MPO Milk Bulletin 3 November 2017

 Correction: In last week’s Milk Bulletin it was erroneously reported that Fair Cape Dairy cows won the SA Grand Champion and Reserve Champion awards at the Agri Expo Livestock Dairy Championship. The MPO was informed by Herman Duvenhage, breed director at SA Holstein, that the awards were in fact presented to Fair Cape Dairy heifers.

Expert shares the finer points in cheesemaking

Norman and Rina Belcher of the multi-award-winning Belnori Boutique Cheesery recently hosted an informative and enjoyable cheese consulting day for North-of-the-Orange River Cheeseries. Kobus Mulder, a well-known cheese expert who advises cheesemakers and companies on cheesery design, manufacturing methods, cheesemaking training and marketing strategies shared some of the finer points in cheesemaking.  The event followed the need expressed for more in-depth knowledge of the finer details of cheesemaking during the Gauteng Dairy Day held in August. Thirty people representing, among others, 19 different processing establishments and an input supplier gathered under the Cheese Lapa at Belnori Boutique Cheesery to interact and learn.
According to Rina there is a big gap in formal knowledge between artisanal and farmstead cheesemakers.  Rina said: “There is much that one does not absorb or forgets from the initial cheesemaking courses and there is much that only starts making sense after some experience.”
Norman and Rina thank all who attended and contributed in getting the cheese fundi to Gauteng. Rina concluded: “What a wonderful day we had!  It will be interesting to see what will evolve from this area in the future and I can imagine a lot of tweaking and adjustments taking place in 19 different places!”
Planning for the next event with Kobus in January is under way and details will be made available soon.

 New Dairy Farming Handbook launched

Dr Ilse Trautmann, Chief Director of Programme Research and Technology Development Services, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, hosted the launch of the updated and translated Dairy Farming Handbook at the recently held Sandringham Agri-Expo Livestock.
Based on the original Melkbeeshandleiding compiled in 2008 by Dr Carel Muller, former specialist scientist in the programme, the translated and updated English edition can reach an even wider audience. The purpose of the handbook is to offer information to farmers (both commercial and smallholder) to remain sustainable in spite of fluctuating farm-gate prices and increasing production costs. Compiled by experts in their particular fields, the new English edition aims to support dairy farmers with problem-focused information based on scientific research. Increasing the efficiency of milk production is critical under these circumstances; either by increasing production per cow or by decreasing the production cost of milk. To this end, the comprehensive Dairy Farming Handbook includes sections on the most important aspects of dairy farming: nutrition and feeding, housing, reproduction management, breeding, milk production and quality and health and biosecurity.
MPO CEO Dr Chris Van Dijk thanked the team involved in developing the book and said that the book “must be on everyone’s table and in the dairy parlour’s as a valuable resource”.
The Dairy Farming Handbook will be available free of charge as a PDF, with limited hardcopies available. Please contact Pavarni Jorgensen for more information or hard copies, at

NAMC requests your help in study on competitiveness of the dairy industry

The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) is currently conducting a follow-up of a previous desktop study done during 2012 to determine the factors having a significant impact on the competitiveness of the dairy value chain and how these factors might have changed.  The purpose of this investigation is to identify the factors that affect the competitiveness of dairy value chain in an attempt to inform policymakers and other directly affected groups.
A questionnaire was compiled to solicit stakeholders’ views on the factors that are most likely to influence the level of competitiveness in the dairy value chain.  Respondents are also requested to weigh these factors in order of importance in terms of their impact on competitiveness.
The contribution of dairy farmers, milk processors and input suppliers will be greatly appreciated and will be regarded as a significant contribution to better position the dairy industry, not only in South Africa, but globally.
The questionnaire can be completed by clicking HERE. Please e-mail the completed document before or on 15 November 2017 to Alternatively, complete the questionnaire directly at the following link:

NAHF success stories

Dr Pieter Vervoort, chairperson of the National Animal Health Forum (NAHF), said the Forum has done extensive work in the last five years aimed at improving the public‒private partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).  According to Dr Vervoort the success stories of the NAHF include the establishment of the brucellosis steering committee, the compensation committee and the working group for animal identification, recording and traceability in 2016 and the establishment of the antibiotic discussion committee and the heartwater vaccine committee in 2017.
According to Dr Vervoort, the NAHF is proud of the success that has been achieved by the different provincial animal health forums. Source: RPO newsletter. To read more, clickHERE.

