The updated and translated Dairy Farming Handbook was launched by the Programme: Research and Technology Development Services (RTDS), Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) on the 12 October 2017 at the Sandringham Agri-Expo Livestock event.


Based on the original “Melkbeeshandleiding” compiled by Dr Muller (former Specialist Scientist, RTDS) in 2008 and reprinted due to popular demand, the translated and updated English edition can reach an even wider audience. The purpose of the handbook is to offer information to farmers (both commercial and smallholder) to remain sustainable in spite of the fluctuating farm-gate prices and increasing production costs. Compiled by experts in their particular fields, the new English edition aims to support dairy farmers with problem focused information based on scientific research. Increasing the efficiency of milk production is critical under these circumstances; either by increasing production per cow or by decreasing the production cost of milk. To this end, the comprehensive Dairy Farming Handbook includes sections on the most important aspects of dairy farming: nutrition and feeding, housing, reproduction management, breeding, milk production and quality and health and biosecurity.


Dr Ilse Trautmann (Chief Director: RTDS) hosted the event attended by dairy farmers, industry stakeholders, university staff and students and members of the press.

Dr Carel Muller, former Specialist Scientist (RTDS) and editor of the Dairy Farming Handbook, spoke about his experience in dairy farming research and the history of the book. Mr Andre Van Heerden (SAMilco) expressed his enthusiasm as a sponsor of the book and encouraged farmers to use the Handbook as a reference. Mr Chris Van Dyk (MPO) thanked the team involved in developing the book and said “that the book must be on everyone’s table and in the dairy parlour’s as a valuable resource”.




The Dairy Farming Handbook will be available free of charge as a PDF on, with limited hardcopies available.