Work Group Minutes

Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum
Meeting held on 28 January 2021 by means of a virtual platform (MS Teams)

  1. Opening

    Dr Briedenhann opened the meeting with prayer.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson, Mr Jozeph du Plessis, welcomed everybody present at the first meeting of the Forum for 2021.

  3. Attendance


    Mr J du Plessis Chairperson
    Mr JP Botma Producer: Free State
    Dr E Briedenhann PRF/OAC
    Mr D de W Boshoff AFMA/SACOTA
    Mr T Clark RCL Foods
    Mr GP de Beer PRF Contractor
    Mr S de Jager COFCO
    Mr W de Wet AFMA/RCL Foods
    Mr H Davies Eden Social Development Foundation
    Dr J Dreyer PRF
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Mr G Heyns SACTA
    Mr PR Janse van Rensburg Corteva
    Dr R Karuaihe JSE
    Mr D Kok SACOTA
    Mr R Küsel Producer: KwaZulu-Natal
    Ms C Laubscher RCL Food
    Mr W Lemmer AgbizGrain
    Mr P Lovelace CEOCO/SAOPA
    Mr CJ Louw Grain SA
    Ms W Louw SAGL
    Dr S Ma'ali ARC-GCI
    Mr S Mahasia DTI
    Ms L Mellet NAMC
    Prof F Meyer BFAP
    Dr M Mostert Precision Oil Laboratories
    Ms I Mothebe DTI
    Mr C Opperman Leaf Services
    Mr C Rasoesoe DTI
    Mr L Schoonraad Corteva
    Mr B Schultz SAGIS
    Dr D Strydom Grain SA
    Dr P Taljaard Bayer
    Mr A Theron PRF
    Ms S van der Merwe Corteva
    Mr N van Burick Landbouweekblad
    Mr L van der Walt Grain SA
    Mr D van der Westhuizen BFAP
    Mr K van Huyssteen SANSOR
    Mr EG van Pletzen Agricol
    Ms R van Vuuren Rolfes Agri
    Mr WF van Wyk PRF Contractor
    Ms M du Preez PRF
    Ms S Brits PRF


    Ms R Beukes DALRRD
    Ms AS de Beer ARC-GCI
    Dr C Joubert NAMC
    Dr S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Ms M Scheepers DALRRD
  4. Personalia

    A moment of silences was observed for the Covid-19 victims who passed away during this year.

  5. Confirmation of the agenda

    The agenda was accepted, with the addition of:

    • Item 17.1 – Weekly producer deliveries at SAGIS, Mr W Lemmer
    • Item 17.2 – Transport Differential: SAFEX
    • Item 17.3 – JSE feedback
  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Minutes of the Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum held on 7 October 2020 and referral to website


      1. That the minutes of the Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum held on 7 October 2020 be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting, and that the minutes be referred to the Oilseeds Industry's website for publication.

        Ms Du Preez
        Steering Committee

  7. Current soybean prices: local and international

    A brief overview was given of the current state of the national and international soybean and sunflower markets, with aspects such as the current state of production, prices, demand and supply, amongst others, being covered.

  8. SAGIS

    The contents of the latest SAGIS Weekly Bulletin and of the latest Monthly Bulletin were noted. Cognisance was taken that this and other data were published on the SAGIS website.

    Mr Hawkins did a short presentation in respect of the SAGIS information.

  9. South African Supply and Demand Estimates Committee (SASDEC)

    The December 2020 report of the Supply and Demand Estimates Committee included as Annexure D was noted.

  10. Crop estimates

    1. Latest crop estimates: Soybeans and Sunflower

      No detailed information was available during the meeting, and cognisance was taken of the Crops Estimates Report dated 18 December 2020 included as Annexure E.

  11. Producer matters: Sunflower and Soybeans

    1. KwaZulu-Natal

      1. General

        Mr Küsel reported that in the Western part of KwaZulu-Natal soybean production is looking good. He mentioned that the Northern part of KwaZulu-Natal and the South Eastern part of Mpumalanga had a very dry season until January. The lowest rainfall was recorded since 1983/84 season. Sclerotinia damage was recorded. He further reported that about 5% more soybeans were planted on a 50/50 rotation with maize.

