OPDT   OIL & PROTEIN SEEDS DEVELOPMENT TRUST
OAC   OILSEEDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

OPDT
OIL & PROTEIN SEEDS DEVELOPMENT TRUST

OAC
OILSEEDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE


Minutes

Sunflower and Soybean Forum (SSF)
held on 8 February 2011 at 10:00, at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry, 49 River Road, Woodmead

  1. Opening

    The meeting was opened with a prayer offered by Mr GTduT Keun.

  2. Welcoming

    The Chairperson, Mr GJH Scholtemeijer, welcomed all to the first meeting of the Forum for the year, with a special word of welcome to Dr Briedenhann, Messrs Cronjé and Botma, who were all attending a meeting of the forum for the first time.

  3. Attendance

    Present

    Mr GJH Scholtemeijer Chairperson
    Mr P Botha GrainSA
    Mr J Botma OAC
    Dr E Briedenhann OAC
    Mr W Cronjé SSA
    Mr C Herbst SAGIS
    Dr AA Nel ARC-GCI
    Mr FAS Potgieter GrainSA
    Mr MT Prinsloo ARC-GCI
    Ms T Rudman SANCU
    Ms M Scheepers DAFF
    Ms J Tshupe OAC
    Dr W van der Walt PNOACS
    Dr P van Twisk PVT Consultants
    Mr G Keun CEO: OPDT/OAC/PRF
    Ms E Harmse Secretariat

    Apologies

    Mr L Dames OVK
    Ms A Enslin SAGIS
    Mr DJ Kok GSI
    Mr GJ Pretorius GrainSA
    Mnr G Reitsma SANSOR
    Dr G Thompson ARC-GCI
    Dr SG Ybema NWK
  4. Personalia

    Dr Briedenhann was congratulated on his appointment as a trustee of the Protein Research Foundation, Messrs Botma and Cronjé on their appointments as members of the Oilseeds Advisory Committee, and Mr Keun, on his election as Chairperson of the Groundnut Forum. Dr van Twisk was congratulated on his birthday.

  5. Confirmation of agenda

    The agenda was accepted as it stood, with the addition of:

    • Item 9.6 – Market outlook;
    • Item 9.7 – Soybean cultivar trials;
    • Item 9.8 – Plant breeders' rights and policy;
    • Item 9.9 – Nestlé and Specialised Protein Products (SPP).
  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum held on 5 August 2010

      Resolved:

      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum, that was held on 5 August 2010, be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting.
  7. Matters arising

    1. Marketing aspects

      1. Crop Estimates / Intentions to plant

        The Chairperson tabled the document reflecting the preliminary area planted estimate for summer crops for the 2010-2011 production season, and called on Ms Scheepers to comment.

        The Chairperson tabled the document reflecting the preliminary area planted estimate for summer crops for the 2010-2011 production season, and called on Ms Scheepers to comment.

        Dr Briedenhann noted that a sunflower crop of 750 000 tons could be expected, if an average yield of 1,3 tons per hectare was delivered. He said the traditional consumption of sunflower seed was approximately 65 000 tons per month, and that the supply situation of sunflower seed would be fairly tight, if there were to be no imports, as the carry over stock was not very big.

        Ms Scheepers reported that the preliminary area planted to commercial soybeans was 438 000 hectares, which represented an increase of 126 550 hectares or 40,6% compared to the 311 450 hectares planted the previous season. She said this area was also 210 366 hectares or 92,4% more than the previous five year average plantings of 227 634 hectares.

        Ms Scheepers presented a table indicating the preliminary area planted to sunflower and soybeans per province in the 2010-2011 production season as opposed to the area planted per province in the 2009-2010 production season and the percentage change in the area planted to both sunflower and soybeans. She said the Free State and North West produced the majority of the sunflower crop, while Mpumalanga and the Free State were the leading provinces in soybean production.

        Ms Scheepers concluded her presentation by giving an overview of the ratio between the area planted to sunflower seed versus maize, soybeans versus maize and soybeans versus sunflower seed, in the 2000-2001 and 2010-2011 production years respectively.

