Working Group Minutes / Archives / Soy / 24 July 2013

Minutes

Soybean working group and Sunflower and Soybean Forum (SSF)

joint meeting held on 24 July 2013, followed by a special meeting of the Soybean working group, at the Theatre on the Track, Kyalami



  1. Opening

    The meeting was opened by a prayer, offered by Dr Jos de Kock.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson, Mr GJH Scholtemeijer, welcomed all to the meeting.

  3. Attendance

    Present

    Mr GJH Scholtemeijer Chairperson
    Mr W Alberts Karwil Consulting
    Mr A Badenhorst Producer
    Mr G Badenhorst Agchem
    Dr S Berry BASF / Becker Underwood
    Mr H Botha Private
    Mr J Botma Producer
    Dr E Briedenhann PRF
    Mr L Büchner Profert
    Dr PM Caldwell UKZN
    Mr P Cilliers PJW
    Mr H Coetzee Producer
    Mr H Conradie Producer
    Mr K Conradie Producer
    Mr A Cornelius Producer
    Mr P Cornelius Producer
    Mr H Davies Eden
    Mr G de Beer PRF Contractor
    Mr T de Jager Producer
    Mr A de Klerk Philagro
    Ms N de Klerk ARC
    Dr J de Kock PRF
    Dr J Dreyer PRF
    Mr CJ du Plessis Producer
    Mr JF du Plessis Rossgro
    Mr J du Preez PRF Contractor
    Mr LJ du Toit Producer
    Mr P du Toit Nulandis
    Mr W Engelbrecht K2Agri
    Mr AS Erasmus Producer
    Mr N Erichsen Producer
    Mr W Erichsen Producer
    Dr B Flett ARC-GCI
    Ms P Fourie GrainSA
    Ms R Fourie Afgriland
    Mr B Germishuys BASF / Becker Underwood
    Mr A Grobbelaar Producer
    Dr AI Hassen ARC-PPRI
    Mr H Hattingh GWK
    Mr C Havenga PRF Contractor
    Mr J Hendriks Cerealis
    Dr R Hendriks BioSolutions
    Mr H Hertzog Producer
    Mr J Ingle OroAgri
    Mr M Jansen van Rensburg Dept Agric: Mpumalanga
    Dr A Jarvie Pannar
    Mr H Kapp Soygro
    Mr G Keun CEO: OAC / PRF
    Mr DJ Kok AFMA
    Mr S Koster Pioneer
    Mr A Kriek LinkSeed
    Mr H Kriel Bioworx
    Mr C Kruger Bayer
    Mr HJD Kruger Gliogrow
    Mr R Kuschke K2Agri
    Mr D Laas Producer
    Mr ID Lamprecht Dept Agric: Mpumalanga
    Dr S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr C Louw GrainSA
    Ms W Louw SAGL
    Ms W MacPherson Consultant
    Mr SG Maree Producer
    Mr X Moll MD Agri
    Dr A Mostert FSSA
    Mr C Muya ARC-GCI
    Mr TEM Odendaal Soygro
    Mr H Otto Producer
    Dr W Otto NWK
    Mr FAS Potgieter OAC / PRF
    Mr HS Potgieter Producer
    Mr PJ Potgieter Producer
    Mr J Pretorius Producer
    Mr W Pretorius LinkSeed
    Mr M Prinsloo Producer
    Mr M Ramusi ARC-GCI
    Mr B Rohrs Producer
    Dr I Rong ARC-PPRI
    Mr G Roos Producer
    Mr N Rossouw Producer
    Mr A Roux Cairo Group
    Ms S Smalberger Omnia
    Mr Z Smit Producer
    Mr D Snyman Royal Staple Ltd
    Mr DG Steyn Producer
    Mr R Steyn UFS
    Ms KM Swanepoel SAEO
    Dr Y Tewoldemedhin ARC-PPRI
    Mr M Thiele Thiele Estates
    Ms J Tshupe OAC
    Mr K van den Berg Producer
    Mr E van den Bergh Pioneer
    Dr W van der Walt OAC
    Mr D van der Westhuizen Producer
    Mr J van der Westhuizen Producer
    Mr A van Eck GWK
    Mr R van Niekerk Agricol
    Mr C van Rooyen Landbouweekblad
    Mr D van Vuuren Producer
    Ms R van Vuuren Madumbi
    Mr SJP van Wyk Bayer
    Mr W van Wyk PRF Contractor
    Mr A van Zyl Producer
    Mr H Vermooten Producer
    Mr AW Viljoen Producer
    Mr P Zietsman Producer
    Ms E Harmse OPDT / PRF Contractor

