Welcome to the August 2018 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter
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Northwest presents successful course

The Northwest RPO recently presented a reproduction management course at Wildebeeshoorn on Gemsbokvlakte.
The course is a follow-up of the basic herd management course in 2016 as well as the veld and grazing management course of 2017. A total of 19 emerging farmers, including two females, attended the course.

A lot of the farmers trade their cattle on the auctions presented by Agri Wildebeeshoorn on Gemsbokvlakte. The quality of their weaner calves are good and are bought by feedlots across the country.

A very comprehensive manual has been issued during the course, and Agri Wildebeeshoorn provided course attendants with an example of a relevant animal health plan.

Farmers have problems with claims after veld fire

Farmers of the Carolina district had a bad experience with a veld fire which spread from a nearby formal settlement to their farms.
It was established that they will not be successful with a claim for damages because the farmers did not serve the relevant parties with a notice or lodged a formal complaint with the municipality in the past. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that the fire has been caused by people and may thus be rather a case for the police and not the municipality.
Read more ...

Tanners are now turning down hides

An age-old idea in the leather industry, that all hides will eventually, be converted into leather and made into consumer products, may no longer hold true.

Even though prices have come down substantially since their peak a few years ago, tanners in some parts of the industry have now decided that it’s not financially viable for them to process low-quality hides because of lack of demand for leather at the end of the market.
Read more ...

Big drop in hide prices expected

World Leather columnist David Peters has said in a new blog entry that current market dynamics suggest to him that a substantial drop in hide prices could be on the horizon.
The US Department of Agriculture now puts the number of cattle worldwide at more than 1 billion head, with herd sizes of 305 million head in India, 232 million in Brazil, 96.8 million in China, 94.4 million in the US, 88.4 million in the European Union and 53.8 million in Argentina.
Read more ...

Meat industry getting protective over names

France recently passed an amendment to its agriculture bill that prohibits any product that is largely based on non-animal ingredients from being labelled like a traditional animal product.

This essentially bans product names such as “vegetable steak”, “soy sausage”, or “bacon-flavoured strips”.

The argument is that consumers might be misled into believing the products were real meat.

Source :

Meat can help babies grow faster

Although formula and baby foods are mandatory for the health and nutrition of infants, a new study suggests that adding meat to their diet can also be beneficial to their growth.

In new research that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, infants that are formula-fed can also consume meat as it can be an important source of protein for the child.

Read more ...

Vaccinate against redwater

Redwater (Babesiosis) is a killer disease, but vaccination can greatly limit cattle deaths, says Dr Francois van Niekerk from the Humansdorp Veterinary Clinic in the monthly report on livestock disease trends as informally reported by veterinarians belonging to the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa (RuVASA).
Leaving a few ticks on the animals in the hope that they might build up immunity cannot be considered a satisfactory approach to control this disease, because only a small percentage of ticks [0.04 – 0.23%] carry the Babesia parasites.
Read more ...


Implications of a US study on carbon footprint to SA beef production systems.

Globally and in SA, beef cattle have been identified as the largest livestock-sector contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which require our beef farmers to put measures in place to limit the on-farm carbon (C) footprint. Several international studies have concluded that pasture or veld-finished beef systems have greater GHG outputs than feedlot-finished (FL) beef systems. 
Read more ...
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Auctions for August 2018

Latest on listeriosis

In the latest Listeriosis outbreak report, the Department of Health said 1 049 laboratory confirmed cases have been reported from 1 January 2017 to 5 June 2018.

The number of reported cases per week has decreased since the implicated products were recalled on 4 March 2018 with a total of 76 cases reported since 5 March 2018.

The training of environmental health practitioners across the country is almost complete. 740 have already been trained across seven provinces to date. Training took place in Western Cape, Limpopo, Free State and North West provinces.

A strategy for listeriosis screening by district environmental health practitioners has been agreed upon and has become effective from June 2018.

A consolidated list of meat processing facilities is being assembled, together with risk assessments done by districts. Risk assessments have been received from 310 food processing facilities from eight provinces, of which 79 are from meat processing facilities.

New estimates of the environmental cost of food

Research published in the journal Science highlights the environmental impacts of thousands of food producers and their products, demonstrating the need for new technology to monitor agriculture, and the need for environmental labels on food products.
Researchers at Oxford University and the Swiss agricultural research institute, Agroscope, have created the most comprehensive database yet on the environmental impacts of nearly 40,000 farms, and 1,600 processors, packaging types, and retailers. This allows them to assess how different production practices and geographies lead to different environmental impacts for 40 major foods.
Read more ...

The last meal of an ancient iceman

Some 5,300 years ago, Otzi (aka "frozen Fritz") was murdered in the Alps with a simple one-two punch move: an arrow to the chest, and a blow to the head.

But first, the roughly 45 year-old iceman fuelled up, enjoying one last hearty meal. 

Fortunately for science, his dead body was neatly preserved in a rock hollow and naturally mummified as the glaciers moved in and slid right over him, freezing his stomach contents.

Read more ...

Weaner prices increased

The average price of weaners (190 – 250kg less auction fees) increased in total by 1,5% during the week of 20 July 2018 compared to the previous week.
Good quality bull calves (below 200kg weight) reached an average auction price of R37,50/kg in Mpumalanga. The increase in the average price may be the result of a lower supply in the market. For the near future the price is expected to move sideways/downward. The average price of the weaners is 6,6% lower compared to the same week a year ago.
Read more ...

Lamb price expected to move sideways

The producer price of Class A2/A3 lamb increased in total by 11,6% during the week of 13 July, and it seems that the number of A2/A3’s being slaughtered was higher compared to the previous week.
The increase in price is an indication of less overflow stocks from the previous weeks. The price is expected to move sideways/downward again in the near future.  The average price of Class A2/A3 lamb is 7,1% higher compared to the same week a year ago.
Read more ...
New cooking with lamb website

Please visit the new Cooking with Lamb website.  Any comments welcome.
Download the PMF newsletter here ...
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