Canola work group meeting
held on 23 February 2021 by means of a virtual platform (MS Teams)

  1. Opening

    A moment of silence was observed.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed everybody present at the 1st virtual meeting in 2021 of the Canola Working Group.

  3. Attendance


    Mr AP Theron Chairperson
    Ms R Beukes DAFF
    Mr K Blanckenberg Grain SA
    Mr P Blom SSK
    Mr J Botes Agricol
    Dr E Briedenhann OAC
    Mr C Cumming PRF
    Ms M du Preez PRF
    Mr E Eksteen Syngenta
    Mr G Els K2
    Mr A Erasmus Inteligro
    Mr P Fouché Phyto Energy
    Mr J Kellerman Agricol
    Mr G Keun PRF
    Mr P Lombard DAWC
    Mr C Louw Grain SA
    Ms W Louw SAGL
    Dr P Mathabe TIA
    Prof F Meyer BFAP
    Dr G Mostert US
    Mr C Müller Agricol
    Ms L Ndou DAFF
    Mr G Nortjé Overberg Agri
    Mr C Nell Overberg Agri
    Mr R Schutte Grain SA
    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 M van der Westhuizen Agricol
    Mr T Wessels Grain SA


    Mr K Becker SOILL
    Mr A Britz Kimleigh
    Ms I Crous SOILL
    Mr W Jonker PRF
    Dr S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr K Meintjes DOW AgroScience
    Dr PJ Pieterse US
  4. Personal matters

    The Chairperson congratulated Ms Crous on the birth of her baby. Dr Mostert and Ms Schreuder were welcomed as new members to the group.

  5. Confirmation of the agenda

    The agenda was accepted.

  6. Approval of minutes: 26 August 2020


    1. That the correct minutes of the meeting of the Canola Working Group meeting, held on 26 August 2020, be circulated to members of the meeting and be referred to the next meeting of the Canola Working Group for approval.
  7. General overview and crop estimates

    1. SAGIS information

      The contents of the latest SAGIS Weekly Bulletin and of the latest Monthly Data, 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 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

        In respect of the Swartland, Mr Blanckenberg and Mr Nortje reported as follow in respect of the 2020 season:

        • Disappointing rainfall at the beginning of the season, resulting in poor germination;
        • July, August and September above average rainfall were experienced;
        • August is the third consecutive month during which above average rain fall was experienced;
        • Good season with excellent yields; and

        In respect of the 2021 season it was reported that:

        • Prices supported the planting of canola;
        • Increase in the hectares of canola for 2021 season was expected; and
        • Storage of canola was a challenge.

        The Chairperson reported that the storage of canola for the Swartland will be addressed with the re-opening and the processing of the canola at the Moorreesburg facility.

      2. Southern Cape

        Mr P Blom reported that during the 2020 season the SSK area experienced an excellent canola season. He mentioned that an increase in canola hectares for the new season (2021) was expected.

        Dr Strauss gave feedback on previous season's trials at Tygerhoek and reported that it was the best canola yields in the last 7 years. He mentioned at Riversdale herbicide damage was experienced but a yield of more than 2 tonnes per hectare was achieved. He further mentioned that at Hopefield an average of 2,3 tonnes per hectare was realised.

    4. Summer rainfall region

      1. Eastern Cape

        No report back.

      2. Other

        Mr Keun reported on Mr Willie Jonker's trials in Marble Hall. He mentioned there were 40 hectares planted consisting of two blocks of 20 hectares each. The yield in the 1st block was 4,26 tonnes/per hectare and the 2nd block was 3,79 tonnes/per hectare.

        The Chairperson mentioned shorter growers were used and that the harvesting process was the biggest challenge in Marble Hall. He further mentioned that canola trials were planted at Kroondal and Settlers.

        Prof Meyer reported that a 10 hectare trial was planted. He mentioned that the purpose of the canola trial was to look at alternative crop rotation and risks around later rainfall. He referred to the challenges experienced during the previous season.

