Welcome to the March 2019 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation Newsletter
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The latest on FMD

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Director-General of Animal Health, Dr Maja, recently released an updated report on the FMD situation in Limpopo.
In the report it is indicated that 22 000 animals have been vaccinated since 14 January 2019.  More or less 12 000 of these animals have been vaccinated in the disease management area and all vaccinated animals have been marked to identify them.
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No reason for panic

Given the situation regarding the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in the Limpopo province of South Africa, Chairman of the National Wool Growers' Association, Mr Guillau du Toit cautioned farmers not to get panic stricken.
The problem is much smaller than the outbreak in 2011 in KZN as the current outbreak have been diagnosed even further from wool producing areas than during the previous outbreak. There is no surplus of wool and the demand for wool is still evident. South African producers produce exceptional quality wool.
Although there is doubt over wool trading with China at this stage, Europe is still buying.
The industry is doing all in its power to manage the situation and it is addressed at the highest level. “The NWGA advises producers to keep track of the Australian wool market indicator, which will allow them to value their reserve prices objectively”, said Du Toit.

Should we stop eating meat? Not while humans are the real weapons of climate destruction

Instead of calling for humans to stop eating meat, we need to focus on what they have done to unbalance the methane cycle, according to Tony Lovell, who actively manages land and livestock to regenerate ecosystems and produce positive financial, social, and environmental outcomes.
As we are starting to see the effects of climate change materialise in front of our eyes, people are looking for things they can do to help heal our planet. One common theme has been a call to stop eating meat, mainly due to methane emissions from cows.
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South Africa will have to produce 50% more food by 2050 or face crisis

There will be a doubling of demand for certain food products by 2050 and the WWF fears that South Africa will not be able to provide for it.
South Africa faces an impending foodsecurity crisis if there isn't urgent action to correct unsustainable practices, says an environmental organisation.
According to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature(WWF), South Africa will have to produce 50% more food by 2050 to feed an estimated population of 73 million people.
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FMD: producers must do their bit

The key message of the RuVASA (Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa) disease report for January 2019 is that producers should do their part in regaining South Africa’s foot and mouth disease (FMD) free zone status by complying with the animal movement restrictions.
Cattle owners are also requested to test and vaccinate their animals for Bovine brucellosis.
Read more ...


The severe droughts in successive years in several parts of the country have suggested that more regular droughts and water shortages could become the norm in future farming. This, of course, is also predicted by climate change scientists and it implies that farmers will have to look at ways to make the most of the water they have. 
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Lamb and Mutton SA and Agri Expo - Stellenbosch Woordfees

Its not every day we get to wine and dine with the king of the Karoo, Gordon Wright. Come and enjoy lamb from the "Hardemanskaroo" to the "Kandeboo". Gordon, top selling author of "Farm to Fork" and "Karoo Food" will chat about how South African lamb and the way it is produced, forms part of the "International Slow Foods Movement" and how it has become a national treasure. This event is hosted by Lamb and Mutton SA and Agri Expo and will be happening at this years Stellenbosch Woordfees on the 10th of March at 12:00. Tickets available on Computicket via the following link
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March 2019

R103m stock theft a year hurts Limpopo’s economy

Theft of domestic animals has reached alarming proportions in Limpopo, which has an agriculture-dependent economy.
The province loses approximately R103 million annually from stock theft.
A report on the economic impact of stock theft between April 2017 and March last year in Limpopo found that the value of cattle stolen was R90 688 000, for sheep it was R2 862 000 and for goats the amount was R10 364 200.
Read more ...

Agriculture excluded from carbon tax until 2023

The National Assembly accepted the bill on carbon tax as well as an amendment to the National Minimum Wage Act (Act 9 of 2018).
The bill on carbon tax was in November last year introduced by Mr Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance. This legislation will play a key role in the application of government’s policy on climate change.
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Helpline to assist with stock theft

 Theft of livestock is the largest property-related crime in the Free State. It is because of this that the Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) and Free State Agriculture (FSA), in collaboration with the National Wool Growers' Association (NWGA) in the Free State, started a stock theft helpline.

  According to Dr Jane Buys, Safety and Risk Analyst at FSA, the helpline will assist farmers to make statements and also gather important information to combat this crime. “The helpline will help us determine the extent of livestock theft, as well as, in conjunction with rural communities, find ways to combat it effectively,” Buys, who is leading the project, said. The helpline started on 1 February 2019.

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New online livestock auction site launched

A new concept to trade livestock online - - was recently launched.
About 1 000 weaners were sold in less than 20 minutes on the internet auction platform.
All the calves, presented in eight different lots, were sold within a few minutes.
Read more ...

Beef prices down compared to last year

Compared year on year the average price for all beef grades (Class A, AB, B and C) are significantly down by 15,6%, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Although prices declined week on week during the week of 15 February by a further 1,6% further declines are not expected. In line with seasonality Class A beef prices are expected to enjoy underlying support as demand should increase until April. The beef prices for Class C can continue to trade between 3 to 4% lower until March.
International beef prices reach seasonally a low level in May after which it started to recover. However, the weaker Rand and expected higher US beef prices will provide underlying support on any imported beef products until May.
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Mutton prices recovered somewhat

Mutton prices recovered but are still 11% lower than a year ago, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Due to the lost FMD free zone status the price for merino skins declined week on week by 11,1% The price for merino skins are 45.3% lower than a year ago. South Africa’s lost FMD free zone status lead to a lower supply of wool and a subsequent increase of 20% in the prices of fine wool on the Australian wool market.  

Seasonally, mutton prices are at a lowest price level during March, April and May but with the exception that prices of Class C grade mutton follow demand during April higher. Prices will start to recover in April onwards.
Read more ...
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