While the summer of our discontent is still with us, even as drought still affects many parts of our country, the reality is that Autumn’s nearly here – and winter not far behind. With this in mind it’s never to early to start planning. In our feature on poultry housing this month, we take a look at what free range producers especially should be looking at for rearing poultry this winter. We also have an easy to read guide for those thinking of rearing small flocks on what to provide in terms of housing to keep your birds healthy and growing strong – and how to stop them from going astray.
Kevin’s From the Desk presents some interesting findings on the relative profitability of maize farmers – the drought notwithstanding. It seems that many maize farmers only have to harvest a fraction of what they did the year before in order to maintain their income. Don’t miss this fascinating glimpse into maize economics.
Our local news section features a mix of good news and not so good. It is always a great reminder when one of our own garners international recognition, so it’s a delight to feature the good work done by the Kuipers Group’s Eagles Pride operation, which won the prestigious Cobb Golden Comb Award. But before we get too excited, we also feature a little bit of coverage of the 2016 national budget, which seems to be a case of treading water – even if that water is a little scarce thanks to the El Nino, which RCL reports as having had a “pervaisive impact” on the group’s operations. With that in mind, we’ll continue to look for the good and the not so good to deliver a healthy balance of where we really are as a country; it’s not all bad.
Even as the first shipments of US bone-in portions arrive in South Africa, our international news section reports on the measures adopted by China to protect its markets and its people from US poultry, ignoring OIE guidelines on regionalisation that South Africa has been forced to accept. The EU is also concerned that higher production costs because of higher animal welfare standards compared to the US’ lower requirements will render EU producers uncompetitive. It is difficult not to draw the comparison between this situation and the one facing local producers regarding differences between the US and SA on food safety standards. With no AGOA leverage to hold over the heads of the Europeans, the result of the free trade agreement negotiations will be interesting to note. It seems as if what’s good for the goose is clearly not good for our gander! Other Asian countries under threat from cheaper imports that have driven their poultry markets to the brink of extinction are now adopting measures to protect these and the jobs dependent on the local poultry industries. Is anyone in our government listening?¡