    5. Price information

      Dr Briedenhann referred to the increase in the prices of oil seeds globally and the impact on South Africa. He further enlightened the meeting in respect of sunflower production, the importance of canola oilcake, soybean and soybean oilcake prices, and canola and canola oilcake prices.

    6. Weather forecast

      It be noted that the matter be kept in abeyance until a suitable person is found to assist and provide future reports at the Canola Working Group meetings.


      1. That Mr Keun 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

      In respect of the 2020 season, Mr Lombard reported that good rainfall was experienced and the trials were very good. Although there was snow on the mountains the temperature didn't reflect as such. He mentioned during the early season starting July, the temperatures were above average and between August and October the temperatures were below the long-term average. As seen in the data of trial results, canola is very sensitive during the flowering and seedfill stages. He further mentioned that the shorter growers didn't perform as well as the longer growers.

      Regarding the 2021 season Mr Lombard mentioned that he is busy finalising the cultivar list with a possibility of 2-3 new cultivars.

      The Chairperson thanked Mr Lombard for his contribution.

      Mr Schoeman reported that due to Covid, Pioneer experienced a set back in terms of production development, the availability of cultivar/seed and timeous importation of seed. He said that processes are fast tracked in order to address the challenges experienced.

    2. Research projects: 2021/2022

      Mr Keun reported on the lists included as Annexure E, in the agenda regarding the projects funded during the 2020/2021 financial year:

      • List of new projects approved by the PRF;
      • List of 3 bursaries approved by the PRF, specifically on canola;
      • List of new projects approved by the Oilseeds Advisory Committee.
    3. Sclerotinia

      No report back.

    4. Damage: Clethodim

      Mr Cumming mentioned that there were not too many reports of Clethodim damage during the season. He referred to the article published regarding the trials at Wellington. He mentioned that a follow up article will be published in the Canolafocus.


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

        Mr Cumming
        Canola Working Group

    5. Blackleg

      Dr van Coller gave an overview on the proposed research to be done on the approved projects, by the University of Stellenbosch and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. The research will entail, the integrated management of Blackleg through cultivar resistance and chemical control as well as seed borne distribution of the pathogen. He mentioned that feedback will be given during future meetings of the Working Group.

  9. Technology transfer

    1. Canolafokus

      The meeting noted the articles published in the Canolafokus, included in the agenda as Annexure F. Mr Lombard reported on articles they currently working on, for publication in future editions.

      The Chairperson thanked all Canolafokus contributors for an excellent edition.

    2. Information days 2021

      The Chairperson mentioned that most of the information days were included in the calendar of 2021.

      Mr Wessels reported that as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted, GrainSA are planning to hold farmer information days. This will be done in small groups by going from town to town in the Western Cape Province. He invited PRF representatives to attend these information days.

      The Chairperson requested that the PRF be informed about the proposed dates.

      Cognisance was taken of the "SKOG Voorsaaidag" scheduled for 19 March 2021 (virtual).

    3. Videos

      The Chairperson requested that the matter regarding a video in respect of harvesting techniques be held in abeyance.

    4. Oilseeds Focus

      Dr Briedenhann reported that the March edition of the Oilseeds Focus, will be available on 1 March 2021. He mentioned the Oilseeds Focus will in future be available on WhatsApp. Dr Briedenhann thanked everybody for their contributions and support.

  10. Other

    1. The canola market

      Prof Meyer gave an overview on the canola market and reported on the expanding of the canola production and the fantastic harvest this year. He mentioned there is more opportunity for growth and the ability to produce canola competitive is possible, having sustainable profitable farming operation, the combination of yield and price. He also referred to key principles like competitive prices and quality. He further mentioned that the registration of chemicals has an impact on the technology drive and the increase of yield.

