Work Group Minutes

Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum
Meeting held on 30 January 2020 at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry

  1. Opening

    Dr Jan Dreyer opened the meeting with prayer.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson, Mr Jozeph du Plessis, welcomed all to the first meeting of the Forum in 2020.

  3. Attendance


    Mr J du Plessis Chairperson
    Mr J Botma Producer: Free State
    Dr E Briedenhann PRF/OAC
    Ms L Bronkhorst ARC-GCI
    Mr H Conradie Producer: Mpumalanga
    Ms A de Beer ARC-GCI
    Mr S de Jager COFCO
    Dr J Dreyer PRF
    Mr F Hamman Agricol
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Mr G Heyns SACTA
    Mr M Jansen van Rensburg Mpumalanga DOA
    Dr C Joubert NAMC
    Dr T Kapinja BFAP
    Mr G Keun CEO PRF/OPDT
    Dr S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr P Lovelace CEOCO/SAOPA
    Ms W Louw SAGL
    Dr S Ma'ali ARC-GCI
    Prof F Meyer BFAP
    Mr W Oosthuizen Producer: North West
    Mr T Phasoana ARC-PHP
    Mr R Pholo Producer: North West/Grain SA
    Ms M Purnell AgbizGrain
    Mr J Rankin Producer: North West
    Ms M Scheepers DAFF
    Dr D Strydom Grain SA
    Dr P Taljaard Bayer
    Mr A Theron PRF
    Mr N van Burick Landbouweekblad
    Mr W van Pletsen Agricol
    Mr WF van Wyk Contractor
    Ms M du Preez PRF
    Ms S Brits PRF


    Dr A Balarane NAMC
    Mr C Cloete Rolfes Agri
    Mr G de Beer Contractor
    Mr R Küsel Producer: KwaZulu-Natal
    Ms W MacPherson SABO/Madumbi
    Mr W Marais Producer
    Ms M Meiring University of the Free State
    Ms L Mellet NAMC
    Mr G Roos Producer: Mpumalanga
    Ms L Rothmann UFS
    Mr C van Coller Grain SA
    Mr K van Huyssteen SANSOR
    Ms N Rousseau Bayer
    Mr R van Niekerk Agricol
    Mr A van Vuuren NWC
    Mr De Wet Boshoff AFMA/SACOTA

    By invitation

    Prof G Pietersen Stellenbosch University
    Dr E Strydom SAMAC
    Mr D van der Westhuizen BFAP
  4. Personalia

    None reported.

  5. Confirmation of the agenda

    The agenda was accepted as it stood.

  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Minutes of the Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum held on 9 October 2019 and referral to website


      1. That the minutes of the Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum held on 9 October 2019 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 industries, with aspects such as the current state of production, prices, supply and demand, the outbreak of the Coronavirus in certain Chinese provinces, amongst others, being covered. Cognisance was taken that the derived soybean price on 21 January 2020 was R5,315 per ton.

  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.

    Mention was made that SAGIS had given notice that an application had to be submitted with regard to the renewal of the statutory measure on oilseed products. A supporting letter in this regard will be forwarded to the NAMC, once the matter had been tabled at the next meeting of the Oilseeds Advisory Committee. The application will be supported by the industry and by producers.

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

    Cognisance was taken of the latest South African Supply and Demand Estimates Reports.

  10. Crop estimates

    1. Latest crop estimates: Soybeans and Sunflower

      A presentation was delivered on the Crop Estimates Committee's view on the preliminary area planted to summer crops in the 2020 season. An overview was provided of the areas planted to sunflower and soybeans in the past few years. The revised area estimates for summer crops will be released on 26 February 2020.

      Cognisance was taken of the sixth production forecast for winter crops in 2019.

  11. Producer matters: Sunflower and Soybeans

    1. KwaZulu-Natal

      1. General

        Report had been received that the crops in KwaZulu-Natal were looking very well, but that a dry February would impact negatively on the crops.

    2. Mpumalanga and Gauteng

      1. General

        It was reported that producers in Mpumalanga and Gauteng had experienced a typical season. Weed problems had occurred, due to the fact that producers did not heed the warning that the use of pre-emergence weed killers was essential. More soybeans had been planted than in the previous season, and good yields were expected.

    3. North West and Limpopo Province

      1. General

        The 2019/2020 season had thus far been extremely positive for both soybeans and sunflowers, and the table had been set for very good yields. Theft of sunflower seed was a huge problem. Cotton cultivars with the latest RR technology and Bollgard biotechnology had proved to be a winner, and an appeal was made that the latest technologies for soybeans be made available as soon as possible.

    4. Free State

      1. General

        Crops were looking very good, with soybeans doing exceptionally well.

    5. Eastern and Northern Cape and South Western Districts

      1. General

        No report back.

  12. Soybean value chain

    1. Local soybean stocks/supply and demand

      It was noted that the concerns about excessive soybean stocks, which had been raised in December 2018, had to a large extent been mitigated. Soybean production would have to be ramped up.

    2. Quality of local soybeans and soybean oilcake

      Cognisance was taken that the final report on the SAGL's studies on the quality of sunflower and soybeans will probably be published by the end of February.

      1. Feedback on industry study

        It was reported that the Oilseeds Industry had approved an application for a project on the causes of the poor quality of sunflower seed, and what could be done to improve it. Various studies on soybeans were in the pipeline.

      2. Benchmarking against international standards and quality

        It was noted that grading data for the Black Sea countries and countries in the European Union (EU) was still being sourced.