    Apologies

    Ms R Beukes  
    Dr L Chetty  
    Mr W Cronjé  
    Ms A de Beer  
    Mr B de Klerk  
    Mr J de Villiers  
    Mr G de Wet  
    Mr J Diekmann  
    Mr KB Dongo  
    Ms E Dunlop  
    Mr P Erasmus  
    Mr SG Ferreira  
    Mr N Hawkins  
    Mr JM Henning  
    Dr TN Kotzé  
    Prof M Labuschagne  
    Prof M Laing  
    Mr P Laubscher  
    Dr A Lubbe  
    Mr E Maree  
    Mr A McDonald  
    Prof N McLaren  
    Dr M Morris  
    Mr E Ncube  
    Mr J Potgieter  
    Ms M Scheepers  
    Mr D Strydom  
    Mr A Theron  
    Dr GJ Thompson  
    Ms JM Truter  
    Mr D Uys  
    Dr C van der Merwe  
    Dr R van der Merwe  
    Dr W van der Walt  
    Mnr H van der Westhuizen  
    Dr P van Twisk  
    Mr A van Vuuren  
    Mr S Venter  
    Dr S Ybema  

  4. Personalia

    None reported.

  5. Confirmation of agenda

    The agenda was accepted as it stood.

  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Minutes of the joint meeting of the Soybean Working Group and the Sunflower and Soybean Forum held on 2 May 2013 and referral to webpage

      Resolved:

      1. That the minutes of the Joint Meeting of the Soybean Working Group and Sunflower and Soybean Forum, held on 2 May 2013, be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting.
      2. That the minutes of the Joint Meeting, that was held on 2 May 2013, be referred to the website of the Protein Research Foundation, for publication.

  7. General overview

    1. Crop estimates

      Cognisance was taken of the fifth production forecast for summer crops for 2013.

  8. Market information

    Dr Briedenhann presented a brief overview of the Chicago soybean scenario. He said the market had reached a high point, depending on what the weather would be like in the United States (US) and whether the expected crop from the US would be favourable. He added that China's plans to release three million tons of beans out of their surplus into their market, had affected prices negatively in the short term. He said Argentinian farmers were holding back on beans, due to the effects of inflation in their country, with the result that there were some concerns about when those beans would be coming into the market. He said the weather factor, that had been discussed for a while, was now coming to fruition, and added that bean prices on the Chigaco Board of Trade (CBOT) would stay relatively soft, if weather conditions remained favourable.

    Dr Briedenhann mentioned that oil prices made a big impact on crush margins all over the world, and noted that the global price of soybean oil had decreased quite dramatically. He said globally soybean oil was starting to steal some market from palm oil, due to the issue of price differentiation, and added that there was more upside to the oil price than downside.

    Dr Briedenhann noted that the SAFEX price had been following the Chicago price, with the supply and demand issue and the fact that the local soybean market would probably go into the next season short on soybeans being the supporting factors. He said this would support the local price, so that soybeans would not be trading at export parity. He mentioned that he expected that the gap between SAFEX and Chicago soybean prices would stay at that type of level.

    Dr Briedenhann mentioned that the price of sunflower seed had dropped by ZAR700 per ton, in the last two weeks, due to extremely negative crush margins. He said news of possible sunflower imports from the Black Sea and Ukraine region had, however, brought prices back to more realistic levels.

    Dr Briedenhann mentioned that the rand:dollar exchange rate had been deteriorating on a continuous basis, although there had been a short term pull-back. He said he expected the rand's weakening trend to continue in the long term.

