Hybrid meeting of the Canola work group
held on 23 August 2022 at Elsenburg Conference Room, Stellenbosch

  1. Opening

    A moment of silence was observed.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed all present at the hybrid meeting.

  3. Attendance


    Mr AP Theron Chairperson
    Mr R Badenhorst * Overberg Agri
    Ms R Beukes * DALRRD
    Mr K Blanckenberg Grain SA
    Dr E Briedenhann * OAC
    Mr P Blom * SSK
    Mr D Coetzee * Agricol
    Mr J Cloete Overberg Agri
    Mr C Cumming PRF
    Ms M Du Preez PRF
    Mr J Kellerman * BarenBrugSA
    Dr S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr F Meiring Lima Grain
    Mr G Keun PRF
    Mr F le Roux Grain SA
    Dr D Mostert * US
    Mr B Muirhead * Lima Grain
    Mr C Müller Agricol
    Mr C Nel Agricol
    Ms L Nowers DAWC
    Mr B Schultz * SAGIS
    Mr Z Spammer * SOILL
    Dr J Strauss DAWC
    Mr R Schoeman * Pioneer
    Ms L Smorenburg DAWC
    Ms A Swanepoel DAWC
    Dr G van Coller DAWC
    Mr G van Schalkwyk Lima Grain
    Ms C Viljoen * US
    Mr L Visser * Lima Grain
    Mr DT Wessels Grain SA
    Ms S Brits * PRF
    * Via video conference


    Prof R Gous PRF
    Mr P Lombard DAWC
    Mr CJ Louw Grain SA
    Mr D Moore SOILL
    Mr J Pyper SOILL
    Ms HM Schreuder US
    Prof PA Swanepoel US
  4. Personal matters

    The Chairperson informed the meeting that Mr Chris Cumming had a back operation and he was wished a speedy recovery.

  5. Confirmation of the agenda

    The agenda was accepted, without any additions or amendments.

  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Minutes of a Canola Working Group meeting held on 9 June 2022


      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the Canola Working Group, held on 9 June 2022, be approved.
  7. General overview and crop estimates

    1. SAGIS information

      The contents of the latest SAGIS Weekly Bulletin and the latest Monthly Bulletin, Annexure B, were noted. Cognisance was taken that this and other data were published on the SAGIS website.

      The contents of the presentation done by Mr Bernard Schultz were noted.

      Regarding the carry-over stock, Mr Cumming enquired about the effects of a bigger volume of carry-over stock.

      Dr Briedenhann said that it would be good if production could be done on a continued basis at export parity and if South Africa could become a net grains and oilseeds exporting country. If that were to be achieved, it would be of huge benefit to the country and the agricultural industry.

      Mr Spammer reported there is enough storage capacity in the silos for the carry-over canola stock and that prices would not be affected.

    2. Crop estimates

      Cognisance was taken of the Crop Estimate Committee's information included in the Agenda as Annexure C.

      Cognisance was taken of the Crop Estimate Committee's information in respect of the canola area planted, canola production and the most important areas planted per district, presented by Ms R Beukes.

      The Chairperson thanked Ms Beukes for her input.

    3. Winter rainfall region

      1. Swartland

        Feedback was given about the challenges experienced during the season:

        • Seed availability;
        • Poor germination;
        • No emergence of canola in the Sandveld;
        • Late flowering;
        • Drought;
        • Planting density;
        • Absent pods; and
        • Different cultivars planted.
      2. Southern Cape

        Feedback was given about the challenges experienced during the season:

        • Drought;
        • Fast growers, absent pods; and
        • Average harvest.
    4. Summer rainfall region

      1. Eastern Cape

        Dr Strauss gave feedback and mentioned training provided for researchers and farmers at Umtata.

        Trials were planted by hand, as they did not know how to use the planter correctly. One of the trials was destroyed by monkeys.

        Dr Strauss also mentioned a plan to revisit the Eastern Cape during March 2023.

      2. Other

        The Chairperson gave feedback and mentioned that hectares planted at Settlers were looking good and that there was potential. He mentioned high moisture levels in the soil that required no additional irrigation.

        The Chairperson reported that only one trial looked good at Koedoeskop.

        The Chairperson also mentioned that no planting was done at Marble Hall and that problems were experienced with weeds in the Kroondal/Rustenburg area.

    5. Price information

      Mr Spammer said no new information was available. He mentioned that representatives from SOILL visited farmers in the Southern Cape and Moorreesburg to inform them of market conditions and the formulation of prices.

      Dr Briedenhann reported that the market was volatile, representing a bear market with a possible decrease in prices.

      The Chairperson mentioned the uncertainty in the market at the time of the meeting.