        The Chairperson thanked Ms Scheepers for her contribution.

      2. SAGIS

        Cognisance was taken of the various items of information issued by SAGIS, viz. the Market Information dated 8 February, the Weekly Bulletin dated 25 January, and the Monthly Bulletin, dated 22 December.

        Mr Herbst informed the members that the producer deliveries of sunflower seed in the period 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010 were 38,5% less than for the same period the previous year. He said producer deliveries for soybeans were 534 700 tons for the period 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010.

        Mr Herbst conveyed SAGIS's gratitude to the co-workers in the industry for submitting their returns timeously, and to the Forum and Advisory Committee for their support and cooperation. He asked whether the Forum was satisfied with the information compiled by SAGIS. The Chairperson mentioned that he would approach SAGIS with a request for certain information on edible oils.

        Dr van der Walt referred to the information on soybean exports in the Monthly Bulletin. He mentioned that most of the soybeans produced in South Africa were genetically modified. He said he tracked import and export permits for GM- and co-mingled products, and had noted that export permits had only been issued for 300 tons of soybeans during 2010, while SAGIS's data reflected that 121,1 thousand tons had been exported up to the end of November 2010. Dr Briedenhann said approximately half of the exports went to Malaysia while the other half went to Indonesia. He mentioned that one vessel carried conventional soybeans, while the remainder of the exports consisted of genetically modified soybeans. He said to the best of his knowledge permits had been issued for all of the exports.

        Mr Cronjé asked whether SAGIS could provide information on the total producer deliveries of GM as opposed to conventional soybeans. Mr Botma mentioned that conventional soybeans often tested positive as GM after being contaminated by adjacent GM soybeans. Dr Briedenhann confirmed that crosscontamination in trucks and silos was also a big issue. He said it was a nightmare to keep GMO-free grains separately. Mr Potgieter mentioned that producers did not have to declare whether soybeans were GM or non-GM upon delivery. The Chairperson said Mr Cronjé would have a reasonable chance to procure non-GM soybeans, if he were to buy from contract growers.

    2. Utilisation of sunflower oilcake

      (Resolution 7.4.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 5 August 2010)

      Mr Keun reported that the resolution with regard to the increased utilisation of sunflower oilcake had been referred tot the Oilseeds Advisory Committee as well as the Research Priority Committee, and that the recommendation had been that the Animal Feed Manufacturers' Association should be approached with the view to publishing an article on the issue.

      Noted:

      1. That cognisance be taken that the Animal Feed Manufacturers' Association would be approached with the view to publishing an article on the increased utilisation of sunflower oilcake.

        Mr Keun

    3. New labelling regulations, with specific reference to oils

      Dr van der Walt said Dr van Twisk reported at a previous meeting on the new labelling requirements with regard to edible oils. He mentioned that his area of interest related to the new Consumer Protection Act, and the regulation which stated that any person who produces, supplies, imports or packages any prescribed goods has to display on, or in association with the packaging of these goods, a notice in the prescribed manner and form that discloses the presence of any GM-ingredients or components of those goods in accordance with applicable legislation.

      Dr van der Walt noted that there were different interpretations of this ruling. He said his recommendation was that the wording "may contain genetically modified ingredients" be used.

      Dr van Twisk reported that the implementation of the new labelling regulations for edible oils had been deferred to 1 March 2012. Mr Botma said producers should be made aware that there may in future be a need to discern between GM and non-GM crops.

    4. Promotion of sunflower oils

      (Resolution 9.9.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 5 August 2010)

      The Chairperson said the Oilseeds Advisory Committee had discussed the possibility of launching a generic marketing campaign for sunflower oil. Mr Keun reported that Dr Lourens du Plessis had been requested to write promotional material and an article on the qualities of sunflower oil.

      Dr van Twisk held the opinion that such a campaign would not be meaningful, as the sunflower oil industry was not under threat of survival, there was nothing wrong with local sunflowers, and sunflower seed was in short supply. Drs Briedenhann and Nel were in accordance with this.

