Minutes of the Canola work group meeting
held on 8 June 2023 at Beyerskloof, Koelenhof Road, R304, Stellenbosch

  1. Opening

    Mr Franco le Roux opened the meeting with prayer.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed all present. A special word of welcome to Mr Jaco Jacobs and Ms Suzette Lureman, attending their first meeting and Prof Pieter Swanepoel attending the meeting on behalf of the PRF.

  3. Attendance


    Mr AP Theron Chairperson
    Mr R Badenhorst Overberg Agri
    Mr P Blom AECI
    Mr J Botes Agricol
    Dr E Briedenhann OAC
    Dr I Crous Omnia
    Mr A Erasmus Inteligro
    Mr J Jacobs Agricol
    Prof S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr P Lombard DAWC
    Ms S Lureman Overberg Agri
    Mr F Meiring Lima Grain
    Mr G Keun PRF
    Mr A le Roux DAWC
    Mr F le Roux GSA
    Mr P Lombard DAWC
    Mr D Moore SOILL
    Mr C Nel Overberg Agri
    Ms L Nowers DAWC
    Mr J Pyper SOILL
    Ms L Smorenburg DAWC
    Mr Z Spammer SOILL
    Dr J Strauss DAWC
    Prof PA Swanepoel PRF
    Dr G Van Coller DAWC
    Ms M Van Deventer US
    Mr N Van Der Merwe Barenbrug SA
    Mr G Van Schalkwyk Lima Grain


    Ms R Beukes DAFF
    Mr K Blanckenberg Grain SA
    Mr A Britz Kimleigh
    Mr J Bruwer Bayer
    Mr L Coetzee Cape Agri
    Mr G Conradie DAWC
    Mr Z Folscher US
    Prof R Gous PRF
    Prof F Meyer BFAP
    Dr D Mostert US
    Mr B Muirhead Lima Grain
    Mr C Müller Agricol
    Mr R Schoeman Pioneer
    Ms HM Schreuder US
    Mr B Schultz SAGIS
    Ms A Swanepoel DAWC
    Mr L Visser Lima Grain
  4. Personalia


  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 February 2023


      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the Canola Working Group, held on 9 February 2023, 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.

      No new information was reported.

    2. Crop estimates

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

      Mr Spammer said that the estimates for the coming season were about 134 000 hectares, confirmed by the seed companies.

    3. Winter rainfall region

      1. Swartland

        Feedback was provided about plantings in the Swartland:

        • Seeds were planted;
        • Germination was very good;
        • The circumstances were better than the previous season;
        • Rainfall over the previous three (3) weeks;
        • No spraying of weed killer due to much rain;
        • Spraying of insecticides; and
        • Canola looked good.
      2. Southern Cape

        Feedback was provided about plantings in the Southern Cape:

        • Hot during planting time;
        • Rainfall of 270 mm;
        • Wet fields;
        • Canola looked good;
        • Sclerotinia;
        • Importance of seed treatment; and
        • Weed killers worked well.
    4. Summer rainfall region

      1. Eastern Cape

        Prof Swanepoel said the Eastern Cape canola production results would be available at the next Canola Working Group meeting. He reported the work was done through DSI and TIA in cooperation with the Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture. The University of Stellenbosch was involved with the planting of canola at two localities, as well as with other summer and winter grains, using double cropping. The project was established late as a result of the wet fields. Prof Swanepoel mentioned that good technical support and expertise were received from their colleagues at Fort Hare University. He said the sunflower of the past season had challenges with Sclerotinia.

      2. Other

        The Chairperson reported that ± 600 hectares of canola were planted in Cradock and Ugie.

        Mr Spammer reported that a total of about 1100 hectares was planted in Cradock, Orania and Hopetown.

        Mr Botes referred to canola planted at Cradock and Humansdorp under irrigation, using double cropping and mentioned they needed to be made aware of crop rotation.

        Dr Lamprecht referred to canola trials planted in KwaZulu-Natal, using double cropping and mentioned the canola was doing well.

        The Chairperson said the cultivar, Belinda, was planted in the northern parts of the country.

        Dr Lamprecht enquired what yields could be obtained for canola under irrigation and if any data was available. The Chairperson referred to Australian yields of more than 4 t/ha canola, achieved under irrigation. He added that canola planted under irrigation at Marble Hall also achieved 4 t/ha.

