MPO Milk Bulletin 18 August 2017

Local market

Much learned at MPO Gauteng Dairy Day

The annual MPO Gauteng Dairy Day, which was held at Belnori Boutique Cheesery in Bapsfontein on 9 August was most successful. Rina Belcher, chairperson of MPO Gauteng midregion, said the event had been arranged to take place on a public holiday to afford part-time producers the opportunity to attend this informative event. Around 250 people attended the event to listen to presentations by professionals in their field and browse the exhibitions of products and services by various sponsors.

Benita Bekker of Bloemfontein kicked off the presentations with an enlightening talk on the role of women on the farm. Dr Chris van Dijk shared important information on bovine brucellosis and how to prevent the disease. Kobus Mulder shed light on the role of small farmers in Africa and their role in producing food in their respective countries. Leon Kruger focused on the negative effect of internal parasites on the production of milk-producing animals.  Dr Brylyne Chitsunge a producer from Bronkhorstspruit, emphasised the importance of unity among milk producers and not to underestimate the role that government has to play.

Up your game

The MPO will be holding its National Congress at the Protea King George Hotel in George on 20 September.  The theme of the congress is “Up your game” and 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 contact Julie McLachlan on 012 843 5638 or send an email to

See you at MPO Eastern Cape meetings

MPO Eastern Cape chairman Lourens Gildenhuys invites all milk producers in the province to attend either of the two meetings detailed below.

  • Information and Training Day at Cradock Tuishuise, Cradock from 09:00 on 28 August 2017. For the programme, click  HERE.
  • AGM, Congress and Training at Slipperfields, Port Elizabeth from 10:00 on 29 August 2017. For the programme, click HERE.

Dairy farmers are encouraged to bring a staff member who can receive free training in heat spotting and the implementation of workplace rules presented by Cape Cross Veterinary Services and the LWO employers’ organisation respectively.
Milk producers are urged to attend this event which is considered to be 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 speakers who are experts in their fields.

Please RSVP to Jana on 071 856 5787 or email by 23 August 2017

Facts about bovine brucellosis

Brucellosis is not a simple disease and can destroy the productivity of your herd. In order to help livestock farmers prevent bovine brucellosis from entering their herds, the National Animal Health Forum’s brucellosis steering committee and DAFF’s brucellosis working group have put together two documents – one listing a dozen facts about bovine brucellosis and the other containing 5 core points to note about the disease. To read a dozen facts about brucellosis, click HERE and to view the 5 core points, click HERE.

Agri SA’s latest comments on minimum wages

The National Minimum Wage Bill, as well as the agreement signed at Nedlac  in February 2017, has been a source of concern within the agricultural sector.  Agri SA has drawn up a  document highlighting the most important aspects of the agreement reached, as well as specific provisions in the Bill. To read Agri SA’s comments, click HERE.

International market

10 steps for milking excellence

Dairy farmers face numerous challenges and are finding it harder to run their enterprises profitably. Managing costs and improving farm management practices to increase production and milk quality are becoming increasingly important. Pamela Ruegg, at the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, published an article entitled “The 10 smart things dairy farms do to achieve milking excellence”. Her list includes setting performance goals for zero antibiotic residues in milk, a bulk tank somatic cell count (SCC) at least below 250,000 cells/ml, and managing subclinical mastitis. Maintaining optimal milking parlour hygiene, training staff and herd treatment protocols are also on the list. To read more, click HERE.

Bulgaria fines cheese companies for labelling infringements

The Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) in Bulgaria fined three companies for producing cheese containing non-dairy fats and not declaring it on the product labels. The incorrect description of the characteristics of the products is deemed as misleading since products containing non-dairy fats are considered as imitation dairy products in that country. In addition to paying the fines, the companies have to correct the violations. To read more, click HERE.

The merits of milk

Dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina has adopted a new vision “2025: The merits of milk”, stating that it wants to create more value for its members now and in the future through a “distinguishing and progressive chain approach that is market-oriented, responds to the developments in society, and actively makes a contribution to reaching objectives with regard to the climate and the environment”.  According to FrieslandCampina rapid changes in the market and growth of the dairy farming industry in the Netherlands were the drivers of the new vision. The vision contains three central themes – “Value for us”, “Care for animals and nature” and “Valuable within and for society”. To read more, click HERE.

22 infant formula manufacturers approved to trade in China

China’s food and administration agency (CFDA) requires local and international manufacturers of infant formula to register brands and recipes with them in advance as part of its new registration programme allowing sales of the products in the country. CFDA announced that 22 companies, five of them international, were approved to sell infant formula products in China and that several applications are pending. Although the new system initially created uncertainty in the market, analysts believe that international companies will benefit from it. To read more, click HERE.

FDA ruling on ultrafiltered milk is good news

The US Food and Drug Administration recently announced that ultrafiltered cow’s milk can be used to make all types of natural cheeses. This follows nearly 20 years of appeals from the US dairy industry to approve the use of this natural dairy ingredient in cheesemaking. John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheesemakers’ Association said; “FDA’s announcement is an important win for Wisconsin and other great cheesemaking states.” Umhoefer added: “There’s been an oversupply of milk in the US for over a year, causing real financial stress for dairy farm families. This decision can lead to more production of fluid ultrafiltered milk, and find new markets for our abundant milk supplies”. 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.

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.

Building a financial buffer: The value of surplus heifers

In any dairy herd there is a natural flow of animals: cows leave and cows enter the herd at first lactation. Cows have to calve down to start a new lactation period, delivering either heifer or bull calves. Unless the breeder markets bulls, bull calves are usually culled soon after birth, but heifers are reared to replace the cows leaving the herd. Heifer rearing is an important job in a dairy herd, as this determines growth and genetic improvement. The cost of rearing heifers amounts to about 20% of the total cost of milk production. To read more about effective heifer rearing, turn to page 50 of the August 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 in time 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

Do not miss AGMs and congresses of MPO North and Free State

Johan Strydom, chairperson of MPO North, and Gideon Lamprecht, chairperson of MPO Free State, invite all MPO members in their respective provinces to diarise 24 August so that they can attend the annual AGMs and the joint congress, one of the highlights of the 2017 dairy calendar. The venue will be the Stonehenge conference centre near Parys. The congress will be held after the conclusion of the two AGMs, when Dr Chris van Dijk (MPO), Kenneth Botha (Barnlab), Fanus Linde (GWK) and Mike Mouton (DeLaval) will give dairy farmers alternative ideas on how to save costs. The MPO invites everybody to join them for lunch afterwards.
All MPO members and their spouses are also invited to a special evening function; and if they wish, they can overnight at the conference centre. However, terms and conditions apply for the evening function and overnight offer – for more information, enquiries and RSVPs please contact Benita at or 073 116 8544.

Cheesemaking course back in September

The MPO will once again be running a two-day cheesemaking course during the Alfa Livestock Fair, which will be presented by Retha Carelsen of DC Ingredients at the AfriDome in Parys.  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, 18th Aug 2017 - 09:15

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