        Mr Davies reported the crops are looking good with waterlogged areas. He mentioned that the project with New Era Farmers is looking excellent. Eighty percent of the farmers planted soybean and the crops are looking good.

    2. Mpumalanga and Gauteng

      1. General

        Mr Van Wyk mentioned that the soybean hectares in Mpumalanga are about the same as the previous season. He also referred to damage to the maize crop in the South Eastern parts of Mpumalanga as well as Sclerotinia.

    3. North West and Limpopo Province

      1. General

        Prof Meyer mentioned that soybean plantings in the Northern part of Northwest are looking good and that there is an increase in the soybean hectares.

        Prof Meyer further mentioned that sunflower plantings are also looking good.

        Prof Meyer further referred to the rainfall of 500-550mm in the area and the reserve moisture in the soil.

        The Chairperson reported on the Southern part of North West and mentioned that record soybean hectares were planted this year due to the price ratio. He mentioned the rainfall was about 400-450mm for the season, starting in September. The crops were looking very good with between 10-20% damage due to waterlogged plantings. The Chairperson referred to the planting of sunflowers and the fact that less hectares were planted than the previous seasons.

    4. Free State

      1. General

        Mr Botma reported that rainfall received was above average in the Northern Free State at about 250-500mm. He mentioned there were damaged due to waterlogged fields, but mostly in respect of maize and late soybean plantings. He further mentioned that according to some of the seed companies 20-30% more soybean seed was sold and 50% less sunflower seed. The early sunflower plantings look good, and an above average yield is expected.

        Mr De Beer reported on the Eastern part of the Free State and mentioned that less soybeans were planted. More maize and more or less the same hectares of sunflower were planted. He mentioned that in the Western part more soybeans were planted. In the Western part the crops are looking good with less soybeans in the Eastern part.

    5. Eastern and Northern Cape and South Western Districts

      1. General

        No report back.

  12. Soybean value chain

    Dr Briedenhann gave feedback on the following items raised during the Soybean Value Chain meeting, which was held on 10 November 2020:

    • Delivering of soybeans at higher moisture level to reduce harvest losses;
    • Soybean Content and Quality;
    • SAGL benchmarking project;
    • Transport / Logistics;
    • Production finance to soybean producers.

    Cognisance was taken that the final reports in respect of the Soybean quality and Soybean tariffs projects will be available by the end of February 2021.

  13. Sunflower value chain

    Dr Briedenhann gave feedback regarding BFAP's Sunflower Quality Report and referred to the following important matters:

    • Opportunities based on high-oleic sunflower seed;
    • How South Africa is rated in terms of oil content to the rest of the world;
    • The role of climate on cultivar selection and crop management; and
    • The feasibility of introducing an incentive based pricing model based on yield and oil content.

    The Chairperson gave feedback regarding high oleic Sunflower trials planted by Sensako in the Schweizer-Reneke area. He specifically referred to the value of these trials and testing of oil content at delivery. He further enquired about the influence of agronomic practices, planting time etc. that may influence oil content.

    Mr Louw mentioned that the 2019/2020 was a normal season in relation to previous seasons and said that oil content may correlate negatively towards later plantings. He enquired about available data on which Ms Louw said that all the information is available on the SAGL website.

    Mr Lovelace mentioned that from a commercial point of view, oil quality in 2020 was slightly better than during the 2019 season.

    Dr Briedenhann gave feedback regarding matters discussed at the Sunflower Value Chain meeting and referred to the following matters:

    • Correct planting date for sunflower;
    • Moving sunflower from its stepchild status to a more sought after crop; and
    • Agronomic practices.


    1. That it be noted that the BFAP final report is available on the web page of the Oilseeds Advisory Committee / Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust.

      Mr Keun

  14. Research

    1. Soybeans

      1. National cultivar trials

        Details were provided by Mr De Beer regarding the national soybean cultivar trials for the current season, with reference to the cultivars, the localities, and participating seed companies.

      2. Soybean rust

        Dr Dreyer reported that no rust incidences were reported.