    5. Soybean rust

      The Chairperson reported that only one report of soybean rust infection had been received to date, namely in a vegetable soybean trial at Cedara on 7 January. Cognisance was taken of the minutes of the meeting of the Soybean Rust Working Group held on 20 July 2010. Cognisance was also taken that the Soybean Rust Working Group had ceased its activities, as soybean rust was not considered to be a threat of critical importance anymore, and could be controlled chemically.

  8. Research

    1. Sclerotinia survey

      (Resolutions 8.1.1 and 8.1.2 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 5 August 2010)

      Mr Keun reported that he was still awaiting a response from Dr Gulya of the Sclerotinia Initiative in North Dakota following on his query regarding the effect sclerotinia infected seeds had on the quality of sunflower oil. He said he was also waiting for feedback from SANSOR on whether or not they could assist the Crop Estimates Committee with the annual sclerotinia survey.

      Dr Briedenhann said sclerotinia definitely influenced the crushing characteristics of the seed, and added that no crusher will take in sunflower seeds that had been infected with sclerotinia. He said he would like to determine what happened to the approximately 4% of the crop that was infected with sclerotinia annually. Mr Potgieter mentioned that the grading regulations allowed for a certain percentage of sclerotinia infection.

      Cognisance was taken of the minutes of the Sclerotinia Working Group held on 20 July 2010. Cognisance was also taken of the article "Post-Sclerotinia recommendations".

      Resolved:

      1. That it be investigated whether the effect of sclerotinia infection on the quality of oil had been researched, with feedback being provided at a following meeting of the Forum.

        Mr Keun

      2. That SANSOR be contacted with the view to determining whether they could assist the Crop Estimates Committee with the annual sclerotinia survey.

        Mr Keun

    2. Damage caused by pigeons on sunflower

      (Resolution 8.2.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 5 August 2010)

      The Chairperson said the literature study on mitigating the damage caused by pigeons to sunflower had been sent to GrainSA for peer evaluation. Mr Keun reported that one English and one Afrikaans article had been written on the findings of the study, and that these articles will also be provided to GrainSA for publication in their official journal.

      The matter was considered to be concluded.

    3. Research projects 2011/2012 Financial year

      Cognisance was taken of the list of approved research projects for 2011-2012.

  9. Additional matters

    1. Information days

      The following forthcoming information days were reported on:

      22 February 2011 PRF Soybean Information Day, Hatfield
      Various dates Pannar extravaganzas
      17 to 20 May 2011 Nampo Harvest Day
      Date to be announced Sunflower Information Day
    2. Articles

      Cognisance was taken of the articles "Suid-Amerikaanse oeste – raak belangrik om voorraad aan te vul", "Opkoms van sonneblom dikwels 'n kopseer", "How many acres of corn and soybeans are needed in 2011?", "U of I confirms soybean pathogen's resistance to fungicides" and "Green soybean plants and stems pose issue for farmers".

    3. Sunflower Week in Review

      Cognisance was taken of the Sunflower Week in Review dated December 20, January 3 and January 18 respectively, and of the Sunflower Highlights dated 27 December and 10 January respectively. In response to a remark by the Chairperson on utilising soybeans for biodiesel production locally, Dr Briedenhann reported that Rainbow Nation Renewable Fuels (RNRF) had scrapped the biodiesel approach at their proposed plant at Coega, in favour of a human oil consumption approach.

    4. Website

      Mr Keun reported that the website of the oilseeds industry has been active for some time, and already offered interesting information. He called on the members to provide information and photographs for publication on the said website.

    5. GSA News release

      Cognisance was taken of the news release titled "GraanSA wys graanprodusent en ontwikkelende graanprodusent van 2010 aan".

