Work Group Minutes

Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum
Meeting held on 30 July 2020 by means of a virtual platform (MS Teams)

  1. Opening

    Mr Andries Theron opened the meeting with prayer.

  2. Welcome

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

  3. Attendance


    Mr J du Plessis Chairperson
    Ms A Botha SA Groundnut Forum/OAC
    Dr A Balarane NAMC
    Ms R Beukes DAFF
    Mr D Botes LEAF Services
    Dr E Briedenhann PRF/OAC
    Mr D de W Boshoff AFMA/SACOTA
    Mr T Clark RCL Foods
    Ms A de Beer ARC-GCI
    Mr G de Beer Contractor
    Mr S de Jager COFCO
    Mr D Kok SACOTA
    Mr W de Wet AFMA
    Mr H Davis Eden Social Development Foundation
    Dr J Dreyer PRF
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Mr G Heyns SACTA
    Dr C Joubert NAMC
    Mr R Küsel Producer: KwaZulu-Natal
    Dr T Kapuya BFAP
    Dr S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Ms L Mellet NAMC
    Prof F Meyer BFAP
    Dr M Mostert Precision Oil Laboratories
    Ms I Mothebe DTI
    Mr W Lemmer AgbizGrain
    Mr P Lovelace CEOCO/SAOPA
    Mr C Louw Grain SA
    Ms W Louw SAGL
    Dr S Ma'ali ARC-GCI
    Ms M Purnell AgbizGrain
    Mr C Rasoesoe DTI
    Mr G Roos Producer: Mpumalanga
    Ms L Rothmann UFS
    Ms M Scheepers DAFF
    Mr L Schoonraad Corteva
    Dr D Strydom Grain SA
    Dr P Taljaard Bayer
    Mr A Theron PRF
    Mr N van Burick Landbouweekblad
    Mr G van der Burgh BFAP
    Ms S van der Merwe Corteva
    Mr L van der Walt Grain SA
    Mr K van Huyssteen SANSOR
    Mr W van Pletsen Agricol/SANSOR
    Ms M du Preez PRF
    Ms S Brits PRF


    Mr J Botma Producer: Free State
    Mr WF van Wyk Contractor
  4. Personalia

    None reported.

  5. Confirmation of the agenda

    The agenda was accepted, with the addition of:

    • Item 12.6 – South African Soy Strategy (Strategic Discussions)
    • Item 17.3 – Transport differential on soybeans – SAFEX
  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Minutes of the Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum held on 30 January 2020 and referral to website


      1. That the minutes of the Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum held on 30 January 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 industry, with aspects such as the current state of production, prices, demand and supply, amongst others, being covered. Cognisance was taken that the derived soybean price on 10 July 2020 was R6 224 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.

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

    The Chairperson thanked Mr Hawkins for the excellent work done by SAGIS.

  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 area planted to summer crops in the 2020 season. An overview was provided of the areas planted to sunflower and soybeans over the past few years.

      Cognisance was taken of the sixth production forecast for summer crops in 2020.

      The Chairperson thanked Ms Scheepers and her team for an excellent job done.

  11. Producer matters: Sunflower and Soybeans

    1. KwaZulu-Natal

      1. General

        Mr Küsel reported that the planting was later than usual due to late rainfall. After planting KwaZulu-Natal experienced a too wet December and too dry January. He said that the crop is above average, but also referred to crop losses due to Sclerotinia.

    2. Mpumalanga and Gauteng

      1. General

        Mr Roos reported that the conditions in Mpumalanga were similar to KwaZulu-Natal. Crop losses were experienced due to late or no rainfall, a shortage of heat units and Sclerotinia. He further mentioned that Sclerotinia is the biggest problem, which resulted in farmers being negative towards planting sunflower and soybeans.

        Mr De Beer reported that Gauteng had experienced a smaller soybean crop. The sunflower crops were affected by Sclerotinia.

    3. North West and Limpopo Province

      1. General

        The Chairperson reported that North West had an above average season. Above average rainfall was experienced, the best since 2011. The 2019/2020 season was extremely positive for both soybeans and sunflowers, with very good yields. He said that in comparison with soybeans, the sunflower plantings were more adversely affected by Sclerotinia. He further said that Sclerotinia was observed in areas which never experienced Sclerotinia previously. Sclerotinia has a huge impact on yields and is a major threat towards oilseed production in South Africa.

