Minutes of the Canola work group meeting
held on 9 February 2023 at Elsenburg Conference Room, Stellenbosch

  1. Opening

    Mr Jannie Bruwer opened the meeting with prayer.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed all present at the first meeting of the Canola Working Group in 2023. A special word of welcome was conveyed to everybody attending their first meeting.

  3. Attendance


    Mr AP Theron Chairperson
    Mr K Blanckenberg Grain SA
    Mr P Blom SSK
    Mr J Botes Agricol
    Dr E Briedenhann OAC
    Mr J Bruwer Bayer
    Mr C Cumming PRF
    Mr A Erasmus Inteligro
    Mr Z Folscher US
    Prof R Gous PRF
    Prof S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr P Lombard DAWC
    Mr F Meiring Lima Grain
    Mr G Keun PRF
    Mr A le Roux US
    Prof F Meyer BFAP
    Mr D Moore SOILL
    Dr D Mostert US
    Mr C Nel Overberg Agri
    Ms L Nowers DAWC
    Mr J Pyper SOILL
    Mr Z Spammer SOILL
    Dr J Strauss DAWC
    Mr R Schoeman Pioneer
    Ms L Smorenburg DAWC
    Ms HM Schreuder US
    Prof PA Swanepoel US
    Dr G van Coller DAWC
    Mr N van der Merwe Agricol
    Ms M van Deventer US
    Mr G van Schalkwyk Lima Grain
    Mr L Visser Lima Grain
    Mr L Wille BarenBrugSA


    Mr R Badenhorst Overberg Agri
    Mr C Müller Agricol
    Mr B Schultz SAGIS
  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 23 August 2022


      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the Canola Working Group, held on 23 August 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.

      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 referred to the Crop Estimates figures of 210 000 tons and mentioned SOILL figures reflected 208 000 tons, not including the summer rainfall area production. He said the expected estimates for the upcoming season were 134 000 hectares, 7 000 hectares more than the previous season.

    3. Winter rainfall region

      1. Swartland

        Feedback was given about the challenges experienced during the previous season:

        • Rain started late and cut off early;
        • Cold during planting;
        • Seed too long in the ground resulted in seed lost; and
        • Below average harvest.
      2. Southern Cape

        Feedback was given about the challenges experienced during the previous season:

        • Moisture during planting;
        • Wet season;
        • Spraying for Sclerotinia;
        • Frost; and
        • Good harvest.
    4. Summer rainfall region

      1. Eastern Cape

        Prof Swanepoel gave feedback and said that GrainSA requested the University of Stellenbosch to do grain cultivar evaluation trials and conservation agriculture trials in the Eastern Cape. He mentioned that canola and wheat were planted at two localities last year for the first time. He mentioned that summer crops for e.g. maize, sunflower, soybeans and sorghum were also planted at two localities for the first time this year and that good technical support and expertise were received from their colleagues at Fort Hare University.

        Prof Swanepoel said there's great potential and the canola yield for last year was between 2,5-3 tons. He referred to the quality analyses to be performed. He mentioned that the trials will continue for the upcoming season.

        Prof Swanepoel referred to research done on lime over a number of years. However, it was not focused on canola. He said that canola was very sensitive to soil acidity and provided information regarding lime, gypsum, sulphur and the benefit to canola.

      2. Other

        The Chairperson reported that the hectares planted at Settlers were looking good and that there was potential for canola under irrigation.

        The Chairperson also mentioned that problems were experienced with weeds in the Kroondal/Rustenburg area. He said that Mr Willie Jonker was responsible for the canola plantings at Marble Hall.

    5. Price information

      Mr Spammer reported that prices were very high at ± R9000 per ton.

      Dr Briedenhann gave feedback and referred to the weather problems experienced in Argentina, the largest exporter of soya oil cake in the world. He said the prices of soya oil cake prices were higher than expected. The current price was R13 000 per ton comparing to R10 000 six months ago. The entire protein complex was much higher than expected, and it doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon. The prices might decrease as a result of seasonality.

    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 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 2023

      Mr Lombard gave feedback and mentioned after discussions with seed companies that cultivars were available and the cultivar trials will continue in the new season. He reported in the last 20 years the canola yield has improved more than double and it was achieved with the help of all the seed companies and the improvement of genetics. The new season's trials at Riversdale and Langgewens will include seeding density.

      Mr Lombard mentioned the infection rate of Blackleg has increased and Sclerotina infections were experienced. He said the data of the retained seed correlated with the Australian and Canadian data and he mentioned retained seed should only be used in an emergency. He further mentioned for the new season seed treatment will be done as well as insecticide will be sprayed to improve the trials.

      The Chairperson referred to Mr Lombard's article published in the CanolaFokus regarding retained seed.