        1. That feedback is awaited after information on grading regulations in the area around the Black Sea, amongst which Russia and the Ukraine, as well as countries in the EU, had been sourced.

          Mr van der Walt

    3. Infrastructure

      Cognisance was taken that the relevant authorities had been informed of the industry's concerns about infrastructure matters such as water and electricity supply and transport that impacted negatively on industry, agriculture and growth.

    4. Imports and exports

      It was noted that the legal opinion on the issues relating to the proposed statutory measures on the intended imports and exports of soybeans and sunflower was still awaited.


      1. That feedback is awaited on the legal opinion that had been sought on the issues relating to the proposed statutory measures on the intended imports and exports of soybeans and sunflower.

        Mr Keun

    5. Grain and oilseeds Value Chain Indaba

      Cognisance was taken of the minutes of the meeting of role players in the soybean industry that had been called to discuss matters of importance in the soybean value chain. Key areas for potential intervention had been identified, and these will be followed up.

  13. Sunflower value chain

    1. Sunflower quality

      Cognisance has already been taken that the study on sunflower quality had been approved.

    2. Sunflower value chain discussion

      It was reported that the Research Priority Committee and the Oilseeds Advisory Committee will facilitate a discussion on the sunflower value chain, to which role players in the industry will be invited.

  14. Research

    1. Soybeans

      1. National cultivar trials

        Details were provided of the national soybean cultivar trials, with information provided on the cultivars that had been planted, the localities where the trials had been planted, and the seed companies that were participating.

      2. Soybean rust

        It was noted that soybean rust infection would only set in from February, if at all.

      3. Sclerotinia

        It was reported that the first Sclerotinia infections had been observed in Stoffberg, during the previous week.

      4. South African Cultivar and Technology Agency (SACTA)

        Feedback was given on the positive progress achieved with the implementation of the statutory levy on the breeding and technology levies on soybeans. The levy collection rate currently stood at 94,7%. Non-compliance will be followed up during February and March 2020. The levy will increase to R80 per ton in the next production season. An application for the continuation of the soybean levy will be submitted in April or May 2020. The market share of participating companies will be calculated during March and April 2020. The outlook for bringing new technologies such as Intacta to the local market was very positive. An annual information day was in the pipeline.

      5. Rhizobium

        No feedback.

    2. Sunflower

      1. National cultivar trials

        A presentation was delivered on the national sunflower cultivar trials, with details provided on planting dates, localities and cultivars planted. More hybrids had been included than in the past.

      2. Biological control of Sclerotinia on sunflower, Prof M Laing, University of KwaZulu-Natal

        Cognisance was taken of the report on Prof Laing's study on the biological control of Sclerotinia on sunflower that had been included as Annexure G.

  15. Technology transfer

    1. Articles

      Cognisance was taken of the articles included in Annexure H.

    2. Sunflower Highlights

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

    3. LEAF Services

      Cognisance was taken that there had been no further developments with regard to the revitalisation of LEAF Services.

    4. Presentation – Soybean blotchy mosaic virus: characterisation and seasonal persistence, Dr Elrea Strydom

      Dr Strydom informed the meeting on the scope and findings of her PhD study on the soybean blotchy mosaic virus. An overview of the virus was presented, and the economic implications of the virus were explained. Details were provided of the mechanisms that contribute to the spread of the virus, and the role of the leaf hopper's possible role in the replication of the virus was explained. The significance of the study was also detailed.

      Following on her presentation, Dr Strydom was honoured with the PRF's award for the best doctoral study in 2018.

    5. Presentation – Sunflower and soybean production and competitiveness, Mr Divan van der Westhuizen, BFAP

      Mr van der Westhuizen delivered a presentation on the studies BFAP undertook on an annual basis in order to obtain information on sunflower and soybean production and competitiveness around the world. The idea was to generate a platform to compare data related to cost of production, technical aspects regarding sunflower and soybean production such as fertiliser application, mechanisation costs, and so forth, with approximately 43 countries participating in this initiative. This allowed comparison between prototype farms in for example Argentina and the Ukraine. Mention was made that these studies were aimed at building sustainable value chains.

    6. Information Days 2019

      Information days will be presented at the national sunflower cultivar trials. The Nampo Harvest Day will be held in the second week of May. Producers are welcome to visit Mr van Wyk's trials at Hatfield Experimental Farm.

    7. Videos

      No feedback.

    8. Oilseeds Focus

      The March 2020 edition of the Oilseeds Focus was being finalised.

  16. Other matters

    1. Chemicals and inoculants

      Cognisance was taken that Dr Lamprecht had done research on soybean seed treatments, and that a report will be published on this work.

    2. Fertilisers

      Mention was made that Foskor's monopoly on phosphorus was creating supply problems.

    3. Seed/cultivars

      No feedback.

    4. Processing

      No feedback.

    5. Trading

      No feedback.

    6. Consumers and soybean food

      It was noted that a soybean food symposium will be presented at the CSIR Convention Centre on 17 September 2020.

  17. Additional matters

    1. Sudden Death Syndrome

      It was reported that a molecular tool was being developed to identify Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) in soybeans. An appeal was made to producers to alert Dr Lamprecht when the symptoms were observed on soybean plants, as samples were needed for further testing.

    2. Yield competition

      It was noted that Grain SA was running a national yield competition for soybeans, sunflower and maize.

  18. Date of next meeting

    The next meeting will be held on 21 April 2020.

  19. Adjournment

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