Welcome to the June 2017 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter
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Positive outlook for agriculture

 “The outlook for the agricultural sector in South Africa is positive despite the concerning outlook for the overall economy,” said Mr Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in his budget vote in Parliament, where he tabled a total budget of R R6 807.00 billion. 
He said the country’s estimate for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has been revised down marginally from 1.2% to 1.1% but remains unchanged at 1.6% for 2018.

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South Africa a net exporter of beef in 2016

South Africa became in 2016 for the first time in history a net exporter of beef.
his fact has been determined by figures from the South African Revenue Services (SARS), which the national RPO considers to be the most reliable source of information.
The RPO relies on the figures from Agri Inspec, a service provider to the RPO, as received from SARS.
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Western Cape impresses

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is the first and only province to release a comprehensive annual report on the Compulsory Community Service (CCS) programme that kicked off in 2016.
A total of 19 CCS veterinarians were seconded to the Western Cape from the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) for the purpose of completing their Compulsory Community Service (CCS) year in 2016. These 19 veterinary posts can be described as follows :-
 Six veterinarians worked in the sub-programme Veterinary Public Health; five stationed at export abattoirs and one stationed at the central office.
 Three veterinarians worked in the sub-programme Animal Health; two in Beaufort
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Procedures must be in place for kept animals

Agri Eastern Cape was successful in its application that procedures must be enforced in terms of the kept of animals on commonage grounds and other vacant spaces within the jurisdiction of the relevant municipality.
In its plea Agri Eastern Cape argued that the uncontrolled influx of animals into residential areas and commonage grounds increases the transfer of animal diseases to nearby farms and it also presents a danger to motorists as well as for the damaging of private property.
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Pilot project launched by RMAA

The Red Meat Abattoir Association (RMAA) is currently conducting a pilot project in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to supplement the national residue monitoring programme.
Samples are being tested for selected residues in the following groups :- antibiotics (15 groups), anti-inflammatory (2 groups), anthelmintics (1 group) and growth stimulants (3 groups).
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Is the mineral cation-anion difference important in supplements of cattle to prevent arthrosis?
Since 1982 farmers in the North-Western province and other parts of South Africa have noticed an increase in the incidence of lameness in cattle. Macro-and microscopical lesions of joints confirmed that the condition was osteochondrosis (popularly called arthrosis), the condition being associated with mineral imbalances in the animal body. In a trial under controlled conditions prior to the one described below, the data indicated that cattle with osteochondrotic lesions recovered almost completely when fed a supplement containing high levels of bio-available micro-and-macro minerals.
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CEO appointed to national agricultural marketing council

Mr Gerhard Schutte, Chief Executive Officer of the national RPO, has been appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to serve as a member of the National Agricultural Marketing Council for a period of four years.

SAMIC now an associated member of SAACB

Samic was appointed as an associated member of the Southern African Association of Certification Bodies (SAACB) by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
With the mission of promoting accredited certification and adhering to the Code of Conduct, SAACB members are contributing to the overall success of the certification industry in South Africa. It was founded in 1988 with nine members. Although based in South Africa, members operate in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

Lamb contracts launched on JSE

Lamb carcass futures contracts can now be traded on the JSE’s commodity derivatives market.
The purpose of the contract is to allow farmers and abattoirs to protect themselves against the risk created through movements in the price of mutton, the JSE said in a statement.
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Animals must still be checked for parasites

With a drop in temperatures, cooler weather setting in and less rain experienced in autumn there is a perception that internal parasites are less of a problem, according to the monthly report on livestock disease trends as informally reported by veterinarians belonging to the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa (RuVASA), a group of the South African Veterinary Association.
However, it is suggested that farmers check their animals, especially the more susceptible groups (young and pregnant) more often for signs of parasitism. Bankrupt and brown stomach worms like cooler temperatures and clinical signs are diarrhoea and weight loss. Faecal egg counts will confirm the diagnosis. As animals will be moved into vlei’s, beware of liver fluke and conical fluke outbreaks.
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International beef prices remain high

Internationally, the reduction in availability of Australian and New Zealand beef and higher exports from the US are supportive to prices, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Domestically, high producer prices for both the domestic and export markets and the deterioration in grazing conditions going into winter may support increased slaughter and therefore weigh down on prices.
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Local demand of mutton may taper off

Internationally, limited global supplies and good demand are supporting prices for sheep, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Locally, prices may taper off as demand normalises after increased spending associated with the Easter holidays.
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“The Lamb and Mutton SA Kitchen”  at the first “Fire and Feast Butcher’s Festival”

A “Vleisfees” is nothing new to those living in provinces like the Free State and the Northern Cape, but to the yuppies in the City it’s something new and exciting!.
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