Welcome to the May 2018 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter
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Predation management training developed

The Predation Management Forum (PMF) has taken the initiative to develop a framework of minimum standards for the training of livestock producers and farm workers on principles of ethical- and best practices in predation management.

This is implemented within the framework provided by the Sector Education and Training Authority for Agriculture (AgriSETA). The National Wool Growers' Association of SA (NWGA), as member of the PMF, is an accredited service provider with AgriSETA and a qualified predation management specialist providing training to producers within this framework under NWGA accreditation, who subsequently oversees quality standards of training.

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Heartwater vaccine to be fast-tracked

The heartwater project team will in future raise their needs with the industry on propositions which can be used to fast-track the development of the heartwater vaccine, it was resolved during a meeting requested by the national Animal Health Forum (NAHF).

Onderstepoort Biologial Products (OBP) started working with ARC-OVI on the heartwater project in 2016.

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Stage 2 of free range project kicks off

Stage 2 of the Free Range Beef project, a joint venture between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Agricultural Research Council, the National Agricultural Marketing Council, the University of New England and the Australian government is to commence shortly.
The project’s Stage 1 ran from March 2015 to December 2017 and the aim of that stage was to provide proof of the concept that cattle from smallholder cattle herds have the capacity to meet the specifications of Woolworths’ high-value, free-range market specifications. 
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Export of livestock by sea for slaughter illogical

The practice of exporting farm livestock by sea from South Africa for the purpose of slaughter at an overseas destination is illogical an inherently prone to cause unnecessary and avoidable suffering in these animals, according to a statement by the Livestock Welfare Coordinating Committee (LWCC).
There is no rational or acceptable reason to transport livestock for long distances for long periods in poor, crowded conditions with many unavoidable hazards and risks, only to be slaughtered on arrival at the destination. The quality of the meat is likely to be affected. There are no religious reasons why livestock cannot be slaughtered according to the required rites in South Africa at an export abattoir, and then the meat sent in refrigerated form overseas. 
This creates jobs here and promotes food safety and security. The international reputation of South Africa will be enhanced if we take a principled position against this inhuman and unacceptable practice. The LWCC therefore strongly recommend that no further exports of live animals for the purpose of slaughter longer be allowed and that a formal ban on this practice be instituted.

New Deputy Minister announced

Sfiso Buthelezi is the new Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Buthelezi was COO of Makana Investment Corporation (Pty) Ltd, First CEO of the national gambling board, has served as economic advisor to the first MEC for economic affairs KZN, the former President of RSA, Jacob Zuma, and also as the economic advisor to the former Premier of Mpumalanga, Dr Matthews Phosa. 
He has also served on many other boards, including PRASA (Chairman), Transnet, Robben Island Ferries and was the Chairman of Octagon SA. He has particular interest in economic developments in South Africa and the world over. He is also a keen scholar of broad based black economic empowerment. 
In March 2016, Buthelezi was sworn in as an ANC MP in the National Assembly, where he also served in the Finance Committee. On 31 March 2017, Mr Buthelezi was sworn in as the Deputy Minister of Finance. He also chairs the Board of the Public Investment Corporation.

You and your vet

What is the role of the vet in your farming enterprise?
Dr Neil Fourie, a production animal veterinarian in Middelburg tells more in 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.
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Is it possible to be carbon neutral on-farm?
In the April 2018 Newsletter, I discussed the concept regenerative agriculture and its benefits with regard to carbon storage, soil health and livestock production. In this month’s contribution I want to take it a step further and show what farmers can achieve with such an approach.
Research at the Outeniqua Experimental farm in the south-eastern coastal region where dairy farmers produce from planted pastures, has shown that if minimum tillage practices are employed, carbon storage can amount to 50kg per cubic meter, which is more than 50% of what can be achieved with maximum tillage practices.
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Auctions for May 2018

Top farmer in action at sheep day

The 2017 national sheep farmer of the year, Frans Wiid, will on 10 May 2018 present a Sheep Day at his farm Aan-die-Lande near Hopetown.
He will discuss several management aspects of sheep farming such as veld management, the use of irrigated pastures, breeding goals, selection criteria, management during lamb and mating time as well as the control of harmful animals. Marketing and human resources management will also be highlighted.
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Agents rules to be applied

The Registrar of Agricultural Produce Agents, Ms L Pretorius, recently announced in the Government Gazette that the Agricultural Produce Agents’ Council (APAC) Rules in respect of livestock agents will be applied with immediate effect.
At first a livestock producer selling livestock must ensure that the livestock agent used to market the livestock is a registered agent with the Agricultural Produces Agents Council according to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Act (Act 6 of 1992).
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Agriculture contributes to GDP

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sectors contributed significantly to South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 3,1% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The Statistician General recently released the GDP growth figures.
According to a press release by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, STATS SA’s quarter four labour force survey indicates that agriculture created an additional 39 000 jobs.
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Magnitude of livestock investigated

The magnitude of livestock theft in Kwa Sani and factors that could influence it was investigated by G.S. Müller of the University of the Free State for his masters’ degree.

Stock theft in KwaZulu-Natal is a major problem that is hampering the prosperity of farmers in the province. The Kwa Sani area was one of the “hotspot” areas and for this reason a study was conducted in this area to acquire information about stock theft, and analyse data gathered in the Kwa Sani local municipality, regarding the factors that could contribute towards and curtails stock theft.

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Support framework for meat goat sector designed

A holistic support framework for the development of a sustainable meat goat sector in South Africa was designed to support the development and maintenance of a viable meat goat sector in South Africa.
The support framework will benefit the entire value chain – from goat owners and keepers using communal rangeland resources to commercial breeders and producers, processors and retail product outlets.
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Global beef prices may decline

Internationally, plentiful beef production may weigh on market prices, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Locally, beef prices strengthened during the Easter period on the back of increased consumer demand during that time. Prices are expected to soften as demand is expected to ease and there is more supply availability in the market. Normally, the increased supply for weaner calves during the weaner season from March until May weigh further on weaner calf prices.
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Global supplies of sheep meat remains tight

Internationally, market conditions continue to support prices, due to tight global supplies, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Locally, it can be expected that prices may trade sideways to lower due to limited demand during mid-month.
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Warm up this winter with Lamb and Mutton SA

Braaiseason” is slowing down, which means it is time for hearty stews, soups and plenty of red wine to keep you warm! Lamb and Mutton SA is embracing the colder months with a few new ventures under their second theme for the year “A Feast on Fire”.
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