MPO Milk Bulletin 15 September 2017

Local market

Imports higher than last year, exports stable

During the first seven months of 2017 57 800 t of dairy products were imported, compared to 30 362 t in the same period in the previous year. Exports during the first seven months of 101 800 t are marginally more than in 2016. Exports exceeded imports by 43 000 t during this period compared to 71 000 t in the same period last year.

Winner of the first Intelact Water Stewardship Award announced

The Water Stewardship award sponsored by Nedbank and in association with WWF is the first-ever award focusing on water conservation in the dairy industry and aims to recognise farmers for adopting the five elements of water stewardship: water awareness; knowledge of impact (measuring water use and impact), internal action (best water practices at farm level); collective action (collaboration beyond the farm fence), and strengthening governance (contributing to water management in the catchment).
The entrants were assessed and judged according to stringent requirements.  The top four  entrants were shortlisted and were paid visits by the judges from WWF and Nedbank to determine the winning farm.
Bruce and Peter Goble from Triandra farm in Karkloof won the grand prize of a sponsored trip to New Zealand to the value of R40 000 to visit and learn from leading dairy producers there who have excelled in water stewardship. Bruce and Walter Mackenzie from Hawkstone Farm in Karkloof were in second place with James and Sandra Berning of Springvale Farm in Rosetta in the third place and David Forde from Inchgarth Dairies CC in Underberg in fourth. The MPO congratulates them on their achievements.

Save the environment by recycling oil

According to the ROSE (Recycling Oil Saves the Environment) Foundation, an organisation that has been championing the responsible management of used oil in South Africa, the agricultural sector has the largest impact on our natural habitat. It is estimated that South Africa generates an average of 120 million litres of used lubricant oil in a year with about 10 million litres of this being generated by the agricultural sector. Bubele Nyiba, the CEO of ROSE, appeals to farmers to recycle their used oil and explains that once motor oil escapes the engine it has the potential to travel long distances, and most used motor oil eventually makes its way into waterways in the form of run-off.  He states “Once it reaches waterways used motor oil is toxic to the plants and animals living in the water, and the oily film created on the surface of the water can impair natural processes such as oxygen replenishment and photosynthesis. Used motor oil can also pollute soil and drinking water.”  He adds “Many farmers do their own oil changes and minor services when their vehicles are out of the maintenance plan and manufacturer’s warranty. The ROSE Foundation encourages these farmers to gather and store their oil in containers which can easily be transported to the nearest town and dropped off at a vehicle service workshop.”
Alternatively, there are ROSE Foundation registered collectors who operate in the rural areas and will come and remove this oil for the farmers in an environmentally compliant and safe manner.

See you at the MPO national congress next week!

Register now for the MPO national congress with the theme “Up your game” at the Protea King George Hotel in George on 20 September. The congress, which is a highlight of the 2017 dairy calendar, will focus on assisting  farmers to deal with challenges such as the volatile international market, the drought and the legal requirements relating to Black Economic Empowerment. 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


International market

Hurricane Irma causes damage to dairy farms

Hurricane Irma caused damage to dairy farmers in Florida ranging from power outages, wind damage and dairy cows trapped in rubble.  Farmers prepared for Irma over the weekend and were ready for the worst when the hurricane reached them on Sunday. While limited damage was experienced on some farms, others, particularly further to the south and west   suffered considerable damage. On a dairy farm in Lakeside, east of Tampa, a free-stall barn completely collapsed and rescue crews were working to get more than 400 milking cows out of the rubble. On another farm operations are continuing on generator power alone. In general, dairy farmers in Florida will be cleaning up for several weeks and it will take a while to get back to their normal schedules. To read more, click HERE.

Immunity and reproduction critical for herd success

University of Georgia researcher David Hurley states: “Problems with mastitis or establishing pregnancy are leading reasons for culling cows. Inflammation associated with mastitis has been associated with failure to establish pregnancy.”
According to Hurley immunity and reproduction are two critical systems that have important positive and negative interactions in the dairy cow. To improve the relationship between immunity and fertility, Hurley suggests that factors such as nutrition, pathogen exposure, fetal programming and vaccination need to be attended to. To read more, click HERE.

Dairy sector supports new EU rules on slimming foods

The European Commission proposed new regulations for slimming foods and total diet replacement which, among other things, contain a minimum protein content of 75 gram per day. The European Dairy Association (EDA), supported by the European Whey Processors’ Association (EWPA), support the proposal, stating that the minimum protein content requirement would ensure that the products are safe and efficient.  Furthermore, the EDA is pleased that protein quality has for the first time been recognised in European regulations. A link is also established between the need for high-quality protein diets for weight reduction and control. 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 Agricultural 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                       

Take part in our competition

Do you know how much milk was supplied in South Africa in July 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.

Maximise effectivity, manage stress

The current business environment demands that everybody involved give their absolute best, which often exacts an emotional toll from the players. During situations of increasing turmoil, it is difficult to remain balanced and consistently perform at peak levels. Significant increases in all-round effectivity and happiness can be achieved by taking a minute to reflect on and plan our approach to day-to-day living. For tips and advice on maximising effectivity and managing stress, turn to page 66 of the September issue of The Dairy Mail for an article by Werné Kritzinger, director at Noobswitch (Pty) Ltd.  To read the digital copy of TDM, go to



Register now for Intermediate pasture course

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

  • 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.

Only 30 individuals will be admitted to the 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

Register for International Rural Crime Conference

The International Rural Crime Conference will be held on 27 September 2017 at the Royal Elephant Lodge and Conference Centre, Centurion.  It is the first time that a conference of this nature ‒ and which focuses on rural crime and safety ‒  will be held in South Africa.
The following international speakers will present papers will be presented at the conference by international  speakers Dr Joseph Donnermeyer, Ohio State University; USA, Dr Elaine Barclay, University of New England, Australia; and Emmanual Bunei, Moi University, Kenya.  A number of specialist speakers from South Africa will present papers in four breakaway sessions. Click HERE for the programme.
Persons/organisations that are still interested to attend the conference, can contact Corine Steyn on 083 644 5545 or send an email to close on 20 September 2017.

Code of Practice training at Agri Expo Livestock

The MPO’s Institute for Dairy Technology is presenting Code of Practice training to dairy farm employees at the Agri-Expo Livestock on the Sandringham farm outside Stellenbosch on 12 and 13 October from 14:00 to 18:00 on 12 and 13 October from 14:00 to 18:00. Dairy farmers in the region are urged to register their employees for training on one of the two days. For more information and to register contact Chanelle Steenekamp at 076 774 1284 or send an email to

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, 15th Sep 2017 - 14:02

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