Canola work group meeting
held on 11 February 2022 at Perdeberg Cellar, Vryguns Farm, Windmeul, Paarl

  1. Opening

    A moment of silence was observed.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed all present. A special word of welcome to all the representatives of the Seed Companies that had to provide feedback about the availability of seed. He mentioned the meeting would adjourn at 12:00 for lunch and that the PRF Canola Producer of the Year prize giving function for Swartland would start after lunch.

  3. Attendance


    Mr AP Theron Chairperson
    Mr R Badenhorst Overberg Agri
    Mr K Blanckenberg Grain SA
    Mr P Blom SSK
    Mr J Botes Agricol
    Dr E Briedenhann OAC
    Mr A Britz Kimleigh
    Mr J Bruwer Bayer
    Mr J Cloete Overberg Agri
    Mr J Coetsee Landbouweekblad
    Mr C Cumming PRF
    Mr A Erasmus Inteligro
    Mr Z Folscher US
    Mr J Kellerman Barenbrug SA
    Mr G Keun PRF
    Ms G Kriel Farmers Weekly
    Mr H Lochner Plaas Media
    Dr S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr D Lesch Farmer
    Mr P Lombard DAWC
    Dr G Mostert US
    Mr B Muirhead Lima Grain
    Mr C Müller Agricol
    Ms L Nowers DAWC
    Mr J Pyper SOILL
    Ms HM Schreuder US
    Ms L Smorenburg DAWC
    Mr Z Spammer SOILL
    Dr J Strauss DAWC
    Ms A Swanepoel DAWC
    Dr PA Swanepoel US
    Mr R Schoeman Pioneer
    Dr G van Coller DAWC
    Mr N van der Merwe Agricol
    Mr E van Heerden Farmer
    Mr G van Schalkwyk Lima Grain
    Ms C Viljoen US
    Mr G Visser Diemersdal
    Mr H Walters Waltersgrp


    Mr G Els Lima Grain
    Ms A Genis Landbouweekblad
    Prof R Gous PRF
    Mr W Jonker Klein Karoo Seed
    Mr T Wessels Grain SA
  4. Personal matters

    The Chairman expressed sympathy with all those that lost family members, friends and loved ones due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr Pieter Pieterse retired at the University of Stellenbosch and Ms Charnè Viljoen was appointed as his successor. She was welcomed at the meeting.

  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 31 August 2021


      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the Canola Working Group, held on 31 August 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 Bulletin, Annexure B, were noted. Cognisance was taken that this and other data were published on the SAGIS website.

      The Chairperson mentioned that Mr Nico Hawkins retired from SAGIS. Dr Briedenhann, SAGIS Chairman, reported that Mr Bernard Schultz had been appointed as Mr Hawkins' successor at SAGIS.

    2. Crop estimates

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

      The Chairperson recognised the Crop Estimates Committee, stating it made a difference in the industry. The Chairperson referred to Mr Spammer of SOILL and his feedback in respect of the 197 000 tonnes canola produced.

      The Chairperson mentioned that during the feedback of the seed companies attention must be given to the following matters:

      • Expectations for the new season;
      • Retention of seed;
      • Market expectations; and
      • New cultivars.
    3. Winter rainfall region

      1. Swartland

        The Chairperson gave feedback and mentioned the following:

        • During the past season there was not much difference between the climate conditions in Swartland and the
        • Southern Cape;
        • Good rainfall and wet condition were experienced;
        • There was more interest in planting canola; and
        • Good yields were obtained.
      2. Southern Cape

        The matter was discussed during the previous discussion point, 7.3.1.

    4. Summer rainfall region

      1. Eastern Cape

        The Chairman reported that not many canola hectares had been planted in the Eastern Cape and hoped that this could be expanded in future.

      2. Other

        The Chairperson mentioned that in the summer rainfall region crop yields during trials/plantings were very poor, with little or no rain after planting. Mr Willie Jonker will plant his trials in the summer rainfall region again this year.

    5. Price information

      The matter was held in abeyance.

    6. Weather forecast

      The matter was held in abeyance.

