Tygerhoek Research Farm is situated in the Overberg district and serves the areas

around Caledon in the west, Swellendam in the east, Bredasdorp in the south and Riviersonderend in the north. Established in 1960, Tygerhoek Research Farm covers 2,760 ha with approximately 500 ha of arable.  

Infrastructure and sheep resource flock

The farm is in a mixed-farming area. It rains throughout the year, with lucerne planted extensively as a dryland crop as part of a crop rotation system. The farm operates a no-till crop rotation system on arable land not used for specific research projects.

The sheep resource flocks maintained at the Tygerhoek Research Farm are the fine wool Merinos and the crossbreeding resource flock.


Several small grain and sheep research projects are currently underway. Dr. Johann Strauss is engaged in long-term crop rotation and conservation agriculture research. Dr. Johan Labuschagne, focuses on the effects of soil tillage within cropping systems on soil quality and crop performance, developing nitrogen fertilisation norms on wheat and canola within systems under conservation agriculture, strategic tillage and over-sowing lucerne with winter cover/fodder crops.


Prof. Schalk Cloete is currently working on several sheep research projects on Tygerhoek:

  • Quantification of the South African ovine resource for crossbreeding
  • Management, long-term conservation and selection of the fine wool-Merino resource flock;
  • Selection strategy to manage breech strike in South African Merinos using indicator traits
  • Development of systems for estimating ewe reproductive traits and early live weights in the Elsenburg and Tygerhoek flocks
  • Genetics and genomics of resistance against gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep