Canola work group meeting
held on 9 June 2020 by means of a virtual platform (MS Teams)

  1. Opening

    A moment of silence was observed.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed everybody present, particularly Mr J de Kock, at his first meeting.

  3. Attendance


    Mr AP Theron Chairperson
    Ms R Beukes SAGIS
    Mr K Blanckenberg Grain SA
    Mr P Blom SSK
    Mr J Botes Agricol
    Dr E Briedenhann PRF
    Mr C Cumming PRF
    Mr J de Kock Grain SA
    Ms M du Preez PRF
    Mr E Eksteen Syngenta
    Mr A Erasmus InteliGro
    Mr M Gregory Overberg Agri
    Ms C Grobler BASF
    Mr I Jansen van Rensburg Barenbrug
    Mr J Kellerman Agricol
    Mr G Keun PRF
    Dr S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr P Laubscher Overberg Agri
    Mr P Lombard DAWC
    Mr C Louw Grain SA
    Ms W Louw SAGL
    Prof F Meyer BFAP
    Ms L Nowers DAWC
    Mr C Nell Overberg Agri
    Mr Z Spammer SOILL
    Dr J Strauss DAWC
    Ms A Swanepoel DAWC
    Mr R Schoeman Pioneer
    Dr J Strauss DAWC
    Dr P Taljaard Bayer
    Dr G van Coller DAWC


    Mr A Britz Kimleigh
    Mr G Els K2 Agri
    Mr W Jonker PRF
    Mr J Loubser PRF
    Mr K Meintjes DOW AgroScience
    Prof F Meyer BFAP
    Dr PA Swanepoel US
  4. Personal matters

    The meeting wished Dr PA Swanepoel a speedy recovery after his hip surgery.

  5. Confirmation of the agenda

    The meeting approved the agenda.

  6. Approval of minutes: 27 November 2019


    1. That the minutes of the meeting of the Canola Work Group meeting, held on 27 November 2019, be approved.
  7. General overview and crop estimates

    1. SAGIS information

      Cognisance was taken of the latest edition of SAGIS's Weekly Bulletin and Monthly Data included in the agenda.

    2. Crop estimates

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

      The Chairperson thanked Ms Beukes for her input.

    3. Winter rainfall region

      1. Swartland

        In respect of the Swartland, Mr Blanckenberg reported as follows:

        • Disappointing rain fall during April and May, resulting in different stages of germination or poor germination that could not be attributed to the quality of the seeds;
        • Famers had to replant canola as a result of insect damage and poor germination; and
        • The late rain resulted in late plantings.

        He expressed the hope that conditions would improve to secure a good canola yield.

      2. Southern Cape

        Mr P Laubscher reported that during the period, February to April, the rain fall was below the long-term average, but during May rain fall above average. Caledon started planting early, but Bredasdorp progressed more slowly. After the rainfall in May, germination conditions were very good. There was some insect damage, which is normal. The overall yield prospects look very good and positive.

        Mr Spammer mentioned that some of the producers did plant early in April, but that the canola only emerged at the end of May. Although some of the canola plants were flowering, others were still at seedling stage. He was satisfied with the emergence, but management that involves spraying against Sclerotinia, as well as sprayings against grass remain difficult.

        Mr R Schoeman reported that challenges in the harbours affected seed imports.

        Mr J De Kock also referred to the rain fall and the effects of that on canola production. He mentioned that the general opinion was that canola production had been delayed by a month.

        The Chairperson mentioned that wheat, barley, canola and lupines each had a place, ensuring full utilisation of the space created for each crop.

        Mr P Blom provided information regarding the rain fall figures for the following areas in the Western Cape:

        Swellendam 59 mm
        Protem 34 mm
        Heidelberg 43 mm
        Karringmelk 57 mm
        Albertinia 60 mm
        Riversdale 44 mm
    4. Summer rain fall region

      1. Eastern Cape

        Dr Strauss reported that there were no canola plantings in the Eastern Cape.

      2. Other

        The Chairperson reported on the plantings in Marble Hall. Shorter growers have been planted and the emergence was good.

