Minutes of the Canola work group meeting
held on 25 August 2023 at Beyerskloof, Koelenhof Road, R304, Stellenbosch

  1. Opening

    A moment of silence was observed.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed all present.

  3. Attendance


    Mr AP Theron Chairperson
    Mr K Blanckenberg Grain SA
    Mr J Botes Agricol
    Dr E Briedenhann OAC
    Mr J Bruwer Bayer
    Dr I Crous Omnia
    Mr J Jacobs Agricol
    Prof S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr P Lombard DAWC
    Mr F Meiring Lima Grain
    Mr G Keun PRF
    Mr A le Roux DAWC
    Mr C Müller Agricol
    Ms L Nowers DAWC
    Mr J Pyper SOILL
    Mr R Schoeman Pioneer
    Ms HM Schreuder US
    Ms L Smorenburg DAWC
    Dr J Strauss DAWC
    Ms A Swanepoel DAWC
    Prof PA Swanepoel PRF
    Dr G van Coller DAWC
    Ms M van Deventer US
    Mr N van der Merwe Barenbrug SA


    Mr R Badenhorst Overberg Agri
    Mr P Blom AECI
    Ms R Beukes DAFF
    Prof R Gous PRF
    Mr F le Roux GSA
    Mr C Louw GSA
    Ms S Lureman Overberg Agri
    Prof F Meyer BFAP
    Mr C Nel Overberg Agri
    Mr B Schultz SAGIS
    Mr Z Spammer SOILL
    Dr I Trautmann DAWC
    Ms C Viljoen US
    Mr G van Schalkwyk Lima Grain
  4. Personalia


  5. Confirmation of the agenda

    The agenda was approved, without any additions or amendments.

  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Minutes of a Canola Working Group meeting held on 8 June 2023


      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the Canola Working Group, held on 8 June 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.

    2. Crop estimates

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

    3. Winter rainfall region

      1. Swartland

        Feedback was provided about plantings in the Swartland. The members referred to the following:

        • Late plantings;
        • Wet conditions;
        • Nitrogen management impossible;
        • Average of 1,65 tonnes/ha;
        • 35% of hectares planted following first rains;
        • 65% of hectares were planted in the cold semi-moist soil, three weeks after April;
        • Plants in April were bigger and stronger;
        • Poor germination;
        • Message about problems relating to retained seeds to be circulated;
        • Blackleg infection;
        • Sclerotinia infection;
        • Sustainable practices;
        • Rotation systems; and
        • Price of seed.
      2. Southern Cape

        Feedback was provided about plantings in the Southern Cape. The members referred to the following:

        • Plantings during the last week of March;
        • Flowering of medium and short grower cultivars;
        • Expected an average of 1,9 tonnes/ha;
        • Weeds would have an effect;
        • 6000 hectares in total lost at 5% of 134 000; and
        • Overberg canola looks best at an average of 1,65 tonnes/ha.
    4. Summer rainfall region

      1. Eastern Cape

        Prof Swanepoel reported on the work done through DSI and TIA in cooperation with the Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture. The University of Stellenbosch was involved in planting canola at two localities. Results for last year were very similar between the two projects, showing that the yields varied on average between 1 tonnes and 2.6 tonnes/ha.

        Prof Swanepoel mentioned that six localities were planted this year at Queenstown, Stut­terheim, Alice and Keiskammahoek early in June due to the wet fields in May. He said although there was potential, the market remained a problem.

      2. Other

        Mr Bruwer asked whether plantings at Cookhouse and Humansdorp were under irrigation and whether ryegrass was under control.

    5. Price information

      Dr Briedenhann provided feedback and mentioned that the market was very volatile, affecting canola prices. The worldwide oilseeds and grains, including exchange rates, were the biggest role players. Soya oilcake was being imported at about a R3 000 difference between the import parity and the trade price. The price for soya oilcake at the time of the meeting was R10 700. Dr Briedenhann mentioned that no additional soya oilcake would be imported. Sunflower seed was currently trading at R500 less than soybeans.

      The Chairman mentioned that a difficult marketing season was expected.

    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 mentioned that good cultivars had been entered into the Elite trials. He mentioned that breeding programmes at companies yield good cultivars.

      Mr Lombard requested that Advanta representatives be invited to future working group meetings.

      The Chairman mentioned that GMOs should be investigated in terms of future sustainability. Feedback about this from producers and SOILL was of critical importance.

    2. Research projects: 2023/2024

      Mr Keun mentioned that PRF had finalised the consideration of research projects for the 2024/2025 financial year and that research projects for the same year were still being considered by OAC/OPDT.

    3. Sclerotinia

      Ms Lizette Nowers reported about the presence of Sclerotinia during the 2023/2024 season. She mentioned few lesions/infestations occurred, even under irrigation. She referred to climate conditions and infections in 2021, 2022 and 2023. She mentioned that the differences were due to temperature, moisture and wet soils.

