Kokstad (Rietfontein): 17 January 2017 - Update

 

The farm is approximately 1800 hectares and has 250 hectares of dry land maize (corn) and a capacity to handle 800 free-range cattle. It is currently operating below capacity with a herd of 550 commercial cattle. This was the major reason we partnered with the farmer to allow him to tap into our deep livestock farming expertise while freeing up cash to enable them to invest in the capital intensive but seasonal maize operation. With the profits from the maize crop, they can then increase their cattle holding to capacity. We have almost reached capacity at Rietfontein with only the last thirty cows remaining on our allocation of 434 cows.

 

In October 2016, Rietfontein farm held its first sale of 159 weaner calves which we sold to Triple-A Beef in Pietermaritzburg. This resulted in gross income of R765,146.51. We made a once-off provision for the replacement of old cattle and then declared a distribution “dividend” of R3979.80 per cow which accrued to each of 173 cows that had been bought with a calf. We had ten calves that were not yet ready to sell in October meaning we had achieved and impressive weaning rate of 97%, having lost only four calves lost between birth and weaning age.

 

Below is the summary of the production status of the farm on 17 January 2017:

 

Production Stage

Number of Cows

Next Production Stage

Pregnant Cows

205

Calving between February & March

Recently Calved

73

Expected sale of calves in June 2017

Running with Bull (Mating)

153

Expected calving in August – Oct 2017

 

431

 

 

We unfortunately lost three cows at Rietfontein: one due to lightning, the other by accident during cattle handling and the last due to illness. We have replaced the cow lost due to illness as per our promise to our investors. We will apply the same retrospective principle to replace the two cows for the affected owners when the insurance model kicks in on 1 February 2017.

 

The 205 pregnant includes the 173 cows that produced last year’s dividend: further proving that the cow is the one gift that keeps on giving.