    Dr Briedenhann said due to the increased local soybean processing capacity, he had based his calculation of the derived producer price of soybeans on the current price of soybean oilcake, taking into account a reasonable cost structure for crushing and transport. He noted that the price of 47% protein soybean oilcake landed at Durban on 22 July 2013 amounted to R6 100 per ton, calculated at an exchange rate of ZAR9,81/US$, with the derived producer price having been calculated at ZAR5 570 per ton. He said SAFEX was currently trading at ZAR5 290, which indicated that beans were relatively reasonably priced, given the current scenario. He noted that the main reason for this was that the huge crush volume would only be coming into the market later in the year, with the RussellStone plant in Bronkhorstspruit coming on line in August and the Noble plant in Standerton expected to come on line in October. He said he expected a lot of pressure towards the end of the year, as far as bean prices were concerned.

  9. Producer matters

    1. Soybeans

      1. KwaZulu-Natal

        1. Super Soy Competition

          Mr du Plessis said there had been some concern about the fact that only 15 producers had entered the Super Soy Compe­tition. He noted that producers who had not entered, had indicated that they did not have sufficient time at their disposal to think of novel ways to increase their soybean yields. He said the results of this year's competition will be announced at the No Till Conference, which would take place in September.

          Mr Havenga reported that nine soybean fields from the Normandien and Dundee areas had been entered in the competition. He said yields had been good during the past production season, although hail had caused some damage to soybean crops in Bergville, Winterton and Normandien.

      2. Mpumalanga and Gauteng

        1. Fertilisation trials

          (Resolution 9.1.2.1.1 of the Joint Meeting held on 2 May 2013)

          Mr Roos presented an overview of the fertilisation trials that had been planted on his farm. He said 90 hectares had been used for trials on maize and soybeans. He noted that the trials were time-consuming, as they had to be monitored frequently. He mentioned that the soil on the farm had been mulched since 1981, and that many of the fields on the farm had carbon levels of more than 3,2%.

      3. Free State

        1. General

          Mr Botma reported that the past production season had presented many problems, with production decreasing, although the area planted to soybeans had increased. He said producers who had planted soybeans for the first time should not be dis­couraged, as it had been proven that it was possible to increase production in the Free State. He noted that more fertilisation trials could be done in the areas with sandy soils, and added that crop rotation with soybeans offered significant benefits to producers, as witnessed by the volume of the maize crops harvested in a soybean:maize rotation system. He added that profits achieved on both crops increased on an annual basis.

      4. North West Province

        1. General

          The Chairperson remarked that soybean cultivation in the North West was on the increase, albeit at a slow pace. He said the province held much potential.

      5. Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Southwestern Districts

        1. Feedback on nematodes

          (Resolutions 9.1.5.1.1 and 9.1.5.2.2 of the Joint Meeting held on 2 May 2013)

          The Chairperson ruled that Resolutions 9.1.5.1.1.and 9.1.5.1.2 of 2 May 2013 be held in abeyance.

          Resolutions:

          1. That feedback would be provided at a future meeting on the infestation of root-knot nematodes on a portion of Mr van Zyl's farm in the Orange River Scheme.

            Mr van Zyl
            Joint Meeting

          2. That a nematologist be invited to address one of the future Joint Meetings.

            Dr De Kock
            Joint Meeting


    2. Sunflowers

      1. Increased presence


        (Resolution 9.2.5.1 of the Joint Meeting held on 2 May 2013)

        Mr Keun confirmed that the matter of an increased presence of representatives of GrainSA, sunflower seed companies and sunflower producers was receiving attention on an ongoing basis.

  10. Research

    1. Soybeans

      1. National cultivar trials 2012-2013

        No feedback provided.

      2. Rhizobium


        (Resolution 10.1.4.1 of the Joint Meeting held on 2 May 2013)

        Cognisance was taken that Dr Hassen's report on the project "Why does inoculation of soybeans sometimes fail? A survey of the quality of locally produced inoculants, their use and possible remediation" would be discussed during the Special Meeting, that would follow on the current meeting.