    2. Research projects: 2023/2024

      Mr Keun said a complete list of projects and bursaries approved by the PRF and the Oilseeds Advisory Committee will be included in the next Canola Working Group agenda. He referred to the following approved canola projects:

      • Blackleg;
      • Sclerotinia;
      • National Cultivar Trials;
      • Generic Marketing;
      • Production matters; and
      • Transformation.
    3. Sclerotinia

      Ms Lizette Nowers referred to one of the new approved projects which deals with the inoculum load of Sclerotinia stem rot of canola on the effectiveness of fungicide. She provided feedback and mentioned that Sclerotinia was not a major problem at her permanent monitoring sites last year, but at two other farms, Sclerotinia samples were taken. She referred to the Sclerotinia article published in the December CanolaFokus. Ms Nowers furthermore referred to the Sclerotinia Network discussions of next week. Ms Nowers said that for the coming season, her trials will continue at the same localities.

    4. Damage: Clethodim

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

      No new information was reported.

    5. Blackleg

      No new information was reported.

  9. Technology transfer

    1. Canolafokus

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

      The Chairperson requested Mr Lombard to publish an article in the CanolaFokus regarding high risk management.


      1. That Mr Lombard publish an article in the CanolaFokus regarding high risk management.

        Mr Lombard
        Canola Working Group

    2. Information days 2023

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

      Overberg Farmers Day 8 March 2023
      Conservation Agriculture Conference 1 and 2 August 2023
      Riversdale Farmers Day 23 August 2023
      SKOG 24 August 2023
      Hopefield Information Day 1 September 2023
    3. Videos


    4. Oilseeds Focus

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

  10. Other

    1. The canola market

      No new information was reported.

    2. Canola producers

      1. Price and back payments

        No new information was reported.

      2. PRF Canola Producer of the Year

        The matter was regarded as finalised and will be removed from the agenda.

      3. Income and Cost Budgets

        It was noted that the Income and Cost Budgets were available on the PRF web page.

    3. SKOG

      Ms Swanepoel and Dr Strauss reported that good feedback was received in respect of the new format of SKOG and mentioned that the format will remain for the new 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 mentioned the trials will continue during the coming season. Discussions were held with the role players in the seed industry regarding the possibility of funding the planting of the trials.

    6. Chemicals and Resistance

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

      The Chairperson requested Dr Van Coller to include information on chemicals and resistance in his Blackleg article for the CanolaFokus and the Oilseed Focus.


      1. That Dr Van Coller publishes an article regarding blackleg in the CanolaFokus and the Oilseed Focus.

        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 requested feedback from role players in the industry regarding the matter.

      Mr Loubser Wille of BarenbrugSA reported:

      • Understand the problem;
      • Correct cultivar into the market;
      • Make use of outside party for their marketing;
      • Will do marketing when seed's available;
      • Seed will be flown in;
      • Will be available mid-April;
      • Will not create expectations;
      • Advantage of propagation of seed in South Africa; and
      • Create IT problems.

      Mr Fanie Meiring of Lima Grain reported:

      • Budgeted a X number of seed;
      • Budgeted 48% more seed than 2022's sales;
      • Overseas supplier will supply 25% more than budgeted for;
      • Demand too big in South Africa;
      • TT Seed, 11 ton already in South Africa and 32 tons on the way to South Africa and will be flown in; and
      • 10 Tons more conventional seed.

      Mr Jan Botes of Agricol reported:

      • Local production of seed propagation;
      • Diamond and Quartz coming in by boat and expected mid-March;
      • Diamond less and Quartz more;
      • Risk spreads countries; and
      • TT has been harvested awaiting quality test; and
      • Results be available in 2 weeks.

      Mr Rikus Schoeman of Pioneer reported:

      • 100% of promised will arrive;
      • Production failed in Canada;
      • Challenges with long growers in Australia;
      • Seed for trial use will be flown in;
      • Cultivars previously available but newly produced will coming in by ship mid-March;
      • Alternative cultivars not big enough for local production;
      • Risks of production agronomically speaking and risk of timing;
      • Worldwide production doing and serving market economically and cost-effectively;
      • Pioneer worldwide not interested to start a production practice in South Africa;
      • Strategies of last year will remain namely: cold storage facilities aggressive productions; and
      • Figures for 2024 and 2025 already in for seed production in Australia.

      The Chairperson requested that the seed companies provide Mr Keun with an update by mid-March to be forwarded to the producers.


      1. That the seed companies provide Mr Keun with an update by mid-March to be forwarded to the producers.

        Mr Keun
        Canola Working Group

    2. Seed germination

      Mr Lombard gave feedback regarding a M.Sc study by Mr Lötter, on Seed germination and seed viability of different canola cultivars and how certain abiotic factors affect it: germination and seed viability of canola seed – impact on establishment success for growers.

    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 gives 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 E, in the agenda.

  14. Dates for future meetings

    The next meeting was scheduled for 8 June 2023.

  15. Adjournment

    The Chairperson mentioned that Mr Cumming was attending his last meeting before retiring at the end of February 2023. He thanked Mr Cumming for his valuable contribution in the canola industry over 11 years.

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