    5. Price information

      Dr Briedenhann gave feedback and mentioned the price situation of crops had changed a lot lately, not only in South Africa, but also on the world markets. The current price for sunflower was R8 300 p/tonne and soybean R7 700 p/tonne, compared to R10 000 p/tonne a few months ago. He said the supply and demand were exaggerated but the prices were fairly balanced and were returning to normal. The prices might decrease further. He also mentioned the price for soya oil cake was R11 000 p/tonne, but was currently trading at R8 500 p/tonne as a result of too many products available in the market and difficulties in moving stock. Current prices were R10 000 p/tonne, R1 500 transport costs and 70% for canola oilcake at R7 000 p/tonne. In the world market the oil supply was good and the prices were under pressure. With canola, there was an expected increase in the production of ± 3 million tonnes. The exchange rate of R19-95 was also detrimental to the market.

      Mr Spammer referred to a vessel that was exported in April and mentioned challenges experienced by SOILL.

      The Chairperson referred to the fertiliser prices that decreased.

      Dr Briedenhann reported that exporting soybean was better than expected. He referred to the expected soybean harvest of ± 2.75 million tonnes and the expected export of ± 400 000 tonnes. Exporting soybeans to India, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

    6. Weather forecast

      (Resolution 7.6.1 of the minutes of the Canola Working Group held on 23/08/22)

      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 to launch 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 2023

      Mr Lombard reported and mentioned that trials were planted in the Southern Cape and that germination was very good.

      At Langgewens planting was in wet soil and germination followed within one week. At Philadelphia and Eendekuil planting was in dry soil. The canola is healthy and grows very well.

      Mr Lombard mentioned another seedling trial planted at Langgewens and that leaf spraying was planned. Two trials were also planted for studies on retained seeds. The yields would be determined and tested for blackleg and Sclerotinia. Some of the seeds were treated, others not. The trials at Riversdale were planted on hard soil and the Diamond cultivar looked good. He said that there would be interesting data available.

    2. Research projects: 2023/2024

      Mr Keun referred to the list of projects and bursaries approved by the PRF and the Oilseeds Advisory Committee, included in the agenda as Annexure D.

      The meeting noted the contents of the list of projects and bursaries included in the agenda.

    3. Sclerotinia

      Ms Lizette Nowers reported that the Department handled monitoring the prevalence of Sclerotinia. There were attempts to use the same localities as fixed points to do comparisons over several years. In the designated year, ten (10) commercial farms were being used to monitor the disease. Of these farms, seven (7) were in Albertinia and three (3) in the Swartland. The type of evaluation being done was the prevalence of the disease and the various factors that contribute to the disease. At the existing trials, evaluations were being done at Burgersdal, Tygerhoek, Napier, Langgewens and Hopefield. The prevalence of the disease was being considered in different rotation crop systems, as well as any possible differences in prevalence between no tilling and conventional tilling. She referred to Mr Lombard's sample trials at Riversdale where any differences in Sclerotinia prevalence between certified seed and retained seed would be considered, as well as differences between treated and untreated seeds. Spraying tests would also be conducted. In some cases, seed would not be sprayed, but others would be sprayed for blackleg. All cultivars in the evaluation trials were planted at Riversdale and Napier, where the seed would not be sprayed against Sclerotinia.

      The Chairman asked Ms Nowers to publish an article in the CanolaFokus about timeous spraying against Sclerotinia.

      Prof Lamprecht mentioned that spraying should be preventive and that there should be no waiting for the flowering stage.

    4. Damage: Clethodim

      (Resolution 8.4.1 of the minutes of the Canola Working Group held on 23/08/22)

      The Chairman requested that an awareness article about Clethodim and what may be sprayed, be published in the CanolaFokus.

    5. Blackleg

      Dr Van Coller provided feedback about Ms Schreuder's project, "Determining the race structure and genetic diversity of Leptosphaeria species causing blackleg disease of canola in the Western Cape" and referred to the:

      • Fungicide trials;
      • Blackleg population publication of the international study;
      • Races of pathogen occurring in South Africa; and
      • Retained seed trial.
    6. Fertilisation

      The Chairman mentioned that fertilisation be included as a new discussion point on the agenda for future meetings.

      He requested the publication of an article in the CanolaFokus about the timeous application of fertiliser.


      1. That an article be published in the CanolaFokus about the timeous application of fertiliser.

        Mr Lombard
        Canola Working Group

  9. Technology transfer

    1. Canolafokus

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

      Cognisance was taken that the following articles be published in the CanolaFokus:

      • High-risk management;
      • Sclerotinia;
      • Clethodim; and
      • Fertilisation.


      1. That the following articles be published in CanolaFokus:
        • High-risk management;
        • Sclerotinia;
        • Clethodim; and
        • Fertilisation.

