Continuation Research Projects
- Evaluation of commercially available sunflower cultivars
- Soybean cultivar selection for improved yield and yield stability
- Studies on the use of bio-control agents on groundnut to control Aspergillus spp. and other soil pathogens
- Alternaria blight of sunflower and its control
- The role of seedling diseases in poor establishment of sunflower in South Africa
- The funding of the Supply and Demand Estimates Committee
- Oilseeds information
- Oilseeds South African Soybean Crop Quality Survey
- Oilseeds South African Sunflower Crop Quality Survey
- Generic marketing of soybeans in human nutrition
- Response of sunflower to a conservation agriculture production system and nitrogen fertilization
- National soybean cultivar trials
- Cultivar evaluation of oil and protein seeds in the winter rainfall area
Evaluation of commercially available sunflower cultivars
Cultivar trials from previous years showed that the mean yield of the five best cultivars is usually about 0.25 t ha-1 higher than the overall mean yield of all the tested cultivars. Considering that the national mean yield that farmers obtain is normally between 1.0 and 1.4 t ha-1, it is clear that cultivar selection has a significant effect on the profitability of sunflower production. This project is the only independent source of information on sunflower cultivar performance, available to farmers. The aim of this project is to evaluate commercially available sunflower cultivars at different localities in collaboration with seed companies. During the 2016/2017 season, 18 cultivars were evaluated in 13 successful locality trials. The highest trial mean yield of 3.27 t ha-1 was obtained at Bainsvlei and the lowest of 1.38 t ha-1, at Potchefstroom with late planting date of 19 January. The six best performing cultivars, in terms of average yield calculated over localities, were PAN 7160 CLP, PAN 7102 CLP, PAN 7100, AGSUN 5272, AGSUN 8251, and PAN 7098. Four Clearfield cultivars were entered and of these cultivars PAN 7160 CLP and PAN 7102 CLP had the highest yield of 2.79 and 2.73 t ha-1, respectively. Fifteen sunflower cultivar were evaluated at 23 localities for the last two seasons and the following cultivars, PAN 7160 CLP, PAN 7102 CLP, PAN 7080, PAN 7100, AGSUN 5272 and PAN 7098 preformed the best in terms of average seed yield. The probability to obtain an above average yield were calculated for all cultivars across the usual range of yield potentials for the 18 cultivars during the 2015/2016 growing season and for the 15 cultivars that have been tested at 23 localities for the last two seasons. The yield probability method is highly recommended for cultivar selection.
Soybean cultivar selection for improved yield and yield stability
Yield instability across locations and seasons makes it difficult to identify one high yielding soybean cultivar that shows good yield potential and stable yields at one specific location or adaptation across various locations. Grain yield is a complex trait and in order to estimate yield, various yield components need to be considered. Since yield components are of quantitative nature it is necessary to acquire information about the nature and magnitude of genetic variability present in the available cultivars and also to know the interrelationships among yield components and their direct effects on yield. Since yield components are expected to be more reliable indicators for the expression of yield than grain yield per se (Burton 1987), the aim of this study is to identify the most stable yield component(s) that has a significant and direct effect on grain yield, and that can be successfully applied to select for stable high yielding genotypes in cultivar trials.
Materials and methods
The experimental material consists of 18 genotypes of soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill). Genotypes include registered soybean cultivars that are commercially available as well as large-seeded cultivars (conventional varieties) that show potential for registration on the variety list. Genotypes were selected upon the following criteria: maturity type, growth habit, seed yield or yield potential, yield reliability and seed shattering.
Trials will be planted for three consecutive seasons (2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019) with the first planting commencing in mid-November 2016. The locations to be planted include Petrusburg, Bethlehem and Delmas, and represents the warm to cool production areas. The trial design is a randomised complete block with three replications. Depending on the amount of seed available, each genotype will be raised in six rows of 5m in length with a between row spacing of 0.75m. Each plot will be planted with a single-row hand-planter to a population of 20 plants m-2. Seeds will be inoculated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum (strain WB74) before planting. After planting, the trial area will be covered with shade net to ensure good seedling emergence and prevent bird damage during germination. Pre-emergence herbicides will be applied to retard weeds and weed control will be applied by hand thereafter. Standard agronomic practises will be followed for growing soybean. Fertilizer and pesticides will be applied at rates recommended to ensure optimal yield. Supplementary irrigation will be supplied to ensure optimal seedling emergence and crop production.
Data Collection and statistical analysis
Twenty randomly sampled plants will be taken, at harvest, from the four middle rows of each plot. Average plant height (cm), average pod height (cm), average number of branches per plant, average number of reproductive nodes per plant, average number of pods per reproductive node, average number of pods per plant, average seeds per pod, average seeds per plant, average seed weight (g) per plant, average seed size per plant, harvest index per plant as well as pod shattering percentage per plot at harvest and 3 weeks after harvest will be collected. On a plot area basis, number of nodes, number of pods and number of seeds will be recorded. The weight of 100 seeds will be recorded as the average of three 100-seed samples. Seed mass per plot will be transformed to grain yield ha-1.
Data will be subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the means will be tested for significance. Coefficient of variation (%) and broad sense heritability (H2%) will be determined for each measured trait from the results of the ANOVA. Genotypic and phenotypic correlation coefficients will be determined from the mean values of all traits. Stepwise regression will be applied to estimate the direct effect of each yield component (independent variable) on grain yield (the dependent variable). Statistical analyses will be conducted using GenStat and Agrobase software.
