Growing up in Kuruman in the Northern Cape, Lopang Disipi looked after his father’s herds during the school holidays. He headed off to Pretoria after matriculating, and eventually ended up studying and working there.
Living in the shadow of the Union Buildings, livestock farming became something of a distant memory. He says, “You, know when you are in that city life, you tend to forget where you came from.”
In 2008, however, an opportunity to work at a mine in Kuruman sent him back to the oasis of the Kalahari. And low and behold, it was not long before he rediscovered his love for farming.
“I started farming almost full time,” he recalls.
“I spent all of my spare time looking after livestock.”
Today, at 38, Disipi runs agribusiness DCP Vision and farms with livestock at Esielmont farm in Kuruman. Since he discovered the Voermol Production Lick, a ready-made mix, he is able to keep his animals in a tip-top condition throughout the year.
“The Production Lick helps the conditioning of my heifers and it lets my calves grow quicker, without depending too much on their mothers’ milk. It also increases the milk production of my cows,” he says.
Voermol Production Lick has 101 uses. It provides protein, energy, minerals, vitamins, and trace minerals for the optimum production of the grazing animal. Among other benefits, it contains grain by-products and molasses as energy sources which helps to prevent excessive mass loss in cows after calving.
Editor’s tip: Production licks, like any other lick, should always be fed with grass, hay, or roughage as it contains NPN (urea) that supports the utilisation of the poor quality roughage.
Disipi tells Food For Mzansi he is particularly impressed with the effect the product has had on his goats. “I’ve never had a problem with milk on my goats or with their conditioning. My goat kids are growing super [fast].”
Last year, he was able to sell his four-month-old goats at a livestock auction for R1 200 each. Potential buyers were amazed at their size. “Most of the people asked me, ‘How old are the goats?’ I said, ‘Four months.’ They could not believe it. They said, ‘No, they must be six- or seven-months-old’. I said, ‘They are four months. Here is the record.’”
The Kuruman farmer has also been feeding his cattle with Voermol SB100. This is an economical and easy-to-feed concentrate for cattle. Disipi simply mixes it with maize or other grain and then mix it together with roughage.
“SB100 has been really good for me,” he says. “Since I’ve started using it, I’ve seen how my cattle are staying in shape throughout the year. They are not losing their body conditioning during winter.”
Furthermore, SB100 has been a helpful tool in regulating the breeding seasons of his cattle. “Before, I would have maybe two cows ready [for breeding] in a month, then after another month, two more. Now, the breeding season is almost uniform. My cattle are almost ready [to breed] at the same time.”
Editor’s tip: Voermol SB100 (V4498) is a protein concentrate for ruminants and was developed as a fattening concentrate for cattle, for home mixing with other ingredients. It is ideally suited for fattening of slaughter animals.
For the breeding female herd, which has high and specific requirements for nutrients such as minerals and trace-minerals, Voermol Production Lick (V10108) will yield the best results.
Before he started using Voermol feeds, Disipi fretted about the condition of his animals. “I used to worry a lot because I was feeding [my livestock], but their condition wasn’t changing. I asked myself what I was doing wrong because I was feeding them. Since I introduced the Voermol products to their feed, I see the results of the money I am putting into my livestock.”