Update from International Dairy Federation (IDF) World Dairy Summit 2017
“Making a Difference with Dairy” is the theme of the World Dairy Summit (WDS) 2017 held in Belfast, Ireland from 29 October to 3 November 2017. Highlights from the sessions held on 30 and 31 October follow below.

Milk and dairy plays key role in infant and child nutrition

Milk and dairy foods are a vital source of iodine, which is a nutrient of particular concern to pregnant women, experts were told at the International Dairy Federation’s (IDF) World Dairy Summit held in Belfast, Ireland this week. Most populations get iodine from a number of sources, but milk and dairy foods are the largest source in the United Kingdom diet. Prof. Margaret Rayman, Professor of Nutritional Medicine at the University of Surrey, said that mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency is present among many pregnant women in the UK. To read more, click HERE.

Brexit challenges highlighted at WDS 2017

The challenges and opportunities facing the dairy industry as a result of Brexit were highlighted at the International Dairy Federation’s (IDF) World Dairy Summit held in Belfast, Ireland this week. Tomas Pietrangeli, UK managing director of Arla Foods, said the industry was facing “the biggest seismic change in the political and financial landscape in our lifetime”. He said: “The end of free trade is a major risk. In order to protect the health of the dairy industry in the UK we need to have tariff-free and barrier-free trading conditions. We are a business and an industry making a significant contribution to the dairy industry and the wider UK economy.”  To read more, click HERE.

Dairy highlighted as a key food for sports nutrition

As milk and dairy foods provide a vital source of recovery-promoting nutrients for athletes, the dairy industry must communicate this more effectively with sports professionals and consumers alike. Dr Sharon Madigan, Head of Performance Nutrition at the Sport Ireland Institute, told delegates that while every athlete requires different nutritional guidance, a good nutritional strategy before, during and after training can profoundly affect sports performance. She said: “Milk and dairy foods can actually kill three birds in one stone when it comes to athlete nutrition – it assists in refuelling energy stores, it promotes rehydration to get the fluid balance right, and also helps to repair lean muscle mass. Research has shown that water or commercially available sports drinks aren’t as effective as milk in promoting muscle recovery.” Dr Madigan was joined by Olympians Jonathan Bell, an Irish field hockey player and Natalya Coyle, an Irish athlete, in a panel discussion on the topic during a session held at the WDS 2017. To read more, click HERE.

European and US sectors lead production recovery

The European and US dairy markets are leading the international recovery in milk markets, International Dairy Federation (IDF) World Dairy Summit 2017 was told on 30 October. Véronique Pilet, editor-in-chief of the IDF report and Head of Economics at the French Dairy Interbranch Organisation CNIEL, said: “The global dairy market remains uncertain and the only thing that we can say for sure is the volatility which is a result of supply-and-demand issues is here to stay. Dynamism in the European and US markets is leading recovery, and production prospects over the next few months remain good. Butter prices are at an all-time high, however skimmed milk powder prices are still eroding.” To read more, click HERE.

Dairy must confront the risk of protein becoming next frontier in nutrition debate

The global dairy industry must address the risk of protein becoming “the next frontier” in the debate on nutrition, experts were told on 30 October at the IDF World Dairy Summit in Belfast. Dr Jaap Evers, IDF Leader Global Standards, said: “There is a wealth of scientific research that should strengthen dairy’s role as an integral element of healthy consumers’ diets. The IDF will soon undertake a new research project on protein.”  Mary Anne Burkman, the internationally renowned nutrition expert, said: “The validity of science underpinning the nutritional value of dairy has never been more comprehensive and compelling. The challenge is to get consumers and health authorities to recognise this.” 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.
Congratulations to the winner of the August competition!

Congratulations to Graziano Ferrero of North West whose estimate of 278,4 million litres of milk produced in August 2017 was the closest to the actual figure of 278 million litres. Graziano won Satiskin product prizes to the value of R500.

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

Tapping into the well
Dairy farmers Fuzz and Peter Goble recently won the Intelact Water Stewardship Award in recognition of their efforts to be good stewards of water, the most precious resource. The worsening drought in South Africa has made headline news since 2015. And with agriculture consuming around 60% of South Africa’s water, the country is looking to farmers to conserve water. Karkloof dairy farmers Bruce “Fuzz” Goble and his father Peter are making a determined effort to reduce wasteful water habits. To read an interesting article by Robyn Powell, turn to page 32 of the November issue of The Dairy Mail. To read the digital copy of TDM, go to

Published on Sat, 4th Nov 2017 - 12:26

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