      3. Biofuels

        Cognisance was taken of the article "Algae credits will spur other products", "Glycerol production by halophytic micro­algae: strategy for producing industrial quantities in saline water", the newsletter 25x'25 Resource and the document titled "Nuus­berigte en tendense in die biobrandstof- en oliesadebedryf Tweede Kwartaal – 1 April tot 30 Junie 2013".

      4. Topics for web searches

        The Chairperson invited the members to submit topics for web searches.

    2. Sunflower

      1. Sclerotinia

        Dr de Kock reported that the Crop Estimates Committee had been conducting an annual survey on the occurence of Sclerotinia in local sunflower and soybean crops since 2006. He urged producers to participate in the survey, as their participation had been disappointing over the years. He thanked Ms Fourie of GrainSA for the efforts she had made to encourage producers to take part in the latest survey. He presented an overview of the total percentage area planted to soybeans and sunflower, that had been affected by Sclerotinia, as reported by producers from 2006 to 2013, and reflected in the following table:

          Sunflower % area Soybeans % area
        2006 17.31 14.32
        2007 0.10 2.96
        2008 3.40 15.49
        2009 2.22 27.66
        2010 4.44 11.49
        2011 4.60 8.15
        2012 0.55 10.55
        2013 0.15 8.65

        The Chairperson noted that the Protein Research Foundation and oilseeds industry had been funding Sclerotinia research since 2005. He said the issue of Sclerotinia would be discussed in more detail, during a future meeting.

        Mr Louw reported that a number of sunflower plantings in Mpumalanga and the North West Province had been withdrawn, due to Sclerotinia infection.

        Dr de Kock pointed out that research on Sclerotinia infection posed its own problems, as the level of infection varied from year to year. Prof Steyn agreed that this was the case. He said he had conducted some experiments with a cheap biological control agent, that had controlled the disease very effectively.

        Mr Hennie Kruger said he had conducted research trials on farms, on plots of two hectares, as the frequence and prevalence of the disease was too low to conduct such trials on plots of, say, forty square metres. He noted that he would discuss this matter with Dr de Kock.

        The Chairperson said Sclerotinia was probably the biggest problem that soybean and sunflower producers had to contend with worldwide. He reported that he and Dr de Kock had, during a recent visit to Brazil, been informed that Embrapa, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, was on the verge of releasing a soybean cultivar with higher levels of resistance to Sclerotinia than those present in any of the current cultivars. He said the international seed companies were all breeding for resistance or tolerance to the disease, with the Sclerotinia Initiative in Fargo, North Dakota doing intensive research on Sclerotinia infection on a number of crops. He assured the members that the PRF and the oilseeds industry were closely and continuously monitoring progress achieved with Sclerotinia research.

        Dr de Kock noted that Sclerotinia research protocols had to be submitted by the end of September.

      2. Sunflower value chain study

        Mr Keun reported that the oilseeds industry had provided funding to the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) for a sunflower value chain study. He said the final report will be submitted by September or October.

        The Chairperson said the oilseeds industry had decided to commission the study, in an effort to revitalise the local sunflower industry. He reported that the most important roleplayers in the industry had identified emergence issues and Sclerotinia as the biggest problems the local industry had to contend with.

  11. Saad

    1. Soybeans

      The Chairperson said it was essential that South Africa kept abreast of the latest developments with regard to the breeding of cul­tivars and seed production. He noted that any number of seed companies had now entered the local market, and expressed the hope that new technology such as RR2, that had been available for some time in many countries, would now also be distributed locally.

      Mr Willem Engelbrecht said breeding programmes in countries like Argentina, Brazil and the US were all based on the RR2 gene. He said it was inevitable that cultivars sourced from those countries in future would have the RR2 gene.

    2. Sunflower

      The Chairperson noted that the sunflower seed that was distributed locally was of a high quality, and on par with seed distributed internationally.