      3. Sclerotinia

        Mr Van Wyk referred to the Soybean National Cultivar Trials and Sclerotinia trials and reported problems he encountered with certain companies' maturity groups. He proposed that a meeting be held between the seed companies to sort out these problems.

        The Chairperson suggested that a meeting be arranged with Mr van Huyssteen from SANSOR and some of the other soybean seed companies in order to address the maturity group matter raised by Mr Van Wyk to obtain a standardised way.


        1. That feedback be given at the next meeting.

          Mr van Wyk

      4. South African Cultivar and Technology Agency (SACTA)

        Mr Heyns gave feedback on SACTA activities and progress made with new technologies such as Bayer.

        Mr Heyns further reported on the SACTA operational side and mentioned the levy collection rate. Deliveries until the end of December was 1 209 371 tons with a collection rate of 92%.

        Mr Heyns further reported on the soybean marketing season ending on 28 February 2021. For the new season starting on 1 March 2021 until the end of February 2022, the levy will be R57 per ton. The new levy has been approved by the Minister and will only be published in the Government Gazette of 19 February 2021.

      5. Rhizobium

        The Chairperson referred to the list included in the Agenda as Annexure H.

        Mr Louw mentioned that the list will be updated continuously.


        1. That it be noted that the Rhizobia list will be updated regularly.


      6. Sudden Death Syndrome

        The Chairperson reported that Dr Lamprecht and Ms De Beer are visiting trials to monitor SDS and to collect data. He mentioned that Dr Lambrecht's report will be available by the end of March 2021.


        1. That it be noted that feedback be given at the next meeting.

          Dr Lamprecht

        2. That it be noted Dr Lamprecht's report will be available by the end of March.


    2. Sunflower

      1. National cultivar trials

        A presentation was delivered by Dr Safiah Ma'ali on the results of the National Sunflower Cultivar Trials for the current season.

  15. Technology transfer

    1. Articles

      Cognisance was taken of the articles included in Annexure I.

    2. Sunflower Highlights

      Cognisance was taken of the various editions of the Sunflower Highlights, included in Annexure J.

    3. LEAF Services

      Mr Opperman invited members of the Forum to participate at LEAF Working Group's meeting scheduled for Monday, 1 February 2021.

      The Chairperson requested that members of the Forum who is interested in attending the virtual meeting contact Mr Keun.

      Cognisance was taken that feedback be given at the next forum meeting.

    4. Information Days 2021

      The Chairperson requested that information regarding information days be sent to the office, for distribution to the members of the Forum.

      Mr Van Wyk proposed that if any farmers are interested in visiting his trials at the University of Pretoria, to contact him to arrange a trial visit.

      Dr Strydom confirmed that the Grain SA Congress will be held on the scheduled date and it will be a virtual congress due to Covid regulations.

    5. Videos

      The Chairperson requested that educational videos be forwarded to Ms Du Preez for uploading on the website.

    6. Oilseeds Focus

      Dr Briedenhann reported that they are in the process of finalising the March edition of the Oilseeds Focus. He mentioned that a copy will in future be sent via WhatsApp.

    7. Yield Competition

      Mr Louw gave feedback on the "Grow for gold competition" organised by Grain SA. He put emphasis on the results of the previous year and the categories for soybeans and sunflower. Mr Louw mentioned that the 2020/2021 competition was officially launched this week, information is available on Grain SA's website.

  16. Other matters

    1. Chemicals and inoculants

      No feedback.

    2. Fertilisers

      Dr Taljaard gave feedback on Velum GR® registration for soybeans. He referred to the application, yield benefit and cost of the product.

      The Chairperson thanked Dr Taljaard for the feedback and suggested that feedback be given at the next meeting regarding the cost benefit analysis, as well as what the advantages will be for using Velum GR®.

      Dr Taljaard further referred to the application submitted for registration of a product in respect of Sclerotinia on soybean.


      1. That Dr Taljaard be requested to give feedback at the next meeting of the Forum regarding the cost benefit analysis and advantages of using Velum GR®.

        Dr Taljaard

    3. Seed/cultivars

      No feedback.

    4. Processing

      No feedback.

