MPO Milk Bulletin 29 September 2017

Local market

Milk intake up on 2016

According to figures recently supplied by Milk SA, the total milk intake during the first eight months of 2017 is estimated at 1 924 million litres, up 1,0% on the same period last year.  In August 2017 an estimated 278 million litres of milk were delivered to dairies, 5,9% more than in August 2016. The lower grain prices and fewer disease problems than in 2016 contributed to the increase in production.

New leaders elected for MPO

Dairy farmer from the Western Cape and former vice-chairperson of the MPO George Kuyler was elected the national chairperson of the MPO last Thursday. Former chairman Nigel Lok stepped down as chairperson and director of the MPO. Zola Gebeda, vice-chairperson of the MPO Eastern Cape was elected the vice-chairperson of the MPO. The new leaders of the MPO are congratulated on their election.

Successful MPO national congress

The MPO national congress with the theme “Up your game” held at the Protea King George Hotel in George on 20 September was a great success with good attendance and excellent speakers. Dr John Westwood, a consultant based in Cape Town, set the tone with his talk on dealing with change and thriving. Anton de Wet from Netvalue Equity Partners shared advice on empowering your B-BBEE partners by means of a sensible profit-sharing scheme, without putting the business generating such empowerment at risk. MPO CEO Dr Chris van Dijk told dairy farmers about the tough decisions that have to be made in tough times and Gill Inbar, consultant at Munters, gave tips on dealing with the challenges of heat stress in dairy herds. Breyton Milford concluded the congress with an inspiring presentation on keeping ahead of your time. MPO Western Cape chairman Philip Blanckenberg thanked the sponsors, the organisers and everybody who attended and contributed to making it a memorable experience.

Government boost for Wittekleibosch Dairy Trust

The Wittekleibosch Dairy Trust (WDT) which was established in 2002 in Kouga has received a R32 million boost from the government in the form of a state-of-the-art dairy parlour. The new high-tech milking parlour was officially opened by Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane last week. He said: “We applaud these commercial partnerships and want to use this opening of the facility to encourage other farmers in the province, black and white, emerging and commercial, to see sense in forging partnerships to continue agricultural production in the land.”
Since the new milking parlour became operational in June production has increased from from 10 000 ℓ of milk daily to more than 16 000 ℓ a day. Between 1 200 and 1 500 cows are milked at the facility which supplies Parmalat and annual turnover has increased from R25 million to about R33 million. Commercial dairy farmer Johan du Plessis, who supplies the cows and assists in overseeing operations, envisages that the landowners will take full ownership of the operation in the future. To read more, click HERE.

DeLaval’s BCS camera wins TDM Innovation Award

MPO CEO Dr Chris van Dijk handed over the 2017 The Dairy Mail (TDM) Innovation Award to DeLaval for the BCS camera the company developed at the MPO gala dinner held on 20 September. Read more about this innovative product in the December issue of TDM!
Now in its third year, The Dairy Mail (TDM) Innovation Awards aim to recognise and celebrate companies and products that conceptualise and produce technological solutions that assist South African dairy farmers in improving their efficiency, productivity and profitability. The BCS camera provides daily automatic body-condition scoring, helps optimise feeding, promotes milk yield and supports improved herd health and reproduction.
The judges were Dr Chris van Dijk, executive editor of the editorial committee and CEO of the MPO, Stephan Steyn, president of the South African Society of Dairy Technology, and Prof. Dirk Lourens.

MPO awards commitment and service to the industry

The MPO’s annual gala dinner and awards ceremony, was hosted by MPO Western Cape at the King George Hotel, George on Wednesday, 20 September. Johan Strydom, chairperson of MPO North, received the trophy for MPO Region of the Year for the second year running.  Retiring MPO director Gideon Lamprecht, chairperson MPO Free State, received a special award in recognition of his commitment and excellent service to the dairy industry and the organisation.

Denleigh Farms receive first Stewardship Award

The first annual MPO/TDM Stewardship Awards were launched this year. In keeping with the strategic goals of the MPO it was decided to reward and recognise dairy farmers who are excellent stewards of product integrity, the humans and animals on the farm and environmental sustainability while farming profitably. Role players in the industry were invited to nominate good dairy stewards and 10 nominations were received. The top contenders were identified following an electronic evaluation and received visits from Dr Chris van Dijk for a final assessment on their farms. The winner was chosen, among other, on the basis of the farming enterprise’s commendable contribution to local conservation efforts and the community, the farm’s contribution to preserving the environment as well as a number of threatened species and the positive influence their sustainable farming practices have on the dairy industry as well as many individual dairy farmers.
René Stubbs from Denleigh Farm in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal was crowned as the first winner of the MPO/TDM Stewardship Award at the MPO gala dinner held at the King George Hotel, George on 20 September. Congratulations to René and his team on this excellent achievement!

Monthly Ruralvet disease report released

Ruralvet’s monthly livestock disease report for August was released recently. To read the report, click HERE and to view the maps, click HERE.

DAFF information document on avian flu

The department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries (DAFF) recently released an information document on avian flu following outbreaks of the disease. To view the document, click HERE.

International market

Global dairy prices increase

Dairy prices at the most recent Global DairyTrade auction on 19 September were on average 0,9% higher than at the previous auction at the beginning of September. The GDT price index increased to 1075, 99% higher than the lowest level in April 2016. With the exception of skimmed milk powder and lactose, all prices were higher than at the previous sale, with the highest increase in the price of anhydrous milkfat. Butter prices increased by 1,2% to US$6 026.  Butter prices for future delivery also increased.

Fonterra revenue up but profit down

Fonterra announced its 2017 annual results indicating that revenue has increased but net profit after tax has declined by 11%. A final cash payout of US$4,74 for a 100% share-backed farmer was confirmed for the 2016/2017 season. Fonterra chairman John Wilson said: “We will always need to manage variability across our co-operative – both in global markets and in our local farming conditions. We’ve demonstrated our ability to deal with those conditions and deliver on our strategy again this year.” 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                       

Winner of our July competition announced

Congratulations to Gawie Pretorius of Lichtenburg who is the winner of our July competition. Gawie’s projection of milk production in July differed with only a few decimals from the actual figure. Gawie won a gift voucher to the value of R300 from Vinolia.
Do you know how much milk was supplied in South Africa in August 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.

Finding the sweet spot

Mooi River dairy farmer James Kean strives to find the sweet spot in everything he tackles: be it optimising irrigation, improving soil health or breeding his ideal cow. This has helped improve efficiencies in a testing environment. To find out how James uses constant innovation and benchmarking in an attempt to find the sweet spot, turn to page 38 of the October issue of The Dairy Mail for an article in this regard. To read the digital copy of TDM, go to


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, 29th Sep 2017 - 19:43

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