  12. Tegnology transfer

    1. Information Days 2013: Dates, feedback and promotion

      Cognisance was taken of the following information days:

      BFAP baseline report, Cape Town 2 August
      BFAP baseline report, Pretoria 6 August
      PRF/John Deere Information Day, Delmas Show Grounds 27-28 August
      No-Till Day, Drakensville 3-5 September

  13. Additional matters

    1. Items for publication on the PRF and oilseeds industry's websites: News, snippets, colour photographs, videos

      The Chairperson urged the members to submit news items, colour photographs and videos for publication on the websites of the PRF and the oilseeds industry. Cognisance was taken of the various news items that were included in the documentation as part of Annexure F.

    2. Articles


      (Resolution 13.2.1 of the minutes of the Joint Meeting held on 2 May 2013)

      Cognisance was taken of the various articles included in the documentation as part of Annexure G.

      Dr de Kock confirmed that the article "Soybean rust – managing the risk of resistance to triazole fungicides" would be republished in October.

    3. Speakers at forthcoming meetings


      (Resolutions 13.3.1 of the Joint Meeting held on 2 May 2013, resolution 10.3.2 of the Technology Committee meeting held on 30 January 2013 and resolution 27.1 of the PRF Board meeting minutes of 12 and 13 March 2013)

      Cognisance was taken of the list of possible speakers at future meetings.

      Resolution:

      1. That cognisance be taken of the list of possible speakers at future meetings:
        • Prof Johnnie van den Bergh;
        • Prof KJ Kunert;
        • Mr Antonie Delport, Syngenta;
        • Dr Blignaut, CSIR.

        Dr de Kock
        Joint Meeting


    4. Sunflower Week in Review

      Cognisance was taken of the various editions of the Sunflower Week in Review and the Sunflower Weekly, included as Annexure H.

    5. Research on soybeans under irrigation


      (Resolution 13.7.1 of the Joint Meeting held on 2 May 2013 and Resolution 8.14.1 of the Technology Committee held on 24 April 2013)

      The Chairperson ruled that the matter be held in abeyance.

      Resolution:

      1. That cognisance be taken that a literature study on soybean production under irrigation was being awaited.

        Dr de Kock
        Joint Meeting


    6. Merit awards


      (Resolution 13.8.1 of the Joint Meeting held on 2 May 2013)

      The Chairperson called on the members to submit nominations for awards to deserving individuals for meritorious contributions to the sunflower, soybean and groundnut industries.

      Noted:

      1. That cognisance be taken that nominations were being awaited for awards to deserving individuals for meritorious contributions to the oilseeds and protein seeds industries.

        Mr Keun
        Joint Meeting

  14. Date of next meeting

    The date of the next Joint Meeting was confirmed as 23 October 2013.


Special meeting of the Soybean working group

that followed on the joint meeting of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum and the Soybean working group

Meeting chairperson: Dr Jos de Kock
  1. Rhizobium Focus

    See Annexure for more details of the presentation.

    The Chairperson called on Ms Wilma Mac Pherson to briefly introduce herself, and to deliver her presentation on Rhizobium.

    Ms Mac Pherson addressed the following aspects: Rhizobium bacteria, the mechanics and evaluation of nodulation, the various types of inoculants and their handling, application and dosage, and possible problems associated with the application of kelp, fulvine acids and humine acids. She also provided some detail on the way in which leguminous plants benefited from Rhizobia, on the nitrogen cycle and on optimal soil conditions.

    The Chairperson opened the floor for questions. In response to a question on the effect of glyphosate application on nodulation, Ms Mac Pherson explained that glyphosate was usually applied at a stage when nodulation had already been established. Prof Steyn said the weed killer atrazine definitely had an effect on nodulation. He mentioned that atrazine, that had been applied to a piece of land twelve years pre­viously, had, after all those years had passed, been separated from the clay minerals in the soil by rain and lime application, and had had a deleterious effect on the plants' nodulation. He said the atrazine had had an effect on the plants, and not on the bacteria.

    Ms Mac Pherson explained that soil conditions would determine the interaction between WB74 and other strains. She confirmed that strains other than WB74 were currently being used in South Africa.

    Mr Havenga mentioned that high phosphate levels in the soil resulted in improved nodulation. In response to a question on the application of 0-1-1 fertiliser on nodulation, Ms Mac Pherson said in her view, that fertiliser would not have an effect on nodulation, because 0-1-1 did not contain any nitrogen.

