addresses the principles related to different grading and classification systems of the world with specific focus on beef quality related outcomes. The paper uses the definitions that classification is a set of descriptive terms describing features of the carcass that are useful as guidelines to those involved in the production, trading and consumption of carcasses, whereas grading is the placing of different values on carcasses for pricing purposes, depending on the market and requirements of traders and consumers. The literature shows that the criteria used in grading systems rank carcasses fairly accurately according to expected eating experience of the loin muscles but not of higher connective tissue cuts of the hind and fore quarter. Criteria used in classification systems give limited descriptions of the quality related characteristics of the carcass. Only the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) cuts based grading system of Australia seeks to define or predict consumer satisfaction with a cooked meal for each cut of the carcass. Its success is based on a palatability assured critical control point (PACCP) approach to satisfy the consumer. However, MSA requires high technical skills, a well organised infrastructure and proper traceability, high level of integrity from different role players and could be very costly, involving high additional personnel cost. The South African classification system should probably focus on distinguishing between young feedlot and somewhat more mature pasture animals with different criteria within each sub category to describe the variation in product quality. Correct pre-slaughter and slaughter management (stress, weight, chilling rate, electrical stimulation, post mortem aging) could improve consistency within age group.


Mtileni B.J.,ARC Animal Production Institute
Tropical animal health and production | Year: 2012

Individual interviews were conducted in 137 households using semi-structured questionnaires to determine the influence of socioeconomic factors on production constraints faced by indigenous chicken producers in the rural areas of South Africa. The major constraints to village chicken production were mortality (95 % of the households) followed by feed shortage (85 %) and low chicken sales (72 %). The logistic regression model showed that households that owned imported/crossbred chickens practiced extensive production system without housing structures and did not have vaccines were more likely to experience high levels of chicken mortality. Poor and youth-headed households with no supplements and vaccines had high probability of Newcastle disease. The probability of a household to experience chicken feed shortage was lower in households that owned indigenous chickens than those that owned imported/crossbred chickens (odds ratio, 11.68; 95 % confidence interval, 1.19-27.44). Youth-headed households that had small flocks and no access to veterinary services were not likely to sell chickens. It was concluded that gender, age, wealth status, production system, chicken flock size, type of chicken breed owned, accessibility of veterinary services, availability of supplements, vaccines and shelter influence village chicken farmer's production constraints such as feed availability, chicken mortality, prevalence of diseases and chicken sales.

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