It is a game – serious one – for the big players. Stud producers are the elite league in cattle production and together with those chasing the top baron status; they play big with huge sums fuelling stud trade. If you have any doubts about the high stakes in this league then spare time and resources to attend the Wayside Brahman Stud Auction in Francistown on February 10, 2018. Dubbed ‘The Botswana Connection’, the fifth Annual Auction will have guest sellers in Lussim Simmentalers and Marshall Charolois. On sale will be 20 red and grey Brahman bulls and 40 red and grey Brahman females; five simmentaler bulls and 10 simmentaler females; five charolais bulls and 10 charolais females. This is Botswana’s only registered stud auction where all animals are registered with a breeding society ranging from Brahman, Simmental, charolais and others. The auction’s high status is further boosted by the fact that it the organisers have been given a green light to export some of the animals to South Africa, Zimbabwe or Namibia. “This means that the auction is open from buyers from these countries. They can come, buy and take them to their countries,” said a source.
Though buying prices are usually very high – with standing record at the auction exceeding P100 000 for a bull – one of the producers confirmed that sale of such animals do not necessarily meet their production and business running costs. “To us this is a platform to market the quality of animals are our farms for people to follow us and buy more from there. But I can confirm that the quality of cattle production is going up in Botswana. Most locals are taking up and do not hesitate to buy high quality bulls to improve their stock,” he said.
All bulls sold at the auction have to be tested for fertility, with only those meeting set standards being allowed.