Achieving Maximum Sustainable Profit per Hectare

“Successful cattle farming is all about keeping your eyes open, being observant of your own cattle, your own veld and your own wallet to see what works for you. There are so many perceptions dressed up as facts that mislead farmers and block common sense from prevailing. The problem with common sense is that it is not so common.” Johann Zietsman.

Regenerative Agriculture is vital to our future

Johan Zietsman is one of Southern Africa’s legendary cattle farmers and practical scientists who wants to inspire cattle farmers across the globe to buck the status quo, be innovative and increase their production by 50%.

He combines almost 30 years of extensive research and personal experience as a hands-on cattleman and regularly travels around the world to help cattle farmers – or “ranchers” – achieve optimal veld management and cattle production and achieve maximum, sustainable profit per hectare. This can be achieved without elaborate grazing plans and complex mathematical calculations, which turn off most farmers. He believes that institutions and research centres need to be transformed into innovative, model ranches for 21st century, that focus on developing and testing sustainable methods of cattle production and veld restoration.

He believes in practising ultra-high density, quick rotation grazing. Using single-strand portable electric fences – which is the most cost effective system – to divide grazing land into camps. He initially put 90 cattle on strips of one-third of a hectare each, grazing the grass right down and then moving the cattle every two to three hours.

He emphasises that all farmers need to work out what works best for their environmental conditions within the high density to ultra high density continuum: from his extreme version to several hectares.

“The combination of grazing, hoof action, dunging and urinating resulted in the quality of the grass and species diversity improving dramatically, the soil fertility improved dramatically with earthworms and dung beetles increasing in great numbers and my cattle’s body condition and production improved dramatically,” says Johann.

Follow the Food for Thought blog posts and learn more about regenerative agriculture from around the world.

Find out more about regenerative profitable ranching from our colleagues around the world.

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