    Dr Hassen noted that the desirability of the application of the so-called "starter" doses of nitrogen depended on any number of factors, and that one could not generalise on the matter. He said in most cases it was not desirable to add additional nitrogen to the soil. He however added that a starter dose of nitrogen sometimes had a positive effect, as biological nitrogen fixation was a highly energy demanding pro­cess. He noted that soybean plants benefited from a starter application as a boost, in certain soils.

    Ms Mac Pherson remarked that soils with a high organic content impacted positively on the survival rate of Rhizobia in the soil. The Chair­person said conservation agriculture played a very important role in this regard.

    Ms Mac Pherson said although she considered molybdenum application to be of critical importance, she would not in any way recommend direct contact between molybdenum and Rhizobium.

    Dr van der Walt remarked that all micro organisms were subject to continuous small genetic changes. He asked in what way the genetic authenticity of WB74 could be ascertained. Ms Mac Pherson remarked that the recommended way to go was to obtain a new culture on an annual basis. She noted that the chances of that isolate changing genetically during one season would be very slim.

    The Chairperson expressed his gratitude to Ms Mac Pherson for an excellent presentation.

  2. Soybean fertilisation

    See Annexure for more details of the presentation.

    The Chairperson called on Dr Mostert to introduce himself to the meeting, and to deliver his presentation on the fertilisation of soybeans.

    Dr Mostert noted that local soybean production had dramatically increased over the last number of years, but that soybean yields often did not meet expectations. He said many producers planted soybeans on fields with low potential, and added that it was not clear whether pro­ducers were adequately informed on the fertilisation of soybeans, or were aware of the crop rotation benefits soybeans offered.

    Dr Mostert provided details on soil preparation, the desired moisture status, clay content of the soil, recommended planting depths in various soils, row widths and plant population. He also informed the meeting on the benefits of nitrogen fertilisation, the application of nitrogen on rain fed soybeans versus soybeans under irrigation, the recommended soil pH levels, translocation in the soybean plant, phosphate, sulphur and potassium fertilisation, the ratio of calcium, magnesium and potassium in soils and the acceptable saturation ranges for those, and the most important trace elements.

    The Chairperson thanked Dr Mostert for an informative presentation.

  3. Rhizobium: strains and interactions

    See Annexure for more details of presentation.

    The Chairperson called on Dr Hendriks to introduce herself to the meeting, and to deliver her presentation.

    Dr Hendriks mentioned that she specialised in molecular biology, had initially focused on fungi, but had since focused her research on soil micro organisms. She said she had been astonished to discover how much biology contributed to agriculture.

    Dr Hendriks presented an overview of soybean plants' utilisation of nitrogen versus yields delivered. She said Rhizobia played a significant role is this process, and added that nodules acted as the soybean plant's nitrogen factory, with the Rhizobium strains acting as the factory workers.

    Dr Hendriks provided detail on the Bradyrhizobium japonicum strain WB74, unfavourable conditions for nodulation, traditional versus new generation strains, super nodulation, optimal cultivar and strain combinations, compatibility of Rhizobia and chemistry, the effect of glyphosate and external nitrogen on nodulation, the role of other micro organisms such as Mycorrhizas and Trichodermas, the difference between good and bad biological products, and the latest technology that was available. She concluded by saying that exciting develop­ments were in the pipeline, but cautioned that thorough evaluation in field trials using local cultivars was absolutely imperative.

    The Chairperson opened the floor for questions. In response to a question by Mr Scholtemeijer, Dr Hendriks replied that it would be totally irresponsible to use strains that had not been researched thoroughly, and had not been obtained from a trusted source. She said she was currently evaluating the compatibility of WB74 with certain new generation strains. Prof Steyn said the issue of the competitive ability of other strains had to be taken into consideration at all times.

    The Chairperson thanked Dr Hendriks for an interesting presentation.

  4. Seed treatment

    See Annexure for more details of presentation.

    The Chairperson called on Mr Kruger of Bayer to address the meeting on the impact of seed treatment and the complexities of developing mixing partners.