Analysis of variance
The level of genetic diversity among the 18 cultivars for grain yield and yield components will be revealed with the analyses of variance. The presence and magnitude of genetic variability in a gene pool is a pre-requisite of a soybean breeding programme. In addition, the knowledge of certain genetic parameters is essential for proper understanding and their manipulation in any crop improvement programme (Aditya et al. 2011).
Heritability, genetic variance and phenotypic variance estimates will be revealed for all traits analysed and these will be useful for further determination of genetic variability. Determining the magnitude of these parameters allows for the identification of traits that are effective for selection. A high heritability estimate for a specific trait indicate that this trait is less influenced by environmental conditions and would be a favourable selection criterion.
This analysis will indicate the strength of the relationship between the yield components as well as the magnitude and direction of changes expected during selection. When a specific yield component shows a negative correlation with other yield components and also with grain yield, this might indicate that this yield component contributes no value for selection for grain yield in soybean. Literature has indicated that yield components such as pods per plant and seeds per plant have shown strong positive correlations with grain yield (Arshad et al. 2014; Ghodrati et al. 2013). However, correlation coefficients for these traits need to be evaluated for South African genotypes and under South African production conditions. Results from this analysis will indicate which yield component shows strong positive correlations with other yield components and grain yield and that shows value for selection for yield.
This analysis will indicate which yield component (from all components tested) has the highest direct effect on grain yield (t ha-1). Literature has indicated that, among other traits, pods per plant, 100-seed weight and seeds per pod have shown strong direct effects on grain yield (Arshad et al. 2014). However, these influences have not been tested on South African genotypes and neither under South African production conditions. In addition, the heritability of the yield component should also be considered. For example, if a trait shows that it has a strong positive effect on grain yield, but it has a low heritability, then this trait would not be an effective selection measure for grain yield. Combined results from all analyses will indicate which yield component can serve as an effective selection criterion for high and stable grain yield under South African production conditions.
Studies on the use of bio-control agents on groundnut to control Aspergillus spp. and other soil pathogens
Pre-harvest infection of groundnut (Arachis hypogea) during drought stress by strains of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus is a major health and food safety concern worldwide. The fungi release aflatoxins, which are carcinogenic and hepatotoxic at levels of parts per billion. In this study, a formulated biocontrol agent, Trichoderma harzianum strain kd (Tkd), was used to control Aspergillus flavus infection of groundnut in the field. Groundnut seeds treated with Tkd developed more root biomass than the control (untreated with Tkd). Growth of Trichoderma mycelium from sterilized roots of groundnuts grown on Trichoderma selective media indicates root colonization of the intercellular spaces in groundnut roots by Tkd. Even the control plants showed evidence of root colonization by Trichoderma but at much lower levels. This shows that groundnuts are particularly a compatible host of Trichoderma acting as an endophyte. Under scanning electron microscopy, T. harzianum showed the ability to parasitize A. flavus by coiling around A. flavus hyphae, penetrating and degrading the mycelium of A. flavus. The levels of aflatoxin B 1 contamination from Aspergillus infection were determined using a MaxiSig-nal® ELISA test kit. The aflatoxin levels of A. flavus-inoculated control plants were significantly (p < 0.001) higher than that of the Tkd-treated plants, by 57% and 65%, in two trials. Yields from plants treated with Tkd were 35% and 49% higher than that from the control (untreated with Tkd) plants in these field trials. It can be concluded that application of Tkd to groundnut seeds may reduce infection of the groundnut seeds by Aspergillus flavus, and hence, it may reduce the contamination of the seed by aflatoxin, especially under drought stress condition. Concurrently, Tkd treatment may result in yields being enhanced by more than 35%.
Alternaria blight of sunflower and its control
The crop: Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)
The sunflower is a member of the Asteraceae, a large family of flowering plants occurring throughout the world, although a few are of economic importance. The sunflowers of the genus Helianthus have 67 species all of which are native to North and South America and 17 of which are cultivated (Weiss, 1983). Two of these species, H. annuus L., the common sunflower, and H. tuberosus L., the Jerusalem artichoke, are cultivated as food plants and several species are grown as ornamentals (Carter, 1978).
In South Africa, the sunflower crop is the third most important field crop after maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and is the most important oil crop (Grain South Africa, 2010). Other important oil crops include soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], rapeseed (Brasicca rapa L.), and peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) (Carter, 1978). Sunflower oil is considered to be of very high quality and generally sells for a premium in world markets over soybean and rapeseed oils (Robbelen et al., 1989). in South Africa and for the periods between 2001 and 2012, the local annual production of sunflower seed ranged between 500 000 to 700 000 tons. The major production areas in South Africa are North West, Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, with North West producing half of the annual production (DAFF, 2012).
The sunflower crop is propagated by seeds. It is recorded that more than 24 fungal species are seed-borne in the crop. One of the predominant seed-borne pathogens are the Alternaria species. Alternaria spp. are the cause of leaf blight of sunflower (Nahar et al., 2005). They are known to infect all parts of the plant viz., leaf, petiole, stem, all flower parts, and seeds (Kim and Mathur, 2006). Sunflower seed infection with Alternaria spp. causes bio-deterioration and reduction in germination in the seeds (Ojiambo et al., 1998).
