MPO Milk Bulletin 4 August 2017

Lees die Afrikaans Melkbulletin

Local market

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Highly successful Farmers’ Day in Lichtenburg

Nearly 80 visitors, including 58 dairy farmers from North West and Gauteng, attended the highly successful MPO North West Farmers’ Day on Johan Strydom’s farm Wolvenfontein near Lichtenburg on 27 July. The theme of the day was “Calf rearing” and the milk producers who attended agreed that they would put the valuable, practical information shared by the expert speakers to good use. Dairy farmer Gawie Pretorius said that he had identified problem areas on his farm and had already made relevant changes as a result of the presentations.

MPO CEO Dr Chris van Dijk shared advice on newborn calves, Kenneth Botha from Barnlab gave an overview of nutrition and calf rearing, Douw Steyn from GWK told farmers about the value of lucerne and Mike Mouton from DeLaval shared information on the right equipment for calf rearing. MPO economist Dr Koos Coetzee gave an overview of the local and international outlook for the industry.

The day’s presentations were concluded with a practical demonstration at the calf pens on calf hygiene by Jan Joubert of Lionel’s Vet.

MPO North would like to extend a special word of thanks to the sponsors and their staff for their support in making this event possible.

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.

Why herd health management is essential

Recent reports from the Southern Cape that about 50 cattle in one herd died from suspected botulism after being exposed to chicken litter highlighted the critical importance of effective herd health management. According to Dr Chris van Dijk, MPO CEO, it is even more essential to follow herd health programmes recommended under normal conditions in times of drought. These practices include vaccination with multiclostridial vaccines to prevent clostridial diseases, which are far more likely to occur in situations where there may be sudden changes in feed type, quality or quantity. Essential vaccinations should all be current and animals, especially young stock, should be drenched for internal parasites (including fluke in fluke areas). Additional practices recommended during times of drought include vitamin A, D and E (either in feed or as an injection). Discuss any other mineral imbalances and how to cope with them with your nutritionist. For more advice by Dr van Dijk, click HERE.

Popular herd managers training now offered at Cedara College

The MPO’s Institute for Dairy Technology will be presenting various herd managers’ courses funded by Milk SA at Cedara College, KwaZulu-Natal. The first course will deal with production management and will run from 14 to 18 August 2017. Topics to be covered are “Dairy farm design concepts”, “Dairy animal breeding management”, “Dairy animal nutrition management”, “Dairy animal health management” and “Milk recording”. For further details please contact Chantel Joubert on 012843 5747 or send an email to or to Helene Pheiffer at

MPO KZN invests in the youth

MPO KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) supports the annual KZN Youth Show – Beef and Dairy Heifer classes, which is held on the first weekend of the Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg at the end of May. The purpose of the show is to encourage pupils to learn the basics of taking care for a heifer and preparing her for the show, among other things by ensuring proper nutrition. This takes several weeks of dedicated work and, when in the ring, entrants must be able to control their animal and answer questions from the judge about their animal. They also have to pass a written exam.

This year was no exception and entries were received from Grade 1 to Grade 12 pupils from various schools in the province. Weston Agricultural College and Zakhe agricultural colleges entered teams of pupils. The pupils who do well in the different classes are invited to participate in the Agricultural National Youth Show which will be held in Bathurst in the Western Cape this year.

Enter the Moo-sic competition!

Be a part of the Moo-sic movement and enter the MPO’s competition for a chance to have your “Farmer’s Favourite” track added to the CD as an eleventh bonus track! For more information and to enter the competition, click HERE.


International market

Outbreak of serious cattle disease in New Zealand

An outbreak of mycoplasma bovis, a serious bacterial cattle disease, was confirmed at one farm in the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group, a large-scale dairy business with a herd of 12 550 cows on New Zealand’s South Island late last week. The Primary Industries ministry said on Friday that stock movement restrictions had been placed on 16 individual properties and testing was continuing.
The ministry’s regional controller, Dr Chris Rodwell, said in a statement: “At this time we are still determining the scale of this situation through on-farm sampling and testing, and tracing of movements of stock on and off the properties.”.
According to the ministry the disease is common in many countries and can have a serious effect on cattle, but, fortunately, does not infect humans or present food safety risks to milk or milk products. To read more, click HERE.

