Archive Article: 1998/04/17

17 April 1998

NINETY-five miles (153km) to the south-east of Windhoek near the town of Dordabis, Johann Engels farms 7000ha (17,000 acres). Average rainfall is 250mm/year (10in/year), low enough to ensure that bush encroachment does not cause serious problems.

His herd of 79 breeding cows plus followers is supplemented by bringing in 107 weaners weighing 300kg each to finish off 10 months later on the grass which has grown after recent rainfall, together with whatever supplements may be needed. He is thus able to regulate his stocking rate according to the supply of grass.

This is a very important consideration as in 1995 only 50mm (2in) of rain fell on his farm and the evaporation rate is 3.4m/year (11.2ft/year). Like Arne Gressmann, Mr Engels is keen to encourage game on his farm which he enjoys seeing. Game creates little competition for grassland as it mainly browses off the bush and it has the added benefit of being another source of meat. Registered game farms sometimes come to shoot trophies on his land too.

Johann Engels encourages game on his 7000ha farm to the south-east of the capital Windhoek.

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