The pathogen: The genus Alternaria Nees
Alternaria Nees is a cosmopolitan fungal genus that includes saprophytic, endophytic and pathogenic species. The genus Alternaria includes nearly 300 species that occur worldwide in a variety of habitats (Pryor and Gilbertson, 2000). The most common Alternaria species associated with sunflower leaf blight is A. helianthi (Hanford) Tubaki and Nishihara (Prasad et al., 2009). Other common Alternaria species reported on sunflower include, A. alternata (Fries) Keissler, A. zinnia Ellis, A. helianthicola Rao and Raj, A. tenuissima (Fries) Wiltshire, A. leucanthemi Nelen (Simmons and Grosier), A. helianthicola (Rao and Raj), A. longissima (Deighton and MacGarvey), A. helianthinficiens (Simmons), and A. protenta Simmons (Lapagodi and Thanassoulopoulos, 1998). Alternaria helianthi has been recorded as the main cause of Alternaria leaf spot in South Africa (Van der Westhuizen and Holtzhausen, 1980). However, Kgatle et al., (2012) reported a new pathogen that causes Alternaria blight is A. helianthicola which forms part of the small-spored Alternaria species.
Alternaria species affects all aerial parts of the plant such as the leaf, petiole, stem, floral parts and seeds of sunflower plants during emergence and throughout the growing stages of the plant (Malone and Muskett, 1997). The symptoms caused by Alternaria species on sunflower normally appear as dark brown, oval to circular spots with a pale margin and yellow halo. The spots become irregular by coalescing, leading to blight and defoliation and death of the plant (Cho and Yu, 2000).
Epidemics of Alternaria blight of sunflowers are most common and severe in areas that experience extended periods of wet weather in summer accompanied by mean daily temperatures between 25 and 30°C (Reis et al., 2006). Alternaria species are reported to reduce seed and oil yield by 27 to 80% and 17 to 33%, respectively, and can cause germination losses (Calvert et al., 2005). The disease significantly reduces head diameters and numbers of seeds produced per head. The reduction in seed content caused by Alternaria blight is an economic concern, because growers receive a price premium or a dockage based on oil content (Carson, 1985).
The aim of this research is to have a comprehensive understanding of Alternaria species associated with sunflower. The focus will be on (i) determining the distribution of Alternaria leaf spot (ALS) in sunflower production areas, (ii) determining the causal agents of ALS using molecular and morphological techniques, (iii) determining the effect of ALS on seed health and seed vigor, (iv) determining the most effective chemical and biocontrol agents that can limit the spread of ALS.
- To determine the distribution of Alternaria blight by surveying the major sunflower growing areas in South Africa for Alternaria leaf spot.
- To identify the causal agents of Alternaria blight based on morphology and molecular techniques.
- To determine the seed health and seed vigour of sunflower seed lots.
- To determine location of infection by using a seed component test and Real-time PCR.
- To determine the source of Alternaria species inoculums in sunflower farms.
- To determine the susceptibility of different cultivars to Alternaria blight.
- To determine bio-control and chemical control measures.
Progress to date
A Literature review has been done
The distribution of Alternaria leaf blight in the survey of major sunflower production farms of South Africa and cultivar trials to determine if Alternaria leaf blight has any association or specificity to a certain sunflower cultivar have been done. The survey showed that Alternaria leaf blight is widespread in the sunflower production areas (Fig. 1), and samples collected during the survey were used for subsequent research in identification studies. This has been completed and a publication is being finalized.
The main pathogen present in the leaf blight lesions have been identified using morphological and molecular techniques to identify the causal agents of Alternaria blight isolated from South African sunflower production areas. Alternaria helianthi was not isolated from any of the sunflower lesions, with only Alternaria sect. Alternaria isolates retrieved from the symptomatic tissue. Molecular identification using the ITS, GAPDH, RPB2 gene, Alt a1 and the TEF-1α gene regions was done to support the morphological identification based on the three dimensional sporulation patterns the of Alternaria species (Fig 1). Furthermore, this study aimed at evaluating the pathogenicity of the Alternaria isolates and their potential as causal agents of Alternaria leaf blight of sunflower. Pathogenicity tests showed that all the Alternaria alternata isolates are capable of causing Alternaria leaf blight of sunflower as seen in the field (Fig 2). This is the first report of A. alternata causing leaf blight of sunflower in South Africa.
Alternaria species have been associated with sunflower seeds and reported to affect seed quality. This research will
- determine if mycoflora associated with sunflower has an effect on seed vigour and seed health; and
- determine the location of the sunflower seeds with the most Alternaria species inoculum.
Standard germination and seed health (agar plate method) tests were conducted on nineteen sunflower seed – lots collected from various parts of South Africa. Standard germination tests were done on paper dolls according to the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) regulations. The agar plate method was used for the detection of mycoflora on the seeds. The seeds were placed onto potato dextrose agar (PDA) and then incubated at 25°C under 12 hours of alternating dark and UV light cycles. Germination percentages ranged from 70 to 91%. Germination was found to be influenced by the severity of seed infection, although the correlation was a fairly weak (56%). Five genera were isolated from the seeds, namely Trichoderma, Stemphylium, Rhizopus, Fusarium and Alternaria species which were there most predominant having a disease incidence ranging from 28 to 82% between the various seed-lots. Germination tests showed that the germinated seedlings of the various seed lots had seedling blight. Seed component tests will be done to determine the location of infection using agar plate method, qPCR and digital droplet PCR.