    6. Soybean cultivar trials

      Mr Prinsloo reported that ARC-GCI had committed themselves to delivering on the commitments they had made with regard to the national soybean cultivar evaluation trials. He said the trials were looking good, and had recovered well after the copious rains that fell. He mentioned that the difference between the oil- and protein analyses in the two reports on the previous year's trials had been queried. He said the one report was a preliminary report, that had served at the meeting of the National Cultivar Evaluation Committee, and had been amended, as the results of some of the locations were not statistically acceptable. He noted that the second report superseded the preliminary report.

    7. Market outlook

      Dr Briedenhann said local soybeans were currently trading at export parity. He mentioned that the international market was the main driver of local soybean prices. He said it was not quite clear what effect the Argentinian weather problem would have on the soybean crop, and that most independents were calling the crop to be below fifty million tons, with the result that markets were extremely bullish. He cautioned however that there may be a rationing in demand to come to a more realistic price level.

      Dr Briedenhann reported that there were very big question marks on the consumption side of both sunflower seed and soybeans, and soybeans in particular, because there were a couple of plants that could crush either soybeans or sunflower seed. He said the side to which the plants were switched would have a dramatic effect on total soybean consumption. He mentioned that 35 000 tons of soybeans were consumed traditionally per month on average, but that the potential was there for about 65 000 tons.

      Dr Briedenhann said on the sunflower seed side there was a normal crush of 65 000 tons per month, and that there would be a very tight supply and demand situation the following season, even with the expected crop, with the result that prices will stay extremely strong. He said from a global point of view, the supply scenario of sunflower was even worse than it was the previous year.

    8. Plant breeders' rights and policy

      Dr van der Walt said it was a well-known fact that all agricultural legislation was being redrafted, one of which was the intellectual property rights contained under the Plant Breeders' Rights. He reported that he had participated in a workshop in this regard. He said the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) had already approved a draft act, to replace the existing act, and that a policy was currently being drafted. He said a solution still had to be identified for the important issue of farm retained seed of self pollinating crops.

      Dr van der Walt said he would copy the office on his submission to the Registrar of Plant Breeders' Rights, and will keep the members informed of progress achieved.

      Resolved:

      1. That it be noted that the members of the Forum will be kept informed of developments with regard to the intellectual property rights contained under the Plant Breeders' Act.

        Dr van der Walt
        Mr Keun

    9. Nestlé and Specialised Protein Products (SPP)

      Dr van Twisk said he had noted with interest that Nestlé had expanded its operations in South Africa by purchasing the Specialised Protein Products plant in Potchefstroom. He said this would lead to an increased demand for soybeans in human nutrition.

      The Chairperson suggested that a speaker be invited to a future meeting of the Forum to inform the members on developments with regard to the utilisation of soybeans in human nutrition.

      Resolution:

      1. That a speaker be invited to a future meeting of the Forum to inform the members on developments with regard to the utilisation of soybeans in human nutrition.

        Chairperson
        Mr Keun

  10. Election of office bearers

    1. Election of Chairperson

      Mr Keun informed the members that the office bearers of the Forum were elected for a period of two years, in line with the constitution of the Oilseeds Advisory Committee. He said a representative of the soybean industry and a representative of the sunflower industry on the Oilseeds Advisory Committee had to be elected to the positions of either Chairperson or Vice Chairperson of the Forum, and that the terms of office of the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson did not run concurrently. He mentioned that Mr GJ Pretorius was currently serving as Vice Chairperson, and that his term of office will come to an end in February 2012.

      Mr Keun called for nominations for a representative of the soybean industry for the position of Chairperson of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum for the period February 2011 to February 2013. Mr GJH Scholtemeijer was unanimously elected as Chairperson.

      Resolution:

      1. That Mr GJH Scholtemeijer be elected as Chairperson of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum for the period February 2011 to February 2013.

        Mr Keun

  11. Dates of meetings

    The dates of meetings of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum for 2011 was confirmed as:

    • 18 April 2011
    • 4 August 2011; and
    • 22 November 2011.
  12. Adjournment

    The Chairperson thanked the members of the Forum for their attendance at, and contributions to the meeting. There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 12:50.