    5. Price information

      Dr Briedenhann reported that the high exchange rate and oil price affected the price of soya oilcake. The relative values should be revised at some stage, particularly for oilcake. The relative values were closer to 75%, not 65%. The global oilcake price was relatively low. China bought high volumes soybeans from the USA and this rather consolidated the price. The sustainability is not certain as they are pressing high volumes. The oilcake price is strengthening. At the time of the meeting, the biggest factor for determining the price was the exchange rate. This makes purchasing canola seed for the next season difficult. Canola seed traded at R6 500 per tonne, a price that is reasonable for a producer. The oil price and oil supply remain two aspects that caused problems, as these were under pressure. The supply of canola oilcake in the Western Cape is good, because of the value in that industry. Sunflower seed traded at R5 700 per tonne and soybeans at R6 600 per tonne. There will be many variables in the market until August.

      Mr Louw mentioned that GrainSA communicated the producers' needs to SOILL to apply price management or hedging before August. SOILL's feedback was that the matter is under investigation.

    6. Weather forecast

      The meeting requested Mr Keun to enquire about a person with a weather science background to consult about reporting. Ms Swanepoel would assist with the weather forecast at the next meeting.


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

        Mr Keun
        Canola Work Group

    7. Sclerotinia

      Ms Lizette Nowers informed the meeting, using a presentation on Sclerotinia stem rot affecting canola in the Western Cape. The presentation will be circulated to the Work Group members.

      The Chairperson thanked Ms L Nowers for her input and presentation.

    8. Damage: Clethodim

      Mr Cumming reported that a lot of effort was made last year regarding the matter, including discussions about the reasons for Clethodim damage. Mr Lombard published an article in Canolafokus, distributing all the information.

      Mr Cumming also referred to his discussions with CropLife and that companies adjusted labels to recommend earlier spraying times. The recommendation was to initiate spraying between the two- to four-leaf stages of canola.

      Mr Cumming mentioned that Clethodim could cause significant problems in the Swartland and Southern Cape this season, due to the uneven growth stages.

      The Chairperson proposed that Mr Cumming publishes another article in some of the agricultural magazines, to increase awareness in respect of Clethodium damage.


      1. That an article be published in Landbouweekblad and Farmers' Weekly to create awareness and inform producers about Clethodim damage.

        Mnr Cumming
        Canola Work Group

  8. Research

    1. National cultivar trials 2020

      Mr Lombard reported that this year presented a bigger challenge than the previous years. He referred to challenges with the import of seeds and mentioned that the first cultivar trials were planted in May. These trials were planted at four localities only, namely Riversdale, Riviersonderend, Hopefield and Langgewens. Mr Lombard referred to the elite trials and mentioned that virtual farmers' days were being planned.

      The Chairperson thanked Mr Lombard for his contribution.

    2. Research projects: 2020/2021

      The meeting noted that many of the projects funded by the PRF are focussed on technology transfer and more practical research. Other projects such as the cultivar trials and other research projects were being funded by the Oilseeds Trust and Oilseeds Advisory Committee.

      The meeting noted the complete list of projects and bursaries funded by the PRF, included in the meeting documents as Annexure E. It was also mentioned that the information is available on the PRF website.

  9. Technology transfer

    1. Canolafokus

      The meeting noted the articles published in the Canolafokus, included in the agenda documents. The Chairperson thanked all Canolafokus contributors for their excellent work.

      Mr Keun mentioned that the latest Canolafokus, focusing on black stem, was distributed on 8 June 2020.

    2. Information days 2020

      Dr Strauss mentioned that the Riversdale Information Day, Hopefield Farmers' Day and the Conservation Agriculture Conference would all take place by using a virtual platform.

      The meeting noted that the following information days:

      4 August Conservation Agriculture Conference
      19 August Riversdale Information Day
      25 August SKOG Day
      27 August Roodebloem Information Day
      4 September Hopefield Farmers' Day


      1. That respective information days be noted.

        Canola Work Group

    3. Videos

      The Chairperson requested that the matter regarding a harvest losses video be held in abeyance.


      1. That the matter regarding a harvesting techniques video be held in abeyance.

        Canola Work Group

    4. Oilseeds Focus

      The Chairperson mentioned that Oilseeds Focus was one of the better publications currently available in the agricultural sphere. He requested members of the meeting to contact Dr Briedenhann about any available contributions for publication in the magazine.