  8. Research

    1. National cultivar trials 2021

      The Chairperson reported that the results of the cultivar trials were published in the Canolafokus.

      Mr Lombard provided feedback and referred to the planning for the new season. There were movements within the cultivar market with secure seed availability from Pioneer, Agricol and K2.

      He provided feedback relating to the 2021 results and mentioned that it had been a good year.

      In the Southern Cape long growing cultivars were planted. These did very well and a good yield was obtained. Sclerotinia damage was reported.

      The Swartland experienced good rainfall and yields. Blackleg damage was reported.

      Good data had been collected and the road ahead seemed very positive.

    2. Research projects: 2021/2022 and 2022/2023

      Dr Pieter Swanepoel provided feedback about projects that had been finalised recently, as well as projects that were current at the University of Stellenbosch:

      • "Developing nitrogen fertiliser management strategies for wheat (Triticum aestivum) and canola (Brassica napus) under conservation agriculture practices in the Western Cape", Izane Crous

        The meeting noted that Izane Crous obtained her PhD. Information about her studies had been provided in the form of articles.

      • "Optimal plant density for canola using precision seed placement and singulation technology"

        Feedback would be provided as soon as more information had been obtained.

      Dr Swanepoel referred to projects that were conducted in co-operation with the Department of Agriculture. There were various projects about climate change, lime, lime and gypsum, rotation systems and insects. In addition, a new project about canola cultivar trials in the Eastern Cape was due to start this year by GrainSA. This was planned for expansion to conservation farming and trials relating to canola cultivar evaluations, with summer cultivar evaluations for summer grain, maize and sorghum, as well as sunflowers and soya beans. The plan was to evaluate these within a conservation farming system.

      The Chairman emphasised the importance of research and that recognition was due to the OAC for funding provided to many of the projects. He mentioned the problems with snails and that there was no actual research relating to this.

      Mr Keun mentioned that the problem had been referred to the Technology Committee and that the matter would be discussed at the Technology Committee Meeting to be held.

    3. Sclerotinia

      Ms Lizette Nowers gave feedback in respect of Sclerotinia and touched on the following matters:

      • Geographical Incidence (Commercial Canola Fields and Canola Trials in 2021) – Pre- and post-harvest;
      • Seed Densities; and
      • Cultivars.
    4. Damage: Clethodim

      The matter was held in abeyance.

    5. Blackleg

      Dr Van Coller gave feedback regarding the two Blackleg projects financed by the OAC namely:

      • "Integrated management of blackleg of canola in the Western Cape by means of cultivar resistance and chemical control"; Dr GJ van Coller; and
      • "Determining the race structure and genetic diversity of Leptosphaeria species causing blackleg disease of canola in the Western Cape", Dr D Mostert.

      Dr Van Coller also referred to the research to be conducted by Zander Folscher, relating to seed, specifically retained seed. This will be conducted by means of questionnaires to be completed by producers and will be conducted with the assistance of SOILL.

      He requested assistance from the seed industry to import seeds for the trials.

      Ms Schreuder presented a presentation about the project: "Determining the race structure and genetic diversity of Lepto­sphaeria species causing blackleg disease of canola in the Western Cape" and referred to:

      • Blackleg cultivar resistance trials;
      • Calculating the Disease Severity Index (DSI);
        (Langgewens / Riversdale / Tygerhoek)
      • Population study.
  9. Technology transfer

    1. Canolafokus

      The matter was held in abeyance.

    2. Information days 2021

      The matter was held in abeyance.

    3. Videos


    4. Oilseeds Focus

      The matter was held in abeyance.

  10. Other

    1. The canola market

      The matter was held in abeyance.

    2. Canola producers

      1. Price and back payments

        The matter was held in abeyance.

      2. PRF Canola Producer of the Year

        The matter was held in abeyance.

      3. Income and Cost Budgets

        The matter was held in abeyance.

    3. SKOG: Future Planning

      The matter was held in abeyance.

    4. TIA: Canola report

      The matter was held in abeyance.

    5. Alternative Crops

      The matter was held in abeyance.

