This week on Farmer’s Inside Track is an exciting one. The podcast kicks off with a brand-new campaign with Meadow Feeds who farmers turn to for much more than just feed. Listeners learn more about the dry period and why it is the most important phase of a dairy cow’s lactation cycle.
In the podcast, sponsored by Meadow Feeds, Dr Joubert Nolte, national technical manager for ruminants for the company who is a market leader in the Southern African animal feed industry, chats about why taking care of dry cows is so vital to avoid milk production problems.
Also on the show, we cover the state of livestock theft in the Free State. Despite an apparent decrease in the number of livestock theft cases in the province, farmers are still not happy with how stock theft is being prioritised.
Dr Jane Buys, Free State Agriculture’s (FSA) safety risk analyst, talks about the hardship of farmers in Phuthaditjhaba, and how they are being held “hostage” by stock thieves with very little support from the police.
Reporting on the current situation in the province, Buys points out that there has been a decrease of about 11.39%. in livestock theft. This is about 121 cases less from October to December 2021, when compared to the same period for the previous year in 2020, she explains.
“Farmers complain a lot about cross-border livestock theft from the Lesotho side. They were very dissatisfied, saying that some police members were [also] involved,” she adds.
‘Farmers need to play their part’
According to Buys there appears to a be a major challenge with farmers reporting and opening livestock theft cases. She adds that visible policing in farming areas and getting stock theft units out to crimes scenes also form part of the issues.
“It remains a problem of not reporting specific incidents to the police. We have noticed that there is a huge under-reporting in specific areas in the Free State. Lots of farmers have lost trust in the criminal justice system so [some] are not reporting cases,” she says.
In a recent Food For Mzansi article, Nico Buys, chairperson of the Red Meat Producers Organisation pointed out that farmers were not happy about the support of the South African Police Service and the stock theft unit.
Meanwhile, according to Buys farmers should also take responsibility in ensuring that they look after their own property and stock.
“They need to put measures in place firstly. Look at the people you employ because in some stock theft cases there is a link to some employers who are benefitting from these crimes.”
She also advises farmers to count their stock on a regular basis, twice a day if possible. This would help farmers in detecting criminal activity such as livestock theft early on.
The best agriculture news podcast on the planet also features other highlights for the agricultural sector this week:
- In Mzansi, duck meat is sold to high-end restaurants, some delis and farmer’s markets. And if you get it right, it’s a perfect niche market to step into. This week, we share the ultimate duck meat farming guide for beginners. Freddie Cross, owner of the Klein Karoo Duck farm in Barrydale, chats about the ins and outs of producing the sought-after meat.
- Book of the week: The sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone by Fredrik Eklund. The book is selected by you, our listeners.
- Farmer tip of the week: This week’s farmer tip comes from Laetitia Piers, who owns a natural hair and skincare range.
Other podcast highlights:
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