The efficacy of fungicides and a bio-control product for the control of Alternaria leaf blight during field trials
There is currently no registered fungicide treatment for ALS on sunflower. The efficacy of fungicides and a bio-control product for the control of Alternaria leaf blight during field trials. Three field trials have been/will be done in 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 seasons. Findings from this research will determine which fungicide or spray program can be used to minimize the Alternaria in the field and on the seed. This research will also most importantly quantify the losses in yield caused by ALS (seed mass, yield mass, seed vigor and health etc).
The role of seedling diseases in poor establishment of sunflower in South Africa
Poor establishment has been identified as one of the important constraints in sunflower production in South Africa. Although the contribution of other factors such as seedling vigour, seedbed preparation and soil temperature to poor establishment have been investigated, there is no information on the role of seedling diseases as a production constraint in sunflower production in South Africa. The main aim of this study is to determine the incidence of seedling diseases of sunflower and the major causal organisms associated with these diseases. The first phase of the project involves surveys and sampling of diseased sunflower seedlings and characterization of fungi associated with these seedlings. The current report includes results on surveys and sampling of diseased sunflower seedlings and fungi associated with cotyledons, hypocotyls and roots of these seedlings during December 2015 and February and March 2016 in the Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West. Field trials were established with treated (Celest XL + Cruiser Maxx) and untreated seed of cultivar PAN 7102 CL at three localities each in the Free State and North West, and one each in Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Farmer fields planted to only treated seed were sampled at three localities each in the Free State, and four each in Limpopo and North West province. Seedlings (60 per locality) and rhizosphere soil were sampled within six weeks after planting. Cotyledon, hypocotyl and root rot severities were recorded. There was often a clear difference in survival of seedlings in plots planted to treated and untreated seeds, with more seedlings that survived in plots planted to treated compared to untreated seed. It was also found that in certain instances seed did not germinate or showed poor germination. Similar to the previous year, stunted seedlings were present in all fields sampled. Symptoms on seedlings included lesions on cotyledon, hypocotyls and roots. At one locality in the Free State, root knot nematode was also recorded on seedling roots. In field trials, cotyledon and root rot was more severe in samples collected from the Free State and North West and at one of the localities in the Free State (Krst - Kroonstad) seed treatment significantly reduced the severity of cotyledon rot. Seed treatment only significantly reduced hypocotyl rot severity at the 2Potch locality in North West province, but had no effect on root rot severity in any of the other localities. Analyzing the samples obtained from farmer fields and field trials planted only to treated seed, also showed significantly higher cotyledon and hypocotyl rot severities for localities in the Free State, Limpopo and North West and significantly higher root rot severities for seedlings in the Free State and North West. Hypocotyl rot severities recorded for seedlings were low in both field trials and farmer fields. Isolations were conducted from the cotyledons, hypocotyls and roots of these seedlings on both general and selective media from surface and non-surface disinfested plant material. All fungi (8869 isolates) that developed were purified and identified using morphological characteristics. DNA was extracted from representative fungi and subjected to molecular characterization. Although this process is still not finalized, the identification of many important pathogens were confirmed. The fungi most frequently isolated included Alternaria spp., Bipolaris spp., Diaporthe spp., Fusarium brachygibbosum, F. equiseti, F. chlamydosporum, F. oxysporum, F. solani, Fusarium spp., Macrophomina phaseolina, Phoma spp., Rhizopus spp. and Trichoderma spp. Important Pythium and Rhizoctonia spp. were also isolated and included in the statistical analyses. Results showed that of these fungi, only incidences of Alternaria spp. and F. oxysporum were reduced by seed treatment. Surface disinfestation significantly reduced the incidences of Bipolaris spp., F. brachygibbosum, F. equiseti, F. chlamydosporum, F. oxysporum, F. solani, Fusarium spp., Phoma spp., Pythium spp. and Trichoderma spp. However, isolation frequencies for Alternaria spp., were higher after surface disinfestation. Incidences of Alternaria spp., Bipolaris spp., F. brachygibbosum, F. equiseti, and Phoma spp. were higher on cotyledons than hypocotyls and roots, whereas incidences of Diaporthe spp. were highest on the hypocotyls of seedlings and incidences of F. oxysporum, F. solani, M. phaseolina, Pythium spp., and Trichoderma spp. were most frequently associated with roots. Incidences of Rhizoctonia spp., were high on both cotyledons and hypocotyls in farmer fields and trials planted to treated seed and high on hypocotyls and roots in field trials planted to treated and untreated seed. Alternaria spp., F. chlamydosporum and F. oxysporum were more frequently isolated from seedlings sampled in the localities in the Free State, Mpumalanga and North West than Limpopo. Bipolaris spp., occurred significantly more frequently on seedlings from localities in the Free State, Limpopo and North West provinces. Diaporthe spp. were frequently reported on seedlings from localities in the North West province. Fusarium brachygibbosum, F. solani, M. phaseolina, Pythium spp. and Rhizoctonia spp. were frequently isolated from seedlings collected from localities in Limpopo and North West, and Rhizopus spp. more frequently from seedlings collected in the Free State and Mpumalanga. There were no significant differences in the incidences of F. equiseti and Trichodermci spp. on seedlings collected from the four provinces. Soil samples collected from the different localities were split in half and one half was pasteurized to eliminate soilbome pathogens. Both pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils were planted to treated (Celest XL + Cruiser Maxx) and non-treated seed of cultivar PAN 7102 CL under glasshouse conditions. Seedling survival, seedling length, cotyledon, hypocotyl and root rot severity were recorded. Many interactions were recorded for seed treatment, soil pasteurization localities and provinces, but in general seed treatment improved survival of seedlings and reduced growth of seedlings, although not in soil from all localities. Seed treatment only significantly reduced root rot severity of seedlings in soils collected in the Free State. Unfortunately seed treatment caused premature dying of cotyledons of seedlings in the glasshouse. Soil pasteurization significantly reduced cotyledon and root rot severity in the soils from all provinces and significantly increased growth of seedlings in soil from Mpumalanga. Plant length was improved by soil pasteurization although not always significantly and seed treatment only significantly improved plant length in soil collected from Mpumalanga.
