Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Best Weaners Win Big

Mrs. Willie Louw and family were crowned again as National Champion in Agra's competition to reward weaner producers for quality. The Louw family was also awarded as regional champions of the north for veld potential calves and for heifers, earning them prizes worth more than N$20,000, on top of the prizes they won at the weaner auctions.

Agra and Pupkewitz Motor Holdings together recognised top weaner calf producers at an award ceremony in Windhoek last week. A Namibian national weaner champion and regional champions were announced in the categories of feedlot potential, veld potential and heifers. Pupkewitz Motor Holdings sponsored the event and the prizes with a total amount of N$80,000.

In the central region, Frans and Ellie Lottering were awarded winners in the category: weaners with best feedlot potential as well as the heifer category. The weaners of Arnold Klein won the best veld potential category.

Albert Voigts von Schutz was awarded southern regional winner with best feedlot potential weaners, while Boesman Davids was the winner in the veld potential category and Erich Freytag walked away with the prize for best heifers in the south.

Judging of the weaner calves was done by experts in the field. Optimal weaning weight, good growth potential under feedlot and free range conditions, and applied animal husbandry such as dehorning, brand marking and animal health earned producers good points.

After the weaner auctions, the winners were determined by a panel of judges, consisting of the weaner judges, Agra's regional livestock coordinators and Agra's Manager: Livestock Operations.

Danie Byleveld, Agra livestock operations manager, presented the guests with some statistics regarding the weaner competition. He said a total of 173 lots of calves have been judged at all the Agra weaner auctions, which is a total of 3200 weaners. A total of 105 winners have been awarded at the auctions, of which seven were women and seventeen were black farmers.

Wilhelm Mosehuus, Agra's livestock coordinator for the northern region, emphasized the importance of quality in herds, and encouraged producers to uphold and improve quality of all breeds. He noted that Namibian producers have access to a well developed stud industry with outstanding genetic material and expertise, such as Agra Professional Services, who can advise them on all the important aspects of animal husbandry and breeding.

At the 2012 Agra weaner auctions a total of about 12,000 calves were sold at an average price of N$4240 per animal. Although the demand for weaners by feedlots was lower and the prices were under pressure, weaners achieved prices as high as N$30,33/kg at one of the auctions while at five other auctions, prices of above N$20/kg were achieved.

A delighted and emotional Mrs. Willie Louw thanked Agra and Pupkewitz Motor Holdings. She expressed her appreciation for the way in which Agra conducts business and builds lasting relationships with their livestock clients.

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