        Mr Lombard
        Ms Nowers
        Canola Working Group

    2. Information days 2023

      The meeting noted that the following information days were scheduled for 2023:

      Canadians – Tygerhoek 27 July 2023
      Conservation Agriculture Conference 1 and 2 August 2023
      Ruminant Day – Roodebloem 17 August 2023
      Riversdale Farmers Day 23 August 2023
      SKOG 24 August 2023
      Southern Cape Trial visits 30 August 2023
      Swartland Trial visits 31 August 2023
      Hopefield Information Day 1 September 2023
      Farm Staff Development Day 20 September 2023
      Roodebloem Farmers' Day 21 September 2023
    3. Videos


    4. Oilseeds Focus

      The Chairperson reported that the Oilseeds Focus was available on the PRF website.

  10. Other

    1. The canola market

      The matter was discussed under a previous discussion point.

    2. Canola producers

      1. Price and back payments

        Mr Spammer mentioned that prices will be available during July only.

      2. Income and Cost Budgets

        The meeting noted the Income and Cost Budgets for the winter crops – 2023, included in the agenda as Annexure F.

        The Chairperson mentioned that a meeting was scheduled for 27 July 2023, between the Agricultural Economist and BFAP to discuss the Income and Cost Budgets for the winter rainfall area.

    3. SKOG

      Dr Strauss reported that SKOG day will be held on 24 August 2023 and mentioned that the format of SKOG will remain the same as the previous year.

    4. TIA: Canola Trials: Eastern Cape

      The matter was discussed under a previous discussion point by Prof Swanepoel.

    5. Alternative Crops

      1. Lupins

        Mr Lombard reported planting only one new lupin cultivar at Riversdale, Tygerhoek, Lang­gewens, Hopefield and Eendekuil. At Tygerhoek and Langgewens some of the trials were repeated. He said some of the new seed received was late and could not be included in the trials, but that some seed was planted at Langgewens and SKOG. He mentioned that no Australian materials were included in the trials, only European materials were included.

    6. Chemicals and Resistance

      (Resolution 10.6.1 of the minutes of the Canola Working Group held on 23/08/22)

      Dr Van Coller referred to his Blackleg article and mentioned it would be ready during the next week.

  11. Seed

    1. Seed availability

      The Chairman provided feedback and referred to the challenge with the availability of seed during the previous season. He said seed companies tried their best and that the year ended better than expected. He referred to the challenges ahead, as well as the potential for growth, but also that the availability of seed remained a continued matter. He requested producers to be pro-active and ensure early submission of seed orders for the next year.

      Mr Lombard said that the current prices for the sale of canola seed would damage the canola industry. In the past not enough seed was retained, but that this year would introduce a change, just in case seed would not be available and should the high prices be maintained. He referred to data about Dr Van Coller's trials about the effects of retained seed. At the current price of cultivar seed to be sold, he was concerned that retaining seed could become practice. It could cause transfer and this would affect calculating seed import quantities because producers do not order enough. He mentioned that each role player should act responsibly and that, in the case of seed companies, seed should be marketed at reasonable prices to maintain sustainability of the industry.

      The Chairman referred to the timeous availability of seed and mentioned ways in which this might be accomplished:

      • Seed companies could insure safe and timeous arrival of seed in the country, or
      • Local seed production (seed growing).

      The Chairman proposed further discussion of the matter and to keep the chain as short as possible to keep costs as low as possible. Retaining seed, the challenges of disease transfer, establishing diseases and infecting soil should also be considered. The seed companies would say that they no longer make a profit, because of too little seed sales. The seed companies would have to convey the message of retained seed and conduct research. He also mentioned that the PRF carries the current costs of research. Discussions, about the future relating to problems about seed and to maintain the establishment of canola, were necessary.

    2. Seed germination

      Mr Lombard referred to a project of Mr Lötter about germination and viability. He said that the plantings were conducted without any problems and all the seed germinated.

      The Chairman said that the differences between seed placement between the disk planter and tooth planter must be considered this year. The factors surrounding canola planting and seed size had to be addressed.

      Problems with snails and birds were mentioned.

    3. SACTA

      No new information was reported.

  12. Speakers considered for future Canola Meetings

    (Resolution 12.1 of the minutes of the Canola Working Group held on 23/08/22)

    The matter was deferred.


    1. That Prof Gous is to give a presentation about "The Vision on climate change" at the next meeting.

      Prof Gous
      Canola Working Group

  13. Additional matters

    1. Magazine Articles: Canola

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

  14. Dates for future meetings

    The next meeting was scheduled for 25 August 2023.

  15. Adjournment

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