The results of this survey showed that cotyledon, hypocotyl and root rot occur in young sunflower seedlings in the major sunflower production areas and that pathogens were obtained from seedlings with disease symptoms that can significantly affect seedling health. Furthermore, certain pathogens were more prevalent on certain plant parts and also more prevalent in certain localities or provinces. Some of the fungi isolated appears to be new records on sunflower. The preliminary pathogenicity test identified species within Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizoctonia that can be responsible for poor establishment of sunflower seedlings, but these results need to be confirmed and should include representative isolates of all potential pathogenic fungi isolated during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 surveys. Also soil pasteurization to eliminate soilbome pathogens significantly reduced cotyledon and root rot, but seed treatment with Celest XL + Cruiser Maxx was less effective in reducing disease symptoms. The results clearly demonstrate the complexity of pathogens associated with sunflower seedlings and that different complexes are present in different production areas. Once the most important pathogens of sunflower seedlings are identified it will be important to evaluate the efficacy of the Celest XL + Cruiser Maxx treatment against these pathogens and whether it is necessary to improve the seed treatment to target seedling disease complexes to significantly improve seedling health and establishment of sunflower in South Africa.
The funding of the Supply and Demand Estimates Committee
In light of the importance of food security, volatile grain and oilseeds markets and insufficient information regarding future stock levels, the South African Grain & Oilseeds Supply & Demand Estimates Liaison Committee (S&DELC) and the South African Grain & Oilseeds Supply & Demand Estimates Committee (S&DEC) were established in 2012. Since then, the S&DEC published 26 official South Africa Supply and Demand Estimates (SASDE) reports. The reports are currently well accepted and recognized by industry. On average the reports received approximately 1000 visits per day, through the NAMC website. Top industry role-players also indicated that the reliability and integrity of the report are of utmost importance. It is therefore that the S&DEC suggests the implementation of a statutory measure on the reporting of imports and exports to enhance the integrity and the functioning of the committee.
Grain South Africa (Grain SA), applied for a statutory measure in 2011 for grain traders to report on export and import contracts. Similar practices are used in the United States of America (USA). The application was opposed by the South African Cereal Oilseeds Traders Association (SACOTA), and as an alternative SACOTA suggested to compile a monthly Supply and Demand Estimates Report. With further collaboration, a Grain and Oilseeds Supply and Demand Estimates Liaison Committee (S&DELC) was established to oversee the initiative and negotiations around it. Industry appointed Dr John Purchase from the Agri-business Chamber (Agbiz) as the Chair of this committee and the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) as its secretariat.
In order to ensure that the working of the committee is not transgressing the Competition Act the Competition Commission was requested for an opinion regarding the workings of the committee.
- It should consist of independent grain market experts;
- Is must be responsible for the monthly data collection, calculation and dissemination of information with the assistance of the South African Grain Information SAGIS;
- It needs to meet at least within 1 day after the National Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) or SAGIS deliveries were released, whichever occurred last, to release information after the market has closed;
- It should ensure confidentiality by means of a "lock down" principle, and a confidentiality clause will be signed by all members. In addition one NAMC official will be identified and contracted for the purpose of trade data collection. Only aggregate data will be tabled at the meetings of the S&DEC;
- A disclaimer will be included in the publication of the supply and demand information to set out the liability of the information. In the event that the published supply and demand figures are unreliable there is a reputational risk for the S&DEC and also the NAMC; and
- It is therefore considered important that the S&DEC members are fully informed about changes and developments in the grain industry. Members also need to do proper research regarding trends, substitution effects between different grains and also have a clear understanding of the global grains and oilseeds situations.
Functions of the S&DEC
The primary object of the S&DEC is to publish official grain and oilseeds supply and demand figures on a monthly basis. This is done through the following:
- Collection of information regarding imports and exports figures, production and consumption figures, by the NAIV1C. The information is to be processed and reported on in an aggregated manner during the S&DEC meetings.
- Analysing of historical data obtained from SAGIS.
- Processing of the National CEC information regarding the crop estimate in terms of supply.
- Determination of an official estimate of grain and oilseed stock levels of a specific month for the rest of the marketing year, based on the above sources.