    2. Canola producers

      1. Price and back payments

        Mr Spammer gave feedback on last year's harvest and mentioned that it was the biggest canola harvest by far and SOILL had to increase their storage and crushing capacity.

        Mr Spammer further mentioned that the first back payments could be paid by the end of April 2021.

        Mr Spammer reported that SOILL is busy updating the canola passport in order to make it more user friendly.

      2. Canola Yield Competition

        Mr Cumming reported on the prize giving for the winners of the canola yield competition. He mentioned the prize giving function could not be held as normal due to the result of Covid-19 and further mentioned that both Swartland and Southern Cape function will be held, for only the winners in each division. The Swartland function will be held on 25 February 2021, in Paarl and the Southern Cape on 2 March 2021, in Swellendam.

        Mr Cumming thanked competition participants for their support in both categories.

        The Chairperson thanked all the participants for entering the competition as well as Mr Cumming in the running of the competition. He mentioned that the needed exposure will be given to the winners of the different categories in the different production areas.

    3. SKOG: Future Planning

      Ms Swanepoel mentioned that detailed planning for SKOG must still be finalised. She mentioned part of the process is to make it more user friendly.

      Dr Strauss reported that SKOG will be divided in five bigger categories, grouping the similar type of cultivars into one group, fertilisers etc. Dr Strauss mentioned they will follow the same procedure as last year. He further mentioned if needed SKOG will go virtual in the case of any restrictions as a result of Covid-19.

    4. TIA: Canola report

      Dr P Mathabe gave feedback on progress made regarding a meeting held on 4 November 2020 with the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform which was as a result of the Canola Stakeholders event, held on 20 June 2020. One of the outcomes was the need to start growing canola in the Eastern Cape.

      Dr Mathabe mentioned a meeting was held with the colleagues from the Eastern Cape and representatives of the Department of Agriculture of the Western Cape, PRF, TIA and DSI. The Eastern Cape welcomed the initiative to start growing canola and creating value chains.

      Dr Mathabe reported that a Small Working Group was formed to address the identified activities.

      She reported that the Eastern Cape is putting together a team of expertise/researchers to do a feasibility study. In terms of the trials, 3 different localities were identified:

      • Chris Hani District;
      • Joe Gqoabi District; and
      • Sara Baartman District.

      Dr Mathabe referred to the challenges experienced with equipment for the proposed trials . She also referred to the role of Dr Strauss and Mr Lombard in respect of the trials.

      The Chairperson thanked Dr Mathabe for the feedback.


      1. That the Canola Working Group be kept informed on progress in respect of the matter.

        Mr Keun
        Canola Working Group

    5. Alternative Crops

      Dr Briedenhann gave a summary on the lupin study. He emphasized the importance of identifying the market needs, prices and the quantities that could be absorbed by the market.


      1. That feedback be given on the study done on the lupin supply chain in the Western Cape, at the next meeting.

        Dr Briedenhann
        Canola Working Group

  11. Seed

    1. Seed availability

      Cognisance was taken that there will be sufficient canola seed available for the next season.

    2. Seed germination

      Mr Lombard mentioned that Mr Lotter has done a study on seed germination and suggested that he be invited to share his valuable information at a working group meeting in future.

  12. Additional matters

    1. Magazine Articles: canola

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

    2. Speakers considered for future canola meetings

      The meeting noted that the following persons would be contacted to give 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; and
      • Prof S Midgley – Climate change.


      1. That the following persons be approached to give 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;
        • Prof S Midgley – Climate change;
        • 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

    3. Chemicals and resistance

      The Chairperson reported that the use of unregistered chemicals for both soybeans and canola be discussed with industry representatives post Covid. He mentioned it is all the producers' responsibility to make people aware of the use of unregistered chemicals in canola.

  13. Meeting dates

    The meeting noted the following dates scheduled for the Canola Working Group meetings:

    • 10 June 2021
    • 25 August 2021
    • 1 December 2021
  14. Adjournment

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