    5. Trading

      No feedback.

    6. Consumers and soybean food

      No feedback.

    7. Acquisition and Utilisation of Grains and Oilseeds

      The Chairperson reported that discussion points 16.7 and 16.8 go hand in hand. He mentioned that the same topics were discussed in respect of maize, sorghum and wheat. He proposed that these discussions should be combined with the other grains.

      Mr Keun reported that these matters were already discussed between role players. Various concerns were raised and feedback on any progress will be reported at Forum meetings.


      1. That feedback be given at the next Forum meeting.

        Mr Keun

    8. Dispute Resolution Process

      The matter was discussed during the previous discussion (16.7) point.

    9. Feeding Schemes

      Mr Keun reported that feedback will be given of the results achieved at the next meeting of the Oilseeds Advisory Committee. He mentioned that there is still funding available, which was approved by the Oilseeds Advisory Committee and the Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust.

  17. Additional matters

    1. Weekly producers' delivering at SAGIS

      Mr Lemmer gave background in respect of the monthly producers' deliveries submitted to SAGIS which is mandatory and verified. He mentioned that the weekly producers' delivery done by Agbiz members is optional, and not inclusive of the total market, with cost to Agbiz members. He mentioned that feedback was requested from other Forums to get an indication of who is actually making use of the weekly producers' deliveries. Ms Beukes from DAFF was the only one who indicated that they are using the weekly producer's deliveries. He requested members of the Forum to indicate how many of them are making use of this information or not. He further mentioned that Agbiz plans to discontinue the weekly producers' deliveries to eliminate extra cost to the Agbiz members.

      Mr Keun mentioned the correct way to deal with this matter is that Mr Lemmer submit a formal letter. The letter will be circulated to the members and be included in the next agenda, following a proper discussion with all the facts and information where everybody has the opportunity to consider the request.

      The Chairperson suggested that Mr Hawkins, Dr Strydom and Mr Boshoff to arrange a meeting to discuss the matter further and a way forward. He mentioned that the request of Mr Lemmer is not just for the oilseeds but a mutual issue which also concern all grains.

      Mr Hawkins reported that the project was put in place by the industry for the industry years ago. He further mentioned that it cannot stop at such a short notice and suggested that notice be given a year in advance in order for the Trusts to do their budgets to finance SAGIS accordingly.


      1. That a formal letter to the Forum to discontinue the Weekly producers' deliveries be submitted by Agbiz Grain.

        Mr Lemmer

    2. Transport Differential: SAFEX

      Mr Van der Walt gave feedback regarding discussions of the transport differential at the Soybean Value Chain meeting. He referred to the challenges discussed to get the meal from the inland areas to the coastal areas as well as soybean production in the coastal areas such as the Eastern Cape.

      Dr Strydom also reported on the matter with specific reference to the alternative systems and a presentation in this regard by the University of the Free State.

      AFMA provided feedback, regarding their discussions with the University of the Free State.

      Dr R Karuaihe gave feedback on the JSE SAFEX implementation for soybean and sunflower differential. He mentioned that the JSE is in principle not against the differential concept, except the way it is calculated, and the model used. He confirmed what Dr Strydom said regarding the first round of consultations with the University of the Free State. He reported that there will be a follow up meeting soon, to get into detail and understand the parameters and inputs used. The system will be implemented on 1 March 2021, as announced in the market notices. This is ongoing and the 2021 season will not be affected by the new changes and alternatives. The soybean differentials are going ahead and the first year the differential will be based on 25% of the maize differential. Differentials are now applied to all commodities, if there is a better model it could be implemented across all commodities, provided they are satisfied with the model being proposed.

      Dr Karuaihe referred to sunflower seed differentials, the payload used for transporting of sunflower as well as the use of Google Maps. He confirmed that all proposed changes and suggestions will be properly communicated.

      The Chairperson thanked Dr Karuaihe for the feedback provided.

    3. JSE Feedback

      The matter was discussed under point 17.2.

  18. Date of next meeting

    The next meeting is scheduled for 28 April 2021.

  19. Adjournment

    There being no further business for discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 13h30.