Situated in the Overberg district, the Tygerhoek Research Farm serves the areas around Caledon in the west, Swellendam in the east, Bredasdorp in the south and Riviersonderend in the north. Established in 1960, this research facility covers 2,760 ha, with approximately 500 ha of arable.
 

Infrastructure and sheep resource flock

This farm is situated within a mixed-farming area, with rain throughout the year. With lucerne planted extensively as a dryland crop and part of a crop rotation system, the farm operates a no-till crop rotation system on arable land. These are not specifically used research projects. The sheep resource flocks maintained at the Tygerhoek Research Farm are fine wool Merinos and the crossbreeding resource flock.

Research

With Dr. Johann Strauss engaged in long-term crop rotation and conservation agriculture research, several small grain and sheep research projects are currently underway.

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. These include 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