Canola work group meeting
held on 31 August 2021 by means of a virtual platform (MS Teams)

  1. Opening

    The Chairperson opened the meeting with prayer.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed all present.

  3. Attendance


    Mr AP Theron Chairperson
    Ms R Beukes DAFF
    Mr K Blanckenberg Grain SA
    Mr P Blom SSC
    Mr J Bruwer Bayer Crop Science
    Dr E Briedenhann OAC
    Mr J Cloete Overberg Agri
    Mr L Coetzee Kaap Agri
    Ms I Crous AB InBev
    Mr C Cumming PRF
    Mr E Eksteen Syngenta
    Mr G Els K2
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Mr J Kellerman Barenbrug SA
    Mr G Keun PRF
    Dr S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr F Le Roux GSA
    Mr C Louw Grain SA
    Prof F Meyer BFAP
    Dr G Mostert US
    Mr C Muller Agricol
    Mr C Nell Overberg Agri
    Mr J Peyper SOILL
    Mr N Raath YARA
    Mr R Schoeman Pioneer
    Ms HM Schreuder US
    Mr Z Spammer SOILL
    Ms A Swanepoel DAWC
    Dr PA Swanepoel US
    Dr G van Coller DAWC
    Mr M van der Westhuizen Agricol
    Mr T Wessels Grain SA
    Ms M Du Preez PRF
    Ms S Brits PRF


    Mr R Badenhorst Overberg Agri
    Mr J Botes Agricol
    Mr A Britz Kimleigh
    Mr R du Toit Agricol
    Mr B Huirhead Limagrain
    Ms W Louw SAGL
    Mr K Meintjes DOW AgroScience
    Mr P Lombard DAWC
    Dr J Strauss DAWC
    Mr G van Schalkwyk Limagrain
  4. Personal matters

    The meeting extended birthday wishes to Mr Gert Els.

    The meeting congratulated Dr Erhard Briedenhann upon his election as SAGIS Chairman.

  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 10 June 2021


      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the Canola Working Group, held on 10 June 2021, be approved.
  7. General overview and crop estimates

    1. SAGIS information

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

      The contents of the presentation done by Mr Nico Hawkins were noted.

    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

        Mr Blanckenberg provided feedback on canola production in the Swartland and referred to the following matters:

        • Above average rain fall;
        • Moist and cool weather; and
        • The fact that the canola harvest looks good.
      2. Southern Cape

        Mr Le Roux provided feedback on the Southern Cape and Overberg, mentioning that:

        • The canola looks good up to Riversdale, with good yield potential;
        • The canola at Caledon seems sparse, while some areas show empty spots with a low yield potential;
        • Both areas received good rains; and
        • The canola had started shedding flowers.

        Mr Wessels provided feedback on the Swartland and Southern Cape areas, mentioning that the canola appearance is very good and that it had started shedding flowers. Some areas are wet with late germination. This is as a result of the cold weather. An average to above average harvest was expected for the entire area.

        Mr Cumming mentioned problems with chemical residue was again reported.


        1. That the matter regarding the solubility of the snail pellets be added to the to do list to investigate whether the snail pellets are as effective as previously and to establish what the cause is of the higher percentage snails this year.

          Dr Briedenhann
          Technology Committee
          Canola Work Group

    4. Summer rainfall region

      1. Eastern Cape

        No feedback.

      2. Other

        Prof Meyer provided feedback on the canola plantings at Kroondal, mentioning:

        • Significant differences in cultivars;
        • Slow cultivars are better than fast cultivars;
        • Irregular pods;
        • Plants too small for swathing to harvest; and
        • Harvest too small to be included in harvest estimates.
    5. Price information

      Dr Briedenhann reported very high import prices due to the strong price of oil. Soybean oil trade at about R22 000/tonne and Sunflower oil at about R24 000 to R25 000/tonne. He mentioned that the canola oilcake traded well and that the high oil price provided a good structure for the canola price. On SAFEX sunflower seeds trade at about R9 650/tonne due to the S&D. There will be a shortage of sunflower oilcake by the end of the year, necessitating imports at about R5 500 to R6 000/tonne. This is a very high price, auguring well for the canola oilcake price in the industry. At the time of the meeting, soybean oilcake was available at a fairly cheap price of R7 600/tonne.