    Mr Kruger presented an overview of the different application methods, commercial treating equipment, regulatory requirements with regard to crop safety and compatibility, and the various evaluation processes to control soil diseases, soil insects, and different treatment methods, as well as evaluating the compatibility of chemicals with different Rhizobium strains.

    Mr Kruger concluded by saying that Bayer still wrestled with a number of unanswered questions, such as what the causes of reduced stands were, whether there were more than one species of the different soil diseases, and which diseases had the highest economic impact. He said Bayer was of the opinion that answers could be provided by gatherings such as the present.

    Dr Lamprecht said thorough research had indicated what the causes of soilborne diseases in South Africa were, and that the time was now ripe for closer collaboration with companies like Bayer.

    The Chairperson thanked Mr Kruger for his presentation, and said he was pleased about Bayer's involvement in the local soybean market.

  5. Final report: "Why does inoculation of soybeans sometimes fail? A survey of the quality of locally produced inoculants, their use and possible remediation"

    The Chairperson called on Mr Scholtemeijer to inform the meeting on Dr Hassen's project on the quality of locally produced inoculants.

    Mr Scholtemeijer congratulated Dr Hassen on a very comprehensive report on the quality of locally produced inoculants, which research had been funded by the oilseeds industry. He noted that GrainSA had requested the research, following on concerns raised by producers about the efficacy of certain inoculants that were being distributed locally. He however added that the issue of the remediation of the problem had not been addressed at all. He added that Dr Rong's presentation could provide insight on legal remedies by which the issue could be addressed.

  6. Agricultural remedies: registration procedures

    See Annexure for more details of presentation.

    Dr Rong provided an overview of the general considerations with regard to registration procedures. She said Rhizobium inoculants were regulated by the Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural and Stock Remedies Act 36 of 1947, and that the phytosanitary procedures of the Directorate Plant Health were valid for the import of strains. She added that import permits were issued on species level and not on strain level. She also provided information on the different types of registrations, the time frames that were in place, and the procedure with regard to new and other applications. She explained that the term other registrations applied to registrations where the active ingredient and formulation had already been registered, where the source of the active ingredient is identical to that of a registered product, or where amendments to registrations were involved.

    Dr Rong said Act 36 was currently under review, and provided a brief overview of the draft regulations that had been proposed. She noted that WB74 had been selected as the best strain for use in South Africa, but was not regulated by Act 36. She cautioned that some strains could be pathogenic when used with certain hosts, and said it was recommended that the ARC be contacted to recommend the suitability of such strains.

    The Chairperson thanked Dr Rong for her presentation, and opened the floor for questions. Ms Mac Pherson said she had heard rumours that biological products, and specifically growth promotors, could be registered as part of a new subcategory in the regulations regarding fertilisers. She suggested that Dr Rong and her colleagues look into the matter.

    A representative of the South African Bioproducts Association (SABA) mentioned that one of SABA's roles was to draw up new regulations on the registration of biological products for government.

    Dr Jarvie said Pannar's cultivars were tested against WB74 when its cultivars were registered. He noted that it should be a matter of policy that the onus would reside with the applicant for the registration of a new inoculant to test the inoculant against all current varieties.

  7. Inoculation on the farm

    Mr Roos said he had recently led a group of producers on a tour to the US, where it had been observed that American producers did not con­sider inoculation to be of as much importance as South African producers did. He noted that the issue of inoculation was widely discussed at meetings of various interest groups, but that producers still did not have clarity about the correct approach. He said this led to his deci­sion to test various companies' products, but added that he had yet to find the right answers.

    Mr Roos provided an overview of the handling of inoculants on the farm, and addressed issues like the storage and handling of the inocu­lants, calibration of inoculants and problems producers encountered with inoculation.

    The Chairperson thanked Mr Roos for his presentation.

  8. Adjournment

    The Chairperson thanked Dr Dreyer and the staff of the Protein Research Foundation for the programme that had been compiled for the day, and for all their hard work, that had resulted in a most successful event. There being no further matters to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 17:00.