Farmers’ Diaries: Piet Mothepu

African Farming went to find out what our farmers are busy with during this month.

BEEF CATTLE
Piet Mothepu, Koppies, Free State

Calves born during the spring calving season from September onwards are now three to five months old. We have a lot of these on the farm and vaccinate them against viral diseases such as infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine viral diarrhoea and bovine respiratory syncytial virus.

Because of the good rains, we’re vaccinating the entire herd against Rift Valley fever and giving animals the annual Botuthrax vaccine against botulism and anthrax. We also use Covexin to vaccinate against clostridial diseases.

The grass has been growing vigorously, so we’re rapidly rotating camps to keep it down. We monitor the grazing to prevent overgrazing, which would remove too much ground cover. We also cut and bale grass for winter feed.

In addition, we are busy with general maintenance like scraping roads that have been damaged by the rains. The cattle are getting a phosphate lick to compensate for any mineral deficiencies in the grass.

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