      Dr Briedenhann mentioned that the June issue of Oilseeds Focus was available. He also mentioned that the Oilseeds Focus is aimed at promoting good technology transfer. There was a dedicated effort to maintain a balance between the respective oilseeds.

    5. Presentation – Australia visit: 23 August to 6 September 2019, "To explore disease Research Strategies, conservation agriculture practices on sandy soils, use of drone technology within both cropping and disease research, alternative legume crops research, cover crops and seeder technology", Dr Johann Strauss, DAWC

      The Chairperson thanked Dr Strauss for the feedback about his visit to Australia. The meeting noted the report included as an annexure in the documents distributed with the agenda for the meeting.

  10. Other

    1. The canola market

      Mr Zander Spammer reported that canola was an unsaturated market at the time of the meeting. If 120 000 tonnes could be realised, it would be very good. The canola tonnage was not at the expected levels.

    2. Canola producers

      1. Price and back payments

        Mr Zander Spammer mentioned that in terms of backlogs, taking into account the market, back payments would be paid no earlier than September 2020. The prices will be circulated on 1 August 2020. SOILL was conducting an investigation to adjust the price model, in order to make price information available earlier.

      2. Canola Yield Competition

        Mr Cumming mentioned that the competition would continue in the same format as for 2019. He also mentioned the good support received from SOILL.

        Mr Keun mentioned that the administration would be handled by the PRF office. This related to the timeous distribution of information, rules and guidelines about the competition.

  11. Seed

    1. Seed availability

      The meeting noted that there were no problems with the availability of canola seed at the time of the meeting.

    2. Seed germination

      The meeting noted that the item would be held in abeyance for discussion at the next Canola Work Group meeting.

  12. Additional matters

    1. Magazine Articles: canola

      The meeting noted that canola related articles were included as Annexure I, in the documentation distributed for the meeting.

    2. Speakers considered for future canola meetings

      The meeting noted that the following persons would be contacted to give presentations to the work group meetings:

      • Mr Jaco Wolfaardt – The conservation of bees;
      • Mr Kobus van Huysteen, SANSOR – The legal aspects of the quality of seed;
      • Mr D Lötter – Seed germination.


      1. That the following persons be approached to give presentations to the work group meetings:
        • Mr Jaco Wolfaardt – The conservation of bees;
        • Mr Kobus van Huysteen, SANSOR – The legal aspects of the quality of seed;
        • Mr D Lötter – Seed germination.

        Mr Keun
        Canola Planning Committee

    3. SKOG: future planning

      The meeting noted that the item would be held in abeyance as the SKOG meeting had not taken place yet.

    4. DSI Canola Report

      Mr Keun mentioned that the report, referred to at the previous meeting, had been included in the documents circulated with the agenda. He also referred to the fact that the report had been prepared based on discussions with various role players in the industry. The most important to be noted was all the actions listed in the report. A workshop with role players in the canola industry had been planned for March to discuss the report and actions, but the workshop had to be postponed due to the lockdown. The hope was to fit it in at a later stage. He mentioned that he was busy, in the interim, gathering information about the actions that were already receiving attention in terms of research projects, bursaries, practical work and technology transfer, to submit the relevant information and inform the DSI that many of the listed points of action were already being addressed within the industry. As soon as a new date for the workshop had been determined, the date would be circulated to all the role players.


      1. That a new date for the planned workshop be circulated to role players in the canola industry.

        Mr Keun
        Canola Work Group

    5. Alternative crops

      Mr Lombard provided feedback about the planting of lupin trials, as well as data available from the previous season. He referred to the trials planted for the current season, the challenges experienced, but also the good co-operation of Agricol and Barenbrug.

      The Chairperson thanked Mr Lombard for his work related to this matter. The Chairperson mentioned that lupins do have a place in rotation systems in the Southern Cape and the Swartland, but that the correct cultivars were important.

      Dr Briedenhann mentioned that the type of alternative crop was a combination between a source of protein and a source of energy. He mentioned that it was important to evaluate these in terms of the relative value compared to other basic values.

  13. Meeting dates

    The meeting noted the following dates scheduled for the Canola Work Group meetings:

    • 26 August 2020 (virtual meeting)
    • 25 November 2020
  14. Adjournment

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