Beef Breeding in South Africa

Book review:

Beef Breeding in  South Africa
2nd Edition, 2010, edited by MM Scholtz

Beef Breeding in South Africa provides a comprehensive overview of beef cattle breeding, which is subdivided in three logical parts.

The first part consist of twelve chapters which includes the most important breeding objectives, breeding methods and cattle recording and improvement schemes, as well as the most recent breeding technologies and practical implications of breeding methods, such as linear classification, practical use of breeding values, management of herd bulls and breeding principles and guidelines for emerging beef cattle farmers. In the second part, an overview is provided of the most important beef cattle breeds in South Africa that participate in the National Beef Recording and Improvement Scheme, with graphical illustrations of breeding progress subsequent to selection for specific traits. The third and last part of the book provides a very handy list of organisations with their contact details – comparable to a glossary of important organisations in the South African beef cattle industry.

The general layout of the book is neat and the written and graphical content is easy to read and understand. An improvement from the previous edition is the inclusion of numerous figures to explain difficult concepts in a simplified way. Most examples are explained by means of actual values which are generally summarised in tables. A list of appropriate references is provided at the end of each chapter for those who wish to read more about specific topics.

The editor and contributors are highly regarded scientists and experts in the fields of animal and veterinary sciences. Beef Breeding in South Africa provides all the ‘need to know’ aspects of beef cattle breeding in an informative and practical way. The book is highly recommended to all cattle breeders and students in animal and veterinary sciences.

EC Webb
June 2010

For further information regarding this book, please contact Dr Machiel Scholtz at gscholtz@arc.agric.za.