MPO Milk Bulletin 25 August 2017

Local market

Milk intake remains stable

The total milk intake during the first seven months of 2017 is equal to the quantity delivered in the same period last year, according to figures recently provided by Milk SA.  Milk SA estimates that 235 million litres of milk were delivered to dairies in July 2017, up 1,6% on July 2016, but less than the  total intake in July 2015. The milk flow in the coming months will largely be determined by climate and, especially, by the timing and quantity of rain in the pasture-production areas. According to MPO economist Dr Koos Coetzee a substantial increase in milk production is not expected, as roughage supplies remain scarce and expensive and high beef prices encourage farmers to cull less productive animals.

Milk Production Management Course adds value

Milk SA funded a Milk Production Management Course presented by the MPO Institute at Orange Grove Dairy, Dundee and the Cedara Agricultural College from 14 to 18 August 2017. Twenty-nine students attended the various courses. Rykie Visser discussed the design concepts that apply in dairy farms, Prof. Dirk Lourens talked about reproduction management, Dr Chris van Dijk discussed health management and the value of milk recording and Dr Trevor Dugmore gave a lecture on nutritional management. Dr Van Dijk said  the students were enthusiastic and the value being added from beginner to commercial dairy farming was invaluable. Great appreciation was expressed that the course had been presented. To watch a video insert  by Dr Shikhakhane, training manager of Orange Grove Dairy, Dundee, click HERE. 

Water stewardship award

Nedbank is partnering with Intelact and the WWF in promoting water awareness in the dairy industry in South Africa and will be presenting a water stewardship award at the Intelact Business Dairy Conference.   Click HERE to listen to an interview with Stuart Duggan of Nedbank about this initiative.

See you at MPO Eastern Cape AGM and congress

MPO Eastern Cape chairman Lourens Gildenhuys invites all milk producers in the province to attend the AGM, Congress and Training at Slipperfields, Port Elizabeth on 29 August 2017 from 10:00.
Dairy farmers are encouraged to bring along a staff member to receive free training in heat spotting and the implementation of workplace rules, which will be presented by Cape Cross Veterinary Services and the LWO employers’ organisation respectively.
Milk producers are urged to attend this event which is considered as vital in promoting the future of dairy within the agricultural sector. The programme has been designed to add value to your business and personal productivity and includes expert speakers.  Please RSVP to Jana on 0718565787 or email by 23 August 2017

Up your game

The MPO will be holding its national congress with the theme “Up your game” at the Protea King George Hotel in George on 20 September.  The congress will address the problems that farmers experience with drought and other negatives, such as the steadily declining value of the rand.  Delegates will be given tools to cope with all the challenges of farming in South Africa. To see full details of the congress, click HERE. Click HERE to download the registration form or else contact Julie McLachlan on 012 843 5638 or send an email to
Anneke Kubannek of Agri Travel and Tours will once again be handling all travel and accommodation arrangements: or 012 843 5724.

International market

New Zealand Dairy fined nearly $42,000 after 193 cows had been euthanised

On New Zealand’s South Island a large dairy has been fined almost $42,000 (NZ$60,000) after pleading guilty to multiple charges of neglect that led to 193 cows being euthanised.  Charges were brought against the dairy and two managers by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in 2015 after reports of animal abuse had been made.
Offences included a failure to maintain lanes used to move cows from pastures to parlours and vice versa at both farms. Lanes should have constant maintenance to prevent lameness but this did not happen.  To read more, click HERE.

Raising heifers correctly

There is no one way to raise a dairy replacement. Increasingly, a wide range of methods is  used to raise replacements successfully. The goal should be to raise sound animals that will be useful for your herd and to do so economically. Calves can be housed in hutches, individual pen barns, or group fed. Older heifers can be fed hay and grain, TMR, or can be grazed. They can utilise free stalls or group pens; they can be in a barn, have an outside manger, or be in a field with a wind break. They can be limit-fed high energy diets or full-feed lower energy diets. No matter what the method, we should strive to have them clean and dry with fresh air but without drafts.  To read more, click HERE.


Schedule your dairy farm training now

Helene Pheiffer, training manager at the MPO, urges milk producers to schedule their dairy farm training as soon as possible. The Institute for Dairy Technology is continuously updating its schedule of training programmes for 2017. Their courses, some of which form part of Milk SA projects, are aimed at dairy farm workers and supervisors. Click HERE for details of the training programmes offered. Please contact Chantel Joubert at 012 843 5747 or send an e-mail to  or Jas Wasserman at 082 490 2465 or send an e-mail to for assistance and/or to book a five-day course.