      Mr Spammer provided feedback and reported that the silos were almost completed, offering about 196 000 tonnes of storage space. The silos at Moorreesburg would be ready only by late October and the depot could receive 26 000 tonnes. The rotation crop system will not allow a lot of canola in the SSK service area again.

    6. Weather forecast

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


      1. That Mr Keun shall 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 Work Group

  8. Research

    1. National cultivar trials 2021

      Mr Keun reported on behalf of Mr Lombard on the trial conditions. The cultivar trials and seasonal challenges included porcupines and various bird species, but otherwise the cultivars appear to be well and good. The legume trials are wet at Tygerhoek and some of the other trial sites show birds and snails damage. The trials at Riversdale, Langgewens and Eendekuil look very good.

      The new narrow leaf lupin, Coyote, was planted only at Riversdale and Langgewens, but looks very good.

    2. Research projects: 2021/2022

      The Chairman asked whether any research project application about snail damage had been received. Mr Keun mentioned that no such application had been received, but that the request would be referred to the Technology Committee for discussion and the required attention.

    3. Sclerotinia

      Mr Bruwer provided feedback, mentioning that the cold and wet periods were favourable for Sclerotinia infestation. There were relatively fewer cases of Sclerotinia reported compared to the previous season. He mentioned that the increased awareness efforts resulted in spraying at the right times. Mr Bruwer referred to trials to be planted and re-evaluated during swathing. Conditions in the areas should be used to determine whether a single or two sprayings may be required. Information about the cultivars must also be disclosed. Good data would be shared at a later date.

      Mr Le Roux mentioned the need to address different cultivars with Sclerotinia tolerance planted under the same conditions.

    4. Damage: Clethodim

      Mr Cumming mentioned that fields were too wet for spraying and that no feedback had been received from farmers.

      The meeting noted that alternative crops such as lupins and peas also suffer clethodim damage.


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

        Mr Cumming
        Canola Work Group

    5. Blackleg

      Ms Schreuder provided feedback, mentioning that the three trials planted at Riversdale, Tygerhoek and Langgewens looked good. Infections were checked at the beginning of the season and these were visible everywhere, particularly at Riversdale and Langgewens, more so than at Tygerhoek. Blackleg damage becomes visible only at the end of the season when stems are cut and evaluated to determine cultivar achievement. Isolation was implemented and fungi removed from the leaves to identify types and species. Checking root infections is part of the planning because these could also result from blackleg. Dr Van Coller mentioned that the Japanese radishes planted along the cultivar trials at Riversdale were covered in blackleg, while the canola cultivars appear to be in very good health. It is an indication of the good resistance genes of the canola cultivars, but also indicates the danger of overcoming the resistance and succumbing to the disease.

      The trial at Tygerhoek had to be replanted due to too much rain, but the infection rate is relatively low.

      Mr Keun referred to the blackleg article by Dr Van Coller that was published in the new Oilseeds Focus.


      1. That Mr Cumming publish an article in the Canolafokus regarding the guidelines for the use of chemicals for blackleg control.

        Mr Cumming
        Canola Work Group

  9. Technology transfer

    1. Canolafokus

      The meeting noted the articles in Canolafokus, included in the agenda documents as Annexure D. The meeting also noted that the Canolafokus was distributed via WhatsApp too.

      The Chairman thanked Messrs Cumming, Le Roux and Lombard for excellent work with the Canolafokus. The Chairman requested distribution of the blackleg article to members of the working group.

    2. Information days 2021

      The meeting noted that all information days were to take place virtually.

      The meeting noted that the information day videos would be available on 21 September 2021, on the Conservation Agriculture, Western Cape web site.