    6. Chemicals and Resistance

      The matter was held in abeyance.

  11. Seed

    1. Seed availability

      Seed companies' discussion about the availability of canola seed:

      Mr Jan Botes – Agricol, mentioned the following:

      Canola seed production takes place in Australia, New Zealand, North America and South America. The availability of sufficient canola stock was impacted by the extreme heat conditions that occurred in parts of South America. Planting additional quantities on other continents to address the shortages was hampered, partially by the shortage of sufficient breeder seed for the additional plantings. In addition there were no available canola transfer seed this year. The quality standards of seed suppliers are strict and the process of evaluation takes several weeks during and after the processing period. There were shortages at the conventional suppliers, but Agricol had the alternative, Quartz available while stocks lasted. Quartz had been the top conventional canola cultivar for three consecutive years in the Southern Cape. In the Swartland, Quartz was runner up, while Diamond performed as top cultivar in the conventional group. The actual challenge was with the TT's and there seems to be shortages. With all the shipping loads, international shortages of shipping containers and harbour congestions, Agricol decided to fly in cultivars, to allow cultivars to be ready at the end of March/beginning of April, on time and ready for the producers. The first part of the Quartz delivery was already in South Africa and would be distributed. The remainder of the Quartz and Diamond is expected by mid-March. The Alpha TT was being processed and was expected by the end of March/beginning of April.

      Mr Jaco Kellerman – Barenbrug SA, mentioned the following:

      It was mentioned during the meeting, but Barenbrug realised at the end of last year that availability of canola seed would pose a problem and the information was shared with distributors and direct customers. The Barenbrug supplier also announced that two cultivars would no longer be available commercially. Confirmation was given that the situation was being managed to ensure sufficient availability of seed in 2023. The risk was distributed more by production planting in Chile too, not only in Australia.

      Mr Rikus Schoeman – Kaapland Pioneer mentioned the following:

      Pioneer's worldwide production network makes it possible to allocate any quantity contractually from South Africa, irrespective of the country of production. This means that we get what we request, with 100% assurance of that, although the only requirement is that nature allows this allocation. It is that simple. In terms of 2022, we obtained 99,5% of the product we requested.

      Pioneer can also distribute risk by producing seed in different countries. The drought in Canada did have an adverse effect on the Pioneer shorter growers (only 30% of 43Y92 requested is available due to the drought), but we are often in a position to obtain replacement cultivars in case of natural disasters/droughts. For 2022 we could obtain additional longer growing season cultivars to secure our basic total. It means that an additional quantity of 45Y93 was earmarked to secure our target quantity.

      Although we endeavour to maintain a buffer quantity, it will remain a challenge in a dynamic market. Transfer stock could be very useful, but it could pose a risk in terms of being written off. At the moment, for example, there is stock of 45Y91 available at some of the suppliers. Even though germination percentages are dropping, the seed is available at special prices and with absolute transparency for producers in terms of seed quality. Other cultivars are all ordered by producers (and are therefore sold out).

      Timing: VTA for the seed was, at the time of the report, 1 March, 15 March and 17 March for the first three loads. The last long growers are being bagged, but Pioneer will adjust logistics for timely delivery in RSA. Flight costs might have been excessive at the time of the report, but these were included in the scenario planning if the timeline required this.

      Mr Gys van Schalkwyk – K2 mentioned the following:

      K2 is part of the Lima Grain / Zaad Group. He referred to available cultivars and mentioned that available seed for certain cultivars had been sold out. It was a challenge to obtain additional seed from Australia.

      Mr Van Schalkwyk mentioned that seven (7) new cultivars would be tested during the new season. The K2 point of view was to bring good new cultivars with high yield potential to the South African Market.

    2. Seed germination

      The matter was held in abeyance.

    3. Seed germination

      The matter was held in abeyance.

  12. Additional matters

    1. Speakers Considered for Future Canola Meetings

      The matter was held in abeyance.

  13. Meeting dates

    The meeting noted that the next Canola Working Group meeting was scheduled for 9 June 2022.

  14. Adjournment

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