Dairy management courses in October and November

A dairy management course will be presented at Orange Grove Dairy, Dundee and the Cedara Agricultural College, Howick from 9 to 13 October 2017. The course will provide an overall survey of the dairy industry and dairy-related legislation, farm enterprise management, financial management, labour relations management and environmental management.
A pasture management course will be presented at Orange Grove Dairy, Dundee and the Cedara Agticultural College in Howick from 30 October to 3 November 2017. The course will deal with pastures and farm  planning, feed  flow and pasture management, as well as the nutritional value and health risks of pastures.
Call Chantel Joubert at 012 843 5747 or contact her at Jas Wasserman at 012 843 5743 or contact her at for enquiries and registration for attending these courses.

MPO helps with occupational health and safety issues

The MPO’s Institute for Dairy Technology offers a five-day training course on the occupational health and safety code of best practice for dairy farmers. The course is practical and equips participants with the knowledge they need to comply with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Training is conducted on-farm in the language of preference. Dairy farmers who need assistance in complying with the Department of Labour’s health and safety requirements on their farms are encouraged to contact the Institute to schedule a training programme. The Institute is currently scheduling its training programmes for 2017. Click HERE for details of all the training programmes offered. Please contact Chantel Joubert at 012 843 5747 or send an e-mail to  or Jas Wasserman at 082 490 2465 or send an e-mail to for assistance and/or to book a five-day course.

Technology transfer                       

Test your knowledge!

Do you know how much milk was supplied in South Africa in June 2017? Put your knowledge to the test and stand a chance to win. A winner will be announced every month and there are several prizes to be won. After 12 draws, a national winner will be announced at the MPO’s 2018 gala dinner. Click HERE for more information and instructions on how to enter.

Cast your bread on the waters

Dairy farming is all about resilience, and how you flex those psychological muscles that make it possible to survive during hard times. To read more about how one farmer survived the chaos of a burst dam wall on his farm and how he subsequently moved forward, turn to page 124 of the September issue of The Dairy Mail. To read the digital copy of TDM, go to


Register now for pasture courses

Three pasture courses will be presented by the directorates of plant and animal sciences at the Outeniqua Research Farm (Western Cape Department Agriculture) as follows:

  • Praktiese weidingskursus vir beginners (Afrikaans), 6 September 2017 :

This pasture course will be aimed at training and providing information primarily to emerging farmers, pasture managers and any other individuals in need of a basic introduction to pasture management. The course will be presented in Afrikaans on existing pastures, in the field.  To read more, click HERE.

  • Practical pasture course for beginners (English), 14 September 2017:

This course is identical to the “Praktiese weidingskursus vir beginners”, but will be presented in English. To read more, click HERE.

  • Intermediate pasture course, 27 to 28 September 2017: This course is aimed at commercial producers with a background in pasture management and will consist primarily of presentations in a lecture room. To read more, click HERE.

A limited number of individuals will be admitted to the course (20 for beginners’ pasture courses and 30 for the intermediate pasture course). Please register well in advance by completing the registration form and emailing it back as soon as possible. For enquiries please contact Janke van der Colf on 044 803 3716/082 774 9164 or at

Popular cheesemaking course back in September

The MPO will once again be running a two-day cheesemaking course during the Alfa Livestock Trade Fair, which will be presented by Retha Carelsen of DC Ingredients at the AfriDome in Parys.  Persons attending the course will leave with a comprehensive manual and in-depth knowledge of how to make cheese and other dairy products.  For further details please contact Julie McLachlan on 012 843 5638 or or consult our website: where you will be able to see the programme and download the booking form.
Anneke Kubannek of Agri Travel and Tours will once again be handling all travel and accommodation: or 012 843 5724.

The Big Farm Taste – from goat to beer!

Cheese, wine, craft beer, Boer goat meat, skaapstertjies, tripe and ice cream . . . all these delicacies and more await you at the Big Farm Taste on the Sandringham farm outside Stellenbosch on Saturday, 14 October 2017.
Agri-Expo, organiser of the popular South African Cheese Festival, promises a brand-new tasting experience of all things farm, both for farmies as well as townies. Visitors can look forward to unique combinations such as Bok&Bier (Boer goat meat and craft beer next to the braai). An array of craft and artisan products such as wine, Karoo lamb sosaties, roosterkoek, steak, yoghurt and ice cream will be available for tasting and sale at food and wine stalls.

Visit for more information; follow Livestock on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or contact Agri-Expo on 021 975 4440 or Release.


Disclaimer: The MPO Milk Bulletin is compiled from sources deemed reliable. However, the publisher accepts no responsibility for any errors or the effect of any decisions based on this publication.

Milk Producers’ Organisation
The Dairy Mail

Contact us

Dr Chris van Dijk

Barbara Bieldt
Manager: Market protection and development

Dr Koos Coetzee – Economist

Philip Swart – MPO manager of member services

Published on Fri, 25th Aug 2017 - 09:28