- Responsible for the organizing and functioning of the committee. The committee consist of the chair of SAGIS, the secretariat of the CEC, three independent members, appointed by industry and officials of the NAMC.
Short comings of the initiative
The following short comings have been identified in the functioning of the committee:
- Reluctant reporting from various SACOTA members.
- Not all the importers/exporters are SACOTA members and these stakeholders are of the opinion that they do not have any obligation to report their data to the committee.
- Some of the SACOTA members indicate that they will not participate unless reporting of data becomes a statutory obligation.
- Non-SACOTA members also indicate that they will not participate unless reporting of imports and exports becomes a statutory obligation.
- The current system also opens itself for misleading information reporting.
It is within the ambit of the above information that the S&DEC proposes the implementation of a statutory measure which entails that:
- Importers and exporters of grains, oilseeds and relevant products, such as oil cake, need to declare import and export contracts upon signature of such a contract, to the NAMC.
- Importers and exporters of grains, oilseeds and relevant products, such as oil cake, need to declare when a contract is washed out or cancelled, to the NAMC.
- Port and border authorities and service providers at national ports need to declare information regarding slot bookings when it has been booked or cancelled, to the NAMC.
Functioning of the S&DEC with Statutory Measure
The functioning and dissemination of information of the S&DEC will be the same as in the past. No company specific information will be made available towards the S&DEC or any other party.
- The data from importers and exporters needs to be submitted to the NAMC.
- Port/border authorities and facilitators of grains will also need to report available data within 5 working days when slots are booked for import and export grains.
- The data will be analyzed and packed and made available in an aggregated format when the S&DEC meets once a month to compile the SASDE report.
- Cross checking will be done on a monthly basis via SAGIS information.
Any importer/exporter not complying with the statutory measure will be in breach of the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act of 1996.
The staff and web master, Tigme.com, paid significant attention to our website to improve its user-friendly approach and further improve its efficacy as communication tool.
Information available on the website include the guidelines and application forms for research projects and bursaries, information about achievement awards, crop estimates and minutes of forum meetings.
The publication of research results on the website enjoyed continuous attention during the year.
The OAC/OPDT is satisfied with the progress and the utility value of the website.
During the 2016/17 financial year the General Manager, Mr Nico Hawkins, attended six workgroup and forum meetings where SAGIS' information was presented and distributed to all role players.
SAGIS' Board of Directors during the 2016/17 financial year
The Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust and Oilseeds Industry were represented on SAGIS' Board of Directors, by Mr Gerhard Scholtemeijer and Mr De Wet Boshoff with Ms Marie van der Merwe as their alternate.
Dr John Purchase and Mr Anton Nebe were the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson respectively.
Co-workers Commodity 28 February 2015 29 February 2016 28 February 2017 Canola 28 26 28 Groundnuts 83 82 81 Soybeans 108 109 105 Sunflower 105 107 106 Total 324 324 320
The first publication for oilseed products information was done on 7 April 2017. The publication dates are available on SAGIS' website. On 28 February 2017 the actual number of returns from registered co-workers was 82 returns for the oilseed industry.
Inspections for oilseeds
Visits at co-workers
The following visits were made at co-workers of oilseeds:
Visits at co-workers per commodity Canola Groundnuts Soybeans Sunflower 18 64 84 85
The following physical stocktaking of oilseeds was done from 1 March 2016 until 28 February 2017.
Physical stocktaking per commodity Canola Groundnuts Soybeans Sunflower 31 154 10 266 83 977 101 427
SAGIS appreciates the support and co-operation of all the role-players.
We wish to express our gratitude especially towards the Members of the Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust for their continued support, financially and otherwise.
Oilseeds South African Soybean Crop Quality Survey
During the harvesting of the 2015/2016 production season, which was the fifth annual soybean crop quality survey conducted by the SAGL, a representative sample of each delivery of soybeans at the various silos was taken according to the prescribed grading regulations. One hundred and fourty three composite soybean samples, proportionally representing the different production regions, were analysed for different quality parameters. The samples were graded, milled and chemically analysed for moisture, protein, fat and ash content. Fifteen randomly selected samples were analysed to quantitatively determine the presence of genetically modified soybeans.
The goal of this crop quality survey is to accumulate quality data on the commercial soybean crop on a national level. This valuable data reveal general tendencies, highlight quality differences in commercial soybeans production regions and provide important information on the quality of commercial soybeans intended for export. With this data, SAGL is building up a database with quality data over different production seasons which can be used for decision making processes. The results are available on the SAGL website. The hard copy reports are distributed to all the Directly Affected Groups and interested parties. The report is also available for download in a PDF format from the website. The 2015/2016 Report of the National Soybean Cultivar trials conducted by the ARC-Grain Crops Institute is also included in the report, as is the national grading regulations as published in the Government Gazette of 20 June 2014.
Summary of results
Eighty-nine percent (127) of the 143 samples analysed for the purpose of this survey were graded as Grade SB1 and 16 of the samples were downgraded to COSB (Class Other Soya Beans). During the previous two seasons, 13% (2014/2015) and 12% (2013/2014) of the samples were downgraded to COSB.
