Edi­tors NOTE

The Poultry Bulletin - - EDITORS NOTE - By Cameron Macken­zie

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?¡

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