    6. Weather forecast

      The meeting noted that the matter would stand over until a suitable person could be identified to assist and provide future reports at the Canola Working Group meetings.

      1. That Mr Keun launches an investigation to find a person with a weather science background, to assist and provide future reports at the Canola Working Group meeting.

        Mr Keun
        Canola Working Group

  8. Research

    1. National cultivar trials 2022

      Ms Smorenburg reported that Mr Lombard planted trials, including trials in the Southern Cape. She mentioned that problems with poor germination were experienced at Klipdale, as a result of a ramnas problem, but that it was under control at the time of the meeting.

      Ms Smorenburg reported that three short grower cultivars were planted in the Southern Cape and that nets were used for protection of the trials.

    2. Research projects: 2022/2023

      Mr Keun reported that no new information was available for the current year (2022/2023). He mentioned that the process for new applications for 2023/2024 had been completed for both the PRF and OAC.

      Mr Keun also reported that the PRF's process for continuation applications for the 2023/2024 had been completed, but that the OAC 2023/2024 continuation applications were being processed at the time of the meeting. Comprehensive feedback regarding funding of the projects for 2023/2024 would be provided at the next Canola Working Group meeting.

    3. Sclerotinia

      Ms Lizette Nowers gave feedback regarding the Sclerotinia trials referring to flowering and the incidence differences for respective years. Riversdale reported many Sclerotinia infections during the previous year, but it differed from the flowering time of the trials at the time of the meeting. She mentioned surveys at the Riversdale farmers' day to determine the average relative immunity for leaves. The result was 92% at the Sclerotinia trials, in spite of the low rainfall experienced.

      Ms Nowers reported that Tygerhoek had more rain, representing 56% of rainfall for the previous year during flowering time, with an average immunity reading of 94%. She mentioned that many farmers in the Southern Cape sprayed twice. The evaluation for the Swartland trials still had to be done at the time of the meeting.

      The Chairman mentioned that the effects of diseases were much higher during a poor year, compared to a good year.

    4. Damage: Clethodim

      The matter would remain on the agenda to create continued awareness.


      1. That it be noted that producers will be kept informed about clethodim continuously.

        Mr Cumming
        Canola Working Group

    5. Blackleg

      The Chairperson gave feedback regarding the Jack Human Conservation Agriculture week and referred to the contribution of Dr Angela Van De Wouw, an expert on blackleg and blackleg research.

      Dr Van Coller gave feedback regarding trials planted in the Swartland, Overberg and Southern Cape. He mentioned there were six registered chemicals to control blackleg diseases. The trials showed good progress, but the drought in the Swartland caused a slight regression. Canola at Langgewens struggled. He mentioned problems relating to different seed lines, particularly to obtain canola lines with specific resistant gene and susceptible lines without resistance from international sources. Dr Mostert obtained an import permit to bring in a little seed stock from Canada and the UK. These must be multiplied here to continue with the trials.

      Dr Van Coller mentioned that fungicides had been sprayed already. He mentioned that the cultivar trials at Hopefield and Tygerhoek looked very good. At Riversdale problems with snails were reported, while problems with weeds were mentioned at Langgewens.

      Dr Strauss thanked the PRF for the financial contribution relating to Dr Angela Van De Wouw, for her participation as speaker at the Jack Human Conservation Agriculture week.

  9. Technology transfer

    1. Canolafokus

      The meeting noted the articles published in the CanolaFokus, included in the agenda as Annexure E.

    2. Information days 2022

      The meeting noted that the following information days were scheduled for 2022:

      SKOG 25 August 2022
      Southern Cape Cultivar trial visit 31 August 2022
      Swartland trial visit 1 September 2022
      Hopefield Information Day 2 September 2022
    3. Videos


    4. Oilseeds Focus

      The Chairperson reported that the Oilseeds Focus was available on the PRF web page. He referred to the canola article published in the latest edition and mentioned that the September edition would be available soon.

  10. Other

    1. The canola market

      Dr Briedenhann reported about the larger profit margins and also referred to SOILL processing capacity in Moorreesburg, which is very positive. He mentioned commodity prices were high but that the prices may decrease in future.

      The Chairperson raised a question about the possibilities of exporting canola this year, in terms of the current world market model at the time of the meeting.

      Dr Briedenhann said looking at oilseed prices in general were below export parity for a while, but exports would be possible if opportunities arose. He added that logistics was one of the biggest challenges.

    2. Canola producers

      1. Price and back payments

        The matter was discussed under a previous discussion point.

      2. PRF Canola Producer of the Year

        No new information was available.

      3. Income and Cost Budgets

        Cognisance was taken that these were on-going matters at BFAP and Grain SA.