- One of the sixteen samples was downgraded as a result of the percentage other grain present in the sample exceeding the maximum permissible deviation of 0.5%
- One sample was downgraded as a result of the percentage sunflower seed present in the sample exceeding the maximum permissible deviation of 0.1%
- One sample was downgraded as a result of the percentage stones present in the sample exceeding the maximum permissible deviation of 1%
- Four of the samples were downgraded as a result of the presence of poisonous seeds (Datura sp.) exceeding the maximum permissible number, namely 1 per 1,000g
- Four samples were downgraded as a result of the presence of poisonous seeds (Ipomoea purpurea Roth.) exceeding the maximum permissible number, namely 7 per 1,000g
- One sample was downgraded for exceeding both maximum permissible number of poisonous seeds (Datura sp. and Ipomoea purpurea Roth.)
- The remaining four samples were downgraded as a result of a combination of one or more of the following deviations exceeding the maximum permissible deviation: percentage foreign matter, percentage other grain, the presence of an undesired odour as well as poisonous seeds (Datura sp.)
Based on the samples received for this crop survey, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum did not pose any problems, although the number of samples containing sclerotia increased from 20 in the previous season to 36 this season. The highest percentages of sclerotia observed (0.76% and 0.64%) was on samples from Mpumalanga, followed by a sample from North West with 0.60%. These percentages are however still well below the maximum permissible level of 4%. The national weighted average percentage this season was 0.04% compared to the 0.01% of the previous season.
All fifteen samples tested for genetic modification (GM), tested positive for the presence of the CP4 EPSPS trait (Roundup Ready®).
The nutritional component analyses, namely crude protein, -fat, -fibre and ash are reported on a dry/moisture-free basis (db) for the current as well as the previous surveys. The graphs below provide comparisons between provinces over seasons for the nutritional components mentioned above.
Oilseeds South African Sunflower Crop Quality Survey
This was the fourth annual national sunflower crop quality survey performed by The Southern African Grain Laboratory NPC.
During the harvesting season, a representative sample of each delivery of sunflower seeds at the various silos was taken according to the prescribed grading regulations. The sampling procedure as well as a copy of the grading regulations form part of the report. One hundred and seventy six composite sunflower samples, representing the different production regions, were analysed for quality. The samples were graded, milled and chemically analysed for moisture, crude protein, crude fat, crude fibre as well as ash content.
The goal of this crop quality survey is the compilation of a detailed database, accumulating quality data collected over several seasons on the commercial national sunflower crop, which is essential in assisting with decision making processes. The results are available on the SAGL website (www.sagl.co.za). The hard copy reports are distributed to Directly Affected Groups and interested parties. The report is also available for download in a PDF format from the website.
Summary of results
Seventy eight percent (78%), thus 138 of the 176 samples analysed for the purpose of this survey were graded as Grade FH1 and thirty-eight of the samples were downgraded to COSF (Class Other Sunflower Seed). The 78% of FH1 samples showed a decrease compared to the 86% and 82% of the 2014/2015 and 2013/2014 seasons respectively.
- Two samples were downgraded as a result of the percentage damaged sunflower seed exceeding the maximum permissible deviation of 10%.
- Fifteen of the samples were downgraded as a result of the percentage of either the screenings or the collective deviations or a combination of both exceeding the maximum permissible deviations of 4% and 6% respectively.
- Five samples were downgraded as a result of a combination of the foreign matter and collective deviations exceeding the maximum permissible deviations of 4% and 6% respectively.
- Eight of the samples were downgraded as a result of the presence of poisonous seeds (Datura sp.) exceeding the maximum permissible number, namely 1 per 1000g.
- One sample was downgraded due to the presence of an undesired odour.
- The remaining seven samples were downgraded as a result of a combination of one or more of the following deviations exceeding the maximum permissible deviation: percentage damaged sunflower seed, percentage screenings, percentage foreign matter, percentage collective deviations as well as poisonous seeds (Datura sp.).
Gauteng province (two samples) reported the highest weighted average percentage screenings namely 3.60%, followed by North West (N = 80) and Free State (N = 80) provinces with 2.80% and 2.01% respectively. Limpopo (seven samples) reported the lowest average percentage screenings of 1.09%. The weighted national average was 2.34% compared to the 2.05% of the previous season.
The highest weighted percentage foreign matter (1.77%) was reported for the seven samples from Mpumalanga. The Free State and North West provinces averaged 1.61% and 1.23% respectively. The lowest average percentage was found in Limpopo, namely 1.01%. The RSA average of 1.41% was the highest of the last three seasons.
Based on the samples received for this survey, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum did not pose a significant problem and was observed on 18 of the samples (10%). Fourteen of these samples originated in the North West province and three in the Free State. The highest percentage (1.80%) was present on a sample from Mpumalanga, this is however still well below the maximum allowable level of 4%. Weighted average levels ranged from 0% for the Gauteng and Limpopo provinces, 0.03% in the Free State, 0.04% in the North West to 0.26% in Mpumalanga. The national average of 0.04% was equal to the previous season.
Test weight does not form part of the grading regulations for sunflower seed in South Africa. An approximation of the test weight of South African sunflower seeds is provided in the report for information purposes. The g/1L filling weight of sunflower seed was determined by means of the Kern 222 apparatus. The test weight was extrapolated by meansof the following formulas obtained from the Test Weight Conversion Chart for Sunflower Seed, Oil of the Canadian Grain Commission: y=0.1936x + 2.2775 (138 to 182 g/0.5L) and y= 0.1943x + 2.1665 (183 to 227 g/0.5L). Please see also Graph1 for a comparison of the test weight per province over the last four seasons.
