Milk Bulletin 07 July 2017

Local market

Milk intake remains stable

The total milk intake in the first five months of 2017, as reported to Milk SA, is currently estimated at 1 186 million litres, which is 0,03% down on 2016. In May 2017 an estimated 228,6 million litres of milk were delivered, compared to 229 million litres in May 2016. Milk flow in the coming months will probably barely remain at the current levels. Difficult production conditions in inland areas and disease-related problems will limit production growth in these areas. The lower grain prices will increase intensive producers’ margins. In coastal areas the scarcity and cost of roughage will probably limit production growth. Based on production during the first five months and assuming a normal spring, the total milk production in 2017 is currently estimated at 3 070 million litres, which is marginally up on 2016.

South Africa set to harvest the biggest soybean crop on record

Despite revising the country’s soybean production forecast to 1,23 million tonnes in May, the Crop Estimate Committee has again winched up its forecast to 1,34 million tonnes – making this season’s crop the largest on record. This means South Africa could be a net exporter of soybeans this season.  To read more, click HERE

AgriSA drawing a line in the sand

At a media conference recently arranged by the National Press Club of South Africa, Agri SA launched its prospectus on shale gas exploration in South Africa. To read more, click HERE

Nedbank Winterton serves community

Nedbank is committed to increasing access to banking in developing communities across South Africa. “This partnership will allow local farming communities and small businesses to have access to most banking services without having to travel to large malls, which makes banking convenient,” says Craig Evans, divisional executive: retail and business banking. To read more, click HERE

Any hope for the white maize price in 2018?

It is well known that there is too much maize – particularly white maize – this year. It is not always obvious how much of the maize is too much. The consumption of maize has been divided into different sections and subtracted piece by piece from the supply to arrive at a clearer answer. To read more, click HERE.

Feedback on the North West meetings


  • Philip Swart led a successful meeting at the Leeudoringstad bowling club.
  • Dr. Koos Coetzee made a presentation on economic statistics, followed by Douw Steyn of GWK discussing lucerne, and Kenneth Botha of Barnlab discussing both effective feed management and calf rearing.
  • We would like to congratulate Kobus Marais on his election as chairperson of the  Leeudoringstad branch.


  • The meeting was held on the farm of the MPO branch chairperson, Johan Scribante.
  • Philip Swart led a successful meeting.
  • Dr Koos Coetzee made a presentation on economic statistics, followed by Douw Steyn of GWK discussing lucerne and Kenneth Botha of Barnlab both effective feed managementand calf rearing.

Johan Strydom, chairperson of North West, was unable to attend the meetings, but  thanked the producers who had gone to the trouble of attending the meetings, as well as the branch chairpersons for their contributions in making the arrangements. He also thanked the companies for their financial contribution, which made the farmers’ days possible for us.

Interview on Grootplaas

Jompie Burger, director of the Dairy Standard Agency, discusses food security and the dairy value chain. Dr. Chris van Dijk, CEO of the MPO, discusses the recent Large Herds Conference. Look at these interviews HERE.

Farmers reach out to one another

We would like to make an important correction to last week’s report in this newsletter:  A large number of Eastern Cape farmers worked together in 2015 to send feed to drought-stricken areas in the Free State and North West and not just one as was stated erroneously in the report. The MPO is justly proud of its milk producers and their willingness to help each other in times of distress.


International market

Technology benefits all farm sizes

Farmers with modest row-crop acreages often fear GPS-based technology won’t pay on their farm. However, a Farm Journal study on two Illinois farms of different sizes suggests both can benefit from swath control and variable-rate technology (VRT).

It is not size, but whether the technology fits your system that is important. Weigh your investment against per acre yield increases and cost savings.

Evaluate technology by asking what one aspect, such as swathe control, could do for your operation.  To read more, click HERE.

Slight decrease on GlobalDairyTrade auction

Prices were on average 0,4% lower at the GlobalDairyTrade (GDt) auction held on 4 July than at the previous auction in June 2017. Cheddar cheese and skimmed milk powder were 3,2% and 4,5% down. Prices for full-cream milk powder increased by 2,6% and buttermilk powder by 10,8%. Butter prices were marginally (0,1%) down. The increases in buttermilk and full-cream milk powder prices indicate the continuing demand and lower supply of butter and milk fats in general.

Milk’s nutrient-packed contribution to our diet

A glass of milk packs a nutritious punch, a reminder of the importance of dairy in our diets.  Basically, cow’s milk helps to meet nutrient needs, and some research suggests it may help to protect against some of the major chronic diseases.  To read more, click HERE.

Heart-healthy functional dairy products

Dairy products are the cornerstone of the probiotic market. Probiotic yoghurts and dairy drinks have brought the concept of supporting health using bacteria to the mainstream and underpin a market worth tens of billions of dollars. Yet functional dairy products are still a long way from fulfilling their potential. To read more, click HERE.

Nestlé Spain investing €2,24 m in Sevares factory

Nestlé Spain plans to invest €2,24 m in its production centre in Sevares (Asturias) this year, to renovate a production line, and for modernisation of the factory’s quality control laboratory.  To read more, click HERE.

Nafta negotiations as critical as it gets

If there’s one issue worth losing sleep over, it’s what the Trump, Trudeau and Nieto administrations are going to do while renegotiating the North American free trade agreement (Nafta). 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 are aimed at dairy farm workers and supervisors. Click HERE for details of the training programmes offered. Please contact Jas Wasserman at 012 843 5743 or 082 490 2465 for assistance and/or to book a five-day course.

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 Jas Wasserman at 012 843 5743 or 082 490 2465 for assistance and/or to book a five-day course.


Technology transfer

Congratulations to Pete Ward –  our April competition winner!

Pete Ward of Kruisfontein Farming in Mooi River put the number of litres produced for April 2017 at 228 million, which is indeed very close to the actual number. Pete, being an astute dairy farmer, consulted Dairy Digits in the June issue and saw that the trend for milk production in previous years was always lower in April the the March production and used this trend to calculate his answer. Well done, Pete!

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.

Of dairies, pastures, compost and koi

Driving through the gates of Bloekomlaan farm, it is evident that this is an exceptionally well-run enterprise.  From the clear signposting to the well-maintained gravel road and fencing, everything smacks of professionalism.  To learn more about the “evolution” of this farm, turn to page 130 of the July issue of The Dairy Mail. To read the digital copy of TDM, go to



Lichtenburg Farmers’ Day

Johan Strydom, chairperson of the Lichtenburg branch and North West, invites all the milk producers in North West to attend the farmers’ day on his farm Wolvenfontein on 27 July at 10:00. The theme of the farmers’ day will be calf rearing and the guest speakers Kenneth Botha of Barnlab, Douw Steyn of GWK and Mike Mouton of DeLaval will make presentations. Various other companies will also be present. Please address enquiries to Benita at or 073 116 8544 and RSVP by 21 July.

Save the date – MPO Gauteng Dairy Day, 9 August 2017

Save the date for the annual MPO Gauteng Dairy Day, which will be held on 9 August at Belnori Boutique Cheesery in Bapsfontein, Gauteng. Rina Belcher has an interesting programme planned for the day, which includes a hoof-cutting and dehorning demonstration. For enquiries, please contact Rina at 082 377 5698 or send an email to   Click here to access the programme.


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 Sat, 15th Jul 2017 - 18:48