    3. SKOG: Future Planning

      The Chairman referred to the SKOG Day planned for 25 August 2022. He explained the new model and said that there would be 14 visiting points.

    4. TIA: Canola report

      The matter was discussed under a previous discussion point.

    5. Alternative Crops

      1. Lupins

        The meeting noted the article, included in the agenda as Annexure F.

        The Chairperson mentioned that the seed companies should assist in identifying the correct varieties to be tested. He said Lupins would have a place in the farming/rotation systems.

    6. Chemicals and Resistance

      Mr Cumming mentioned challenges experienced:

      • Climate;
      • Weeds;
      • Resistance against ryegrass/ramnas;
      • Spraying at wrong time; and
      • Poor administration.

      Ms Viljoen requested that samples be sent to the University of Stellenbosch to test for resistance.

      Mr Cumming requested that Ms Viljoen attend the next CropLife meeting to convey the message, that she is Dr PJ Pieterse's successor at the university, to the agents.

      Dr Van Coller requested that blackleg resistance be added to the discussion point. He mentioned it forms part of Ms Schreuder's PhD study. He said there is widespread resistance to using triazoles in Australia and reported there were registered chemical substances containing triazole to control blackleg, but also some containing SDHI. He also mentioned that Ms Schreuder published a study about this last year.

      The Chairperson requested Dr Van Coller to add the information, regarding chemicals and resistance, to the proposed blackleg article for CanolaFokus.


      1. That Dr Van Coller publishes an article for the CanolaFokus regarding blackleg.

        Dr Van Coller
        Canola Working Group

  11. Seed

    1. Seed availability

      The Chairperson gave feedback regarding the challenges experienced with the availability of seed. He referred to the farm safe seed and future problems that might be experienced.

      He requested feedback from role players in the industry regarding the availability of seed.

      Mr Christof Müller of Agricol reported:

      • All seeds are flown in;
      • New TT cultivar (AG-Bravo);
      • Two TT cultivars available in the market;
      • Four lines involved in trials at the Department of Agriculture;
      • Clearfield canola trials;
      • Conventional side, two new lines; and
      • Local production in North West Province.

      Mr Gys Van Schalkwyk of Lima Grain reported:

      • Four commercial cultivars;
      • Reasonable seed volumes ordered from Australia;
      • One cultivar available in November, sold immediately for next season;
      • Two TT and two conventional cultivars next year;
      • Six cultivars in Elite trials for evaluation;
      • Two cultivars that were included in trials during the previous year, but without sufficient data to be considered conventional. Seed already available overseas. If successful, seed will be available;
      • Blazer TT seed available in November; and
      • Other cultivars available in March.

      Mr Jaco Kellerman of BarenBrugSA reported:

      • Awaiting feedback, final information and impact on prices.

      Mr Rikus Schoeman of Pioneer reported:

      • Pioneer will remain with Clearfield, three cultivars;
      • Results of trials under evaluation are confidential;
      • Seed retained at customs until after planting time, but planted late at Langgewens;
      • Invest in cooling facilities;
      • Keep buffer seed stocks in country;
      • Negotiations with Canada for production schedule adjustments; and
      • Quantities look good with more seed for season.
    2. Seed germination

      The Chairperson referred to an article published in the June edition of the Oilseeds Focus regarding: "Seed size and seeding rate effects on canola emergence, development, yield and seed weight".

    3. SACTA

      No new information available.

  12. Additional matters

    1. Speakers Considered for Future Canola Meetings

      Dr Briedenhann gave a presentation about transport and referred to the following:

      • Main challenges related to global shipping;
      • Lockdowns in China create bleak outlook;
      • Future of shipping for the next two years;
      • Logistics in South Africa
      • SA Oilseeds;
      • Exports of canola seed;
      • SA soybeans; and
      • Major challenge for oilseed industry is logistics.

      In the conclusion of his presentation, Dr Briedenhann mentioned that:

      • South Africa needs to invest significantly in port facilities for export purposes;
      • Railway system needs improvements to free up capacity on roads;
      • Shipping costs could remain challenging over the short to medium term; and
      • Logistics play a major role, especially to move oilcake from production regions to regions of demand. Solutions must be created.

      The Chairperson thanked Dr Briedenhann for his presentation.


      1. That cognisance is taken of Dr Briedenhann's presentation about transport.

        Canola Working Group

      2. That Prof Gous gives a presentation about "The Vision on climate change" at the next meeting.

        Prof Gous
        Canola Working Group

    2. Magazine articles: Canola

      The meeting noted the contents of the canola related articles included as Annexure F, in the agenda.

  13. Dates for future meetings

    The date for the next meeting will be circulated.

  14. Adjournment

    There being no further matters for discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 13h00.