    3. Videos


    4. Oilseeds Focus

      The Chairperson reported that the Oilseeds Focus is available on the PRF website and had also been distributed via WhatsApp.

  10. Other

    1. The canola market

      The meeting noted that the matter had been discussed at a previous discussion point.

    2. Canola producers

      1. Price and back payments

        Mr Spammer reported that a back payment was distributed in April 2021. He mentioned that a further back payment will be distributed in September 2021, after approval of the SOILL Board.

      2. Canola Yield Competition

        The Chairman mentioned that the new format of the Canola Yield Competition would be discussed at the Canola Planning Committee Meeting scheduled for later in the day and that feedback would be provided to members of the working group before the end of the week.

      3. Income and Cost Budgets

        The Chairman mentioned a function to be held on 30 September 2021, to allow a meeting between BFAP and agricultural economists.

    3. SKOG: Future Planning

      The Chairman mentioned that good feedback had been received from producers about SKOG. The message must be conveyed virtually until SKOG can receive visitors again. Seed companies and researchers must become involved.

      Ms Swanepoel reported good co-operation and input received from farmers and that co-workers are on board too.

    4. TIA: Canola report

      No feedback.

      Agricol offered that Mr Marcell van der Westhuizen of Agricol, could assist TIA with the canola trials in the Eastern Cape, if necessary.


      1. That the Canola Working Group be kept informed on progress in respect of the canola trials planted in the Eastern Cape.

        Mr Keun
        Canola Work Group

    5. Alternative Crops

      The Chairman provided feedback on alternative crops and mentioned that the PRF was involved, in co-operation with the Department of Agriculture in the Western Cape, as well as Grain SA, in considering alternative crops. He referred to the lupin trials of Mr Lombard and awaiting the results of the trials to make a meaningful decision about the road ahead.

      Dr Briedenhann chaired the meeting from this point.

      Dr Briedenhann provided feedback on his lupin study and mentioned obtaining good market information in terms of uptake and lupin consumers to determine value and possible influences. It may determine the type of cultivar and yields required to produce economically and allowing the value chain to function. He mentioned that the final report of the study was available on the PRF website.

      Mr Louw requested publication of a possible article about the lupin study in the GrainSA magazine. He reported that the breeding and technology levy relating to lupins had been approved and that it is payable with effect from 1 October 2021 at R35/tonne.


      1. That the results of the lupin trials be awaited before the PRF make decisions on its involvement in lupin production.

        Mr Keun
        Canola Work Group

    6. Chemicals and resistance

      No report.

  11. Seed

    1. Seed availability

      The meeting noted that seed companies started early planning to ensure timely availability of seed for the next season.

    2. Seed germination

      The meeting noted that no problems were reported with seed germination.

  12. Additional matters

    1. Magazine articles: canola

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

    2. Speakers considered for future canola meetings

      The meeting noted that the following persons would be contacted for possible presentations to future working group meetings:

      • Mr D Lötter – Seed germination;
      • Dr P Swanepoel – Optimal planting density for canola using precision seed placement and singulation technology;
      • Ms I Crouse – to share results on her PhD study and;
      • Mr A Liebenberg – Considerations for limiting soil for canola production: Soil tillage, placement, form and fineness of lime.


      1. That the following persons be approached to give presentations to future working group meetings:
        • Dr P Swanepoel - Optimal planting density for canola using precision seed placement and singulation technology;
        • Ms I Crouse - to share results on her PhD study; and
        • Mr A Liebenberg - Considerations for limiting soil for canola production: Soil tillage, placement, form and fineness of lime.

        Mr Keun
        Canola Planning Committee

      2. That Mr D Lötter – Seed germination, be invited to give a presentation at the first meeting of the Working Group in 2022.

        Mr Keun

  13. Meeting dates

    The meeting noted that the next Canola Working Group meeting is scheduled for 1 December 2021.

  14. Adjournment

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