Royal Show

The Society was represented by its members at the Royal Show. The event took place from 27 May 2022 to 5 June 2022 at the Pietermaritzburg Showgrounds. The show saw 114 217 attendees during the 10-day event. A lot of enquiries were received regarding Wagyu. With many consumers enquiring about the sought-after Wagyu Burger. Next year will be the last Royal show at the current location as the property had been sold. We would like to thank our members that proudly represented the Society and Certified Wagyu Beef at the show.

Wagyu Conference and AGM

We are excited to announce that this year’s Conference and AGM are taking place during August. The event will take place outside Franschoek. The theme of the conference is ‘Unpacking the Wagyu toolbox’. The Conference & AGM will be held at Allee Bleue on the 25th of August 2022. There will be no virtual component or Sale at the conference this time. As usual we will present an Inspection course the day before, on the 24th of August 2022, at The Wagyu Experience near Paarl. The inspection course must be attended by all new Society members to avoid compulsory inspection of cattle in the coming year. This year we will also conduct the Society’s first Senior Inspection Course. We are delighted to announce that L’Omarins will host our post-conference tour on the 26th of August 2022, participants will be able to view their Wagyu herd and farming facilities, not open to the public, as well as the stunning motor museum. The conference program and entry forms will be distributed shortly. For enquiries, please contact the office.

Net Feed Intake: The Impact Explained

As feed costs have climbed to over 70% of the cost of production, skilled labor costs have risen, and consumer demand for sustainability grows, beef producers are under significant economic and social pressure. Today, selecting for net feed intake (NFI) is the best way to produce more feed efficient cattle that reduce costs and increase profit, while doing so in a sustainable manner. A 10% improvement in feed efficiency can lead to a 43% improvement in profit (Fox et al., 2001), and selecting for low NFI can reduce feed intake by 12%, reduce methane production by up to 30% and reduce manure by 17% (Agri-facts, 2006).

NFI is a measure of feed efficiency calculated as the difference between an animal’s actual feed intake and its predicted feed intake, for a given level of production (Koch et al., 1963; Basarab et al., 2003). Cattle with low or negative NFI are efficient as they eat less than predicted, while cattle with high or positive NFI are inefficient as they eat more than predicted. When NFI is used as a genetic selection tool, the resulting progeny will consume less feed for the same level of production. Since NFI is independent of growth, body size and other performance traits (Koch et al., 1963), selection for animals with low NFI will lead to reduced feed intake and improved feed efficiency without compromising body size, carcass quality or growth. Improvements in feed efficiency can be selected for and incorporated into a breeding program to produce more efficient offspring.

Cow Inventory

Thank you to all our members that sent through their updated cow inventory to the office. The deadline to update the cow inventory or request any resignations has passed. The office will send out the levy for your annual membership fee and cow inventory on 31 July 2022. There were not many corrections received for our CWB (slaughter) register. We urge all members to update their CWB register with the office and fate any slaughtered animals on the system. For any enquiries, please contact the office.

Wagyu Field Officer

The Society has employed a young student as field officer. Mr. Tumisang Tswidi has been extensively trained on the Society system. He was also trained on the audit requirements for Certified Wagyu Beef. On-farm Tumi can assist with practical challenges such as tagging and taking of a DNA sample. In the last month he has already visited two farms and received high praise from the farmers. Contact Tumi to schedule a farm visit at tumisang@wagyu.org.za.

Technology to shorten Feed Efficiency Trials to 49 days

The Vytelle SENSE™ system features In-Pen Weighing Positions which measure individual animal body weight and growth continuously. The technology can be used in feed efficiency trials to collect daily weights from individual animals – up to 450 weights a day. Adding this technology to feed efficiency trials shortens the trial length from 70 to 49 days by providing individual animal growth curves. Results from the MacNeil et al. (2021) study indicate that In-Pen Weighing Positions can be used to confidently calculate ADG in a shortened test period of 50 days.

The benefits for individual animals management are vast; a few being, increased accuracy of individual animal weights, labor optimization, and improved animal well-being by significantly reducing stress related to weighing animals compared to traditional chutes. At an operation level, a 50-day test period will increase the number of trials run each year, therefore, increasing the total number of animals evaluated. Evaluating a larger number of animals is likely to reduce the test cost per head and is likely to result in greater power of a test for the hypothesis of interest (MacNeil et al. 2021).

Using advanced technology such as Vytelle’s In-Pen Weighing Positions in feed efficiency trials allow for shortened 49-day RFI trials. Producers are further supported with standardized procedures ensuring quality data collection from In-Pen Weighing Positions and are assured only quality data sets are included in feed efficiency and ADG analyses.

 

 

Wagyu @ Nampo 2022

Nampo is one of the highly anticipated events on the Agricultural calendar in South Africa. The event is known for attracting everyone from committed producers to the curious onlooker. Over 70 000 people attended Nampo this year. Unlike pre-Covid years Nampo was extended with a full day starting on Monday 16th May. As per usual the opportunity was fully utilized to market Wagyu on all fronts. Sponsors that attended received good value for money through interactions with interested parties. More value was added to sponsors that could not attend and provided the Society with marketing material and contact information to distribute amongst attendees throughout the week. The Wagyu house was consistently active throughout the week. Our Social media platforms shared the Nampo experience as it was happening. The Society received a lot of compliments from other breed societies, the Nampo executive, Society members and other industry stakeholders. A good effort was put in by the management team that ensured the success at Nampo this year, Especially by Charmaine, Robyn and the Wagyu office staff that prepared the venue beforehand and worked in the kitchen during the week.

Wagyu Burger sales at Nampo

Same as in 2019 the Society partnered with the Vierfontein NG church to bring our wagyu burger to the masses. There were 5200 burgers sold during the five days. We also had the opportunity to sell Wagyu biltong and droëwors from the Wagyu house. In just under a day 70kg of biltong and droëwors was completely sold out. Even the rain on Friday could not dampen the customers curiosity about Wagyu. Throughout the week customers were patiently queuing in front of the stall to get their Wagyu burger before the week was over. On Wednesday the 18th of May Elandri talked with Riaan Grobler of Pretoria FM about our Certified Wagyu Beef program. Riaan also had a live tasting of our Wagyu burger on air, describing the burger as “very flavourful and incredibly soft” to listeners.

Thank you to all who participated during the week. and a special word of thanks to the team for braaiing and building the Wagyu burgers during the week.

 

New venture for Wagyu at Nampo

The Wagyu Society partnered with the NWU Business School and AgriVoice to host their Roadshow Discussion Series at Nampo “Making Business Sence of Agri-Business”. These discussions were held at the Wagyu House everyday between 10h00 and 11h30. On the 18th of May Elandri was part of the discussion panel on enhancing traceability, stock control and stud management via technology. Our Chairman, Mr Johan de Vos was part of the discussion panel on Friday the 20th of May discussing the International Agri-Trade. The discussions held were to promote sustainability and modernisation in Agri-Business and Farming. All the discussions of the week can be viewed on the AgriVoice App that can be downloaded from the Google playstore, the Apple iStore or by following the link https://agrivoice-app.co.za/NewsFeed/fe22e45a-32c0-40d5-f4d4-08da17b799fc/115d9165-d089-467a-70dc-08da3bd78095.

Per Capita & CWB renewal

The office has sent out the per capita’s and CWB renewal forms to each member. Please ensure that your animal lists for both your stud register (herdbook) and slaughter register (CWB animals) are updated and current. Inform the office of any required changes before the 30th of June for animal cancellations and membership resignations. If you have not received an email, please contact the office urgently at office@wagyu.org.za or +27 51 492 1852.