The nutritional component analyses, namely crude protein, -fat, -fibre and ash are reported as % (g/100g) on an 'as received' or 'as is' basis. The graphs below summarise the results.
The nutritional component analyses, namely crude protein, -fat, - fibre and ash are reported as % (g/100g) on an 'as received or "as is" basis. The graphs below summarise the results.
Generic marketing of soybeans in human nutrition
The project will only commence during the 2017/2018 financial year.
Response of sunflower to a conservation agriculture production system and nitrogen fertilization
There is a worldwide shift from conventional tillage crop systems towards conservation systems where no-till is practiced. For crops such as maize, it is recommended that the nitrogen fertilisation rate should be higher in no-till than in conventional tilled systems. It is unknown how sunflower would respond to no-till locally and if it requires a higher nitrogen fertilisation rate. The objective of this project was to investigate these two aspects and determine if nutrient uptake, diseases, pests and weeds are different in the tilled and no-till systems. A field trial was established with maize as rotational crop for sunflower on a sand clay loam textured Avalon soil at Potchefstroom in November 2013. Treatments were conventional mouldboard tillage and no-till, representing the conservation agriculture system, as main plots and four nitrogen fertilisation rates allotted to sub-plots in the following season on sunflower. Nutrient concentration in the sunflower biomass and total uptake were affected in most seasons during one or more growth stages by one or, by both treatment factors. This indicates that nutrient uptake is affected by seasonal weather, especially rainfall, and interactions between seasonal weather and both tillage and nitrogen fertilisation. No differences in diseases, pests and weeds were observed between tillage systems, nor among nitrogen fertilisation rates. No indication could be found that tilled and no-till sunflower crops have different nitrogen fertiliser requirements. Over the three consecutive seasons, the yield of the no-till sunflower improved from 15% below to 34% above the yield of the tilled system.
National soybean cultivar trials
A total of 32 commercial cultivars were evaluated, during the 2016/17 season in 21 field trials representing the cool-, moderate- and warm areas. Only GMO cultivars were included in the trials and Roundup applications were used during the execution of the trials. A randomised complete-block design with three replicates was used for all field trials. Date of flowering (50% flowering), date of harvest maturity, length of growing season, plant height, pod height, green stem, lodging, shattering, 100 seeds mass, undesirable seed, protein – and oil percentage and seed yield were determined and the yield probability of cultivars calculated. Yield probabilities served as guideline for cultivar selection. The mean number of days from planting to 50% flowering of cultivars for the cool, moderate and warm areas were 71, 59 and 47 days, respectively. The overall mean oil content for cultivars was 13.57% for the cool, 12.95% for the moderate and 13.92% for the warm areas and the protein content 33.16% (cool), 34.51% (moderate) and 35.0% (warm).
The overall mean yield was 3 125kg ha-1 for the cooler areas, 3 262kg ha-1 for the moderate and 2 291kg ha-1 for the warm areas. The medium-long maturity grouping's performance for the 2016/17 season was the most consistent over all the climatic regions.
Cultivars with a high yield probability are important in the selection of cultivars by producers due to the reliability of the expected future yield. Cultivars which had high yield probability over the reporting period were PAN 1521 R for all the production areas as well as DM 5953 RSF for the cooler and warmer areas as well as PAN 1623 for both the moderated and warmer areas.
Cultivar evaluation of oil and protein seeds in the winter rainfall area: Western and Southern Cape (canola)
National cultivar trials
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture conducted a range of cultivar trials during the 2015 season in the Swartland and Southern Cape. In the Southern Cape eight trials were planted and the six data sets were used (bad establishment occurred at Rietpoel and herbicide damage occurred at Roodebloem). In the Swartland eight trials were planted with only one trial not harvested (insect damage).
The past season in the Swartland was characterised by extremely dry conditions during August and September. The rainy season started on May 30, there were two months of effective rainfall. In the Swartland the average rainfall for April to September was 45% to 57% of the long-term average. In the Southern Cape above average rainfall occurred. May was dry in the central and western parts of the Rûens. In the eastern parts planting was done in April with good soil moisture.
During August and September, the minimum and maximum temperature at Langgewens was above average. At Rietpoel the maximum temperature for July was 2.5ºC lower than the long term average. The minimum temperature in August and September was however 1ºC warmer than the long term average.
In the Swartland, the average yield was 1 320kg ha-1 compared to 2 468kg ha-1 in 2014. All the trials in the Swartland emerged at the same time after the first rain on May 30.
The new conventional hybrid cultivar Diamond (1 721kg ha-1) was the top performer in the Swartland. Diamond was followed by Tango (1 519kg ha-1) and CB Agamax (1 441kg ha-1). The above cultivars are all early to medium cultivars and were better adapted to the short growing season. The CL-cultivar 44Y89 (1 643kg ha-1) has the 2nd highest yield in the Swartland trials and was significantly higher than other cultivars within the CL group. In the TT group, the hybrid cultivar, Hyola 559 (1 273kg ha-1) was the best performer. The yield of Hyola 559, was not significantly better than CB Atomic and Granite TT.
The yield of the TT-cultivars in the Swartland and Southern Cape was 24% and 18.1% respectively lower than the conventional varieties.