      Spraying was done twice in the Southern Cape. In the Swartland Sclerotinia infection was very low, but one preventive spraying was done.

    4. Damage: Clethodim

      The Chairman mentioned that there were not too many reports of Clethodim damage during the season. He said it's an ongoing matter and continued awareness was important.

    5. Blackleg

      Ms Schreuder provided feedback regarding the project, "Determining the race structure and genetic diversity of Leptosphaeria species causing blackleg disease of canola in the Western Cape" and referred to the following:

      • The races of the pathogen occurring in South Africa;
      • The available data of the six locations;
      • Resistance of cultivars; and
      • Rotation of cultivars and rotation systems.
    6. Fertilisation

      (Resolution 8.6.1 of the minutes of the Canola Working Group held on 8/06/23)

      The Chairman mentioned that fertilisation formed part of the work done by Dr Izane Crous.

      Dr Izane Crous reported that it had been a very difficult year in terms of fertilisation due to the climate conditions and referred specifically to nitrogen application.

      Prof Swanepoel referred to the challenges at the beginning of the season when nitrogen could not be applied at the right time. The timing for nitrogen application is of critical importance.

      The Chairman requested Dr Izane Crous to provide information about nitrogen fertilisation at the end of the season in the form of an article to be published in CanolaFokus.


      1. That an article be published in the CanolaFokus regarding Dr Crous' work on nitrogen fertiliser.

        Dr Crous
        Canola Working Group

  9. Technology transfer

    1. Canolafokus

      (Resolution 9.1.1 of the minutes of the Canola Working Group held on 8/06/23)

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

      It was requested that articles for the CanolaFokus be prepared to provide information in the form of technology transfer relating to the following:

      • High-risk management;
      • Sclerotinia;
      • Blackleg;
      • Clethodim;
      • Retained seed;
      • Nitrogen Fertilisation;
      • Untimely swathing of canola;
      • Harvest losses; and
      • Shatter resistance.
    2. Information days 2023

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

      Southern Cape Trial visit 30 August 2023
      Swartland Trial visit 31 August 2023
      Hopefield Information Day 1 September 2023
    3. Videos

      No new information was reported.

    4. Oilseeds Focus

      The Chairperson reported that the Oilseeds Focus was available on the PRF website. The new edition of the Oilseeds Focus would be available in September 2023.

  10. Other

    1. The canola market

      Mr Peyer mentioned that the markets would be under pressure due to market volatility.

    2. Canola producers

      1. Price and back payments

        No new information was reported.

      2. Income and Cost Budgets

        No new information was reported.

    3. SKOG

      The Chairperson gave feedback regarding the SKOG Day and mentioned it was well organised and attended by + 250 attendees.

    4. TIA: Canola Trials: Eastern Cape

      It was agreed that the matter be removed from the agenda.

    5. Alternative Crops

      1. Lupins

        Mr Lombard mentioned that Fiesta started flowering on 31 July and added that Coyote looked very good.

        The Chairman mentioned that the Lupin Industry needed structure. He mentioned that seed had been received very late and referred to problems experienced with birds.

    6. Chemicals and Resistance

      The concern about resistance to chemicals was mentioned and it was said that alternatives needed to be investigated.

      Referring to ryegrass, Prof Swanepoel requested that a sample be sent to Charné Viljoen for laboratory tests at the University of Stellenbosch.

      Ms Schreuder reported that it was part of her work to have laboratory tests done for blackleg fungicide resistance.

  11. Seed

    1. Seed availability

      Mr Botes referred to seed growing at Agricol and mentioned that it was not only done in Australia, but also in South America and that trials were planted locally too. He mentioned that information had already been received but that there were problems experienced with the climate, particularly relating to plant development.

      Mr Schoeman reported that all were on track, except for the biggest volume cultivar of the parent seed that had been contaminated, i.e., 44Y94. He referred to challenges with the GMO risk and the lower tolerance allowed that was a very high risk. Local productions were investigated. Pioneer was only in Australia for the year and everything had been on track.

      No feedback was received and information would be obtained at the next meeting.

      The Chairman requested that seed companies provide feedback about the growth in genetics and technology at the next meeting. Discussions with SOILL about GMOs vs. conventional cultivars were also required.

    2. Seed germination

      The Chairman reported that the effects of kernel sizes on seed germination needed to be addressed.

    3. SACTA

      The Chairman reported that Canola was not covered by SACTA but Lupine was and mentioned that the model was working very well for wheat and soybeans.

  12. Speakers considered for future Canola Meetings

    (Resolution 12.1.1 of the minutes of the Canola Working Group held on van 8/06/23)

    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 dates for the next meetings would be circulated.

  15. Adjournment

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