High oleic soybeans in feed produce more butterfat

According to research conducted by Penn State University dairy feed rations containing high oleic soybeans lead to a higher butterfat content in the same volume of milk. Dr Alexander Hristov, Penn State professor of dairy nutrition, led a project to evaluate dairy ration performance of three soybean meal sources: conventional, high linoleic extruded soybean meal; extruded Plenish® (DuPont Pioneer) high oleic soybean meal; and whole, heated Plenish high oleic soybeans.
“We were surprised with such an obvious (0,2%) milkfat percentage increase. The mechanism we think is taking place is the higher level of oleic fatty acids in the Plenish high oleic soybeans versus linoleic fatty acids in the conventional soybeans, and a reduction in the already small level of trans fatty acids in milk,” Hristov stated.
A noteworthy finding is that the high oleic variety not only increased the milk butterfat content in comparison to conventional soybean meal, it also changed the composition of the milkfat. This implies an increase in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and significant decreases in trans fatty acids in the milk, which is important for consumers.
The research and findings are described in Hristov’s paper published in the September 2015 Journal of Dairy Science. To read the report, click HERE.

Legumes reduce nitrogen fertilizer input

The high cost of nitrogen fertilizer has resulted in milk producers with pasture-based
dairy farming operations exploring options for a less expensive way of producing the forage needed for grazing.
A director and agricultural educator at an Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension county office Wes Lee found that producers in central Oklahoma were considering legumes as a way of bridging the gap in the production of their grass pastures since legumes require reduced nitrogen fertilizer input. Legumes have the ability to produce their own nitrogen with the help of bacteria that live on their roots. Lee said: “The bacteria have the ability to convert nitrogen from the air into a useable form for the plant. Most of this nitrogen is taken in by the plant itself for its own growth, while providing quality forage for grazing animals.”
In order to grow legumes, a pasture’s soil must have the proper acidity value and phosphorus and potassium levels in order to survive and thrive. Lee advised “Start by getting a soil test before jumping headfirst into a legume forage system. Then pick a legume that is adapted to local growing conditions.” To read more, click HERE.

Increased milk fat consumption benefits US industry

The National Milk Producers Federation found in a new analysis that the change in consumer demand towards increased consumption of full-cream dairy products means long-term benefits for US dairy farmers. This change in consumer perception was brought about by more than two decades of research into the health benefits of milk fat and continued communication in this regard. Over the past few years dairy organisations have started to support the integration of the health benefits of milk fat into government policy and guidance to health professionals. This is ascribed to ongoing programmes aimed at promoting dairy consumption and protecting the image of dairy farmers, dairy products and the industry. The programmes are funded by the dairy check-off, which is administered by the USDA and consists of contributions by dairy farmers and importers. 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 012843 5747 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 012843 5747 or send an e-mail to for assistance and/or to book a five-day course.


Technology transfer

Enter our competition!

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.

Being competitive and responsible

Eastern Cape milk processor Woodlands Dairy’s operations are firmly grounded in the belief that the pursuit of business success should be balanced with attempts at making the world a better place. Global awareness of environmentally sustainable practices is growing steadily and, more than ever, companies are being held accountable for the impact of their operations on the environment. To learn more about the benefits of reducing a company’s carbon footprint and the sustainable management of scarce resources, turn to page 45 of the July issue of The Dairy Mail. To read the digital copy of TDM, go to



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

Save the date for the annual MPO Gauteng Dairy Day, which will take place 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 082377 5698 or send an email to

How does water law affect you?

With the backdrop of a rapidly growing urban population, with water demands that are not being matched by water investment and infrastructure, coupled with a changing climate, the worst drought in over 100 years and competition from other sectors for water, water allocations to the agriculture sector are unlikely to increase unless the sector is able to use water more efficiently.What does this mean for your agribusiness, as you consider your lawful water use entitlement relative to your water use footprint? How will water use be recorded, regulated and charged for in future? Could water be expropriated from you without compensation?Most importantly, how can your agribusiness plan for the future by proactively dealing with these issues now so as to be better prepared for a potential new reality of farming with less water? In addition, how are you dealing with your waste water and should you be considering how this can be harnessed for reuse? These topics and more will be discussed by expert speakers Stephen Levetan and JamesBrand at an agribusiness water law seminar on 15 August at the offices of ENSafrica in Stellenbosch. To read more and RSVP, click HERE.

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 012843 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 012843 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 awaits you at the Big Farm Taste on the farm Sandringham 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 Press 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, 4th Aug 2017 - 14:54