    4. Free State

      1. General

        Mr Louw reported that the Free State had a similar season as the North West Province. The North Western Free State had an average to above average crop. In terms of sunflower, most of the areas had a good crop except the areas where Sclerotinia were reported. He further mentioned that the planting date was very important, crops planted later were more affected by Sclerotinia contamination.

    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 be noted that the matter was discussed at a previous discussion point.

    2. Quality of local soybeans and soybean oilcake

      1. Feedback on industry study

        Dr Briedenhann mentioned that BFAP will commence with a study on quality of local soybean and soybean oilcake, to be funded by the OAC. The study was put on hold until such time the study on the quality of sunflower seed was finalised.

        Prof Meyer reported that BFAP's final report on the quality of sunflower seed was completed.

      2. Benchmarking against international standards and quality

        Mr L van der Walt reported on a presentation given at a previous Forum meeting in respect of the grading of soybean and sunflower in the USA, Canada and Argentina. He mentioned that grading is mostly on appearances and not in terms of the oil content. He further mentioned that it was difficult to obtain any information from the Black Sea countries and countries in the European Union (EU) in respect of grading. Grading is not done on oil content but by appearance, size, foreign matter, which is similar to our grading regulations. Mr Van der Walt furthermore referred to a guarantee of oil content between 38% to 42% when trading in these countries.

        Mr Louw proposed that the matter be held in abeyance until the results of the BFAP study are available which will allow a way forward in terms of grading.

        It be noted that the matter be held in abeyance until the BFAP's study on the quality of soybean and soybean oilcake has been concluded.


        1. That it be noted that the matter be held in abeyance until the BFAP's study on the quality of soybean and soybean oilcake is concluded.

          Prof Meyer

    3. Infrastructure

      Cognisance was taken that infrastructure forms part of the Agricultural Master Plan.

    4. Imports and exports

      It was noted that feedback will be given at the next meeting.

    5. Grain and oilseeds Value Chain Indaba

      Mr Boshoff reported on AFMA's view regarding the Agriculture Masterplan as well as the various industry masterplans such as poultry etc. He emphasized the importance of a Soybean masterplan or strategy. Such a strategy is important to unlock the potential of soya in the value chain, address competitiveness, identify goals etc. He suggested that a task team be appointed to attend to the matter. He further suggested that the proposed Task Team do their work under supervision and coordination of the Protein Research Foundation (PRF) as continuation of the already Soybean Value Chain discussions and actions.

      After a lengthy discussion it was agreed to appoint a Task Team under supervision and coordination of the PRF to develop a Soybean Strategy in support of the Agricultural Master Plan.


      1. That a Task Team be appointed under the auspice of the PRF, consisting of the following members:
        • Ms I Mothebe
        • Dr E Briedenhann
        • Prof F Meyer
        • Dr D Strydom
        • Mr De W Boshoff, and
        • Dr C Joubert

        Mr Keun
        Dr Briedenhann

      2. That the Task Team give feedback at the next Forum meeting regarding progress made with the Soybean Strategy.

        Task Team
        Mr Keun

  13. Sunflower value chain

    1. Sunflower quality

      It was noted that the matter was discussed at a previous discussion point.

    2. Sunflower value chain discussion

      Mr Keun reported that this matter will be dealt with as soon as the Oilseeds Advisory Committee finalise and accept the Sunflower Quality report from BFAP. He mentioned that it will be an initiative from the Oilseeds Advisory Committee to organise a value chain discussion.

      Cognisance was taken that the matter be held in abeyance.

  14. Research

    1. Soybeans

      1. National cultivar trials

        Details were provided by Ms De Beer regarding the national soybean cultivar trials, with reference to the cultivars, the localities, participating seed companies as well as challenges experienced during lockdown.

      2. Soybean rust

        Dr Dreyer reported that no substantial rust incidences were reported.

      3. Sclerotinia

        Ms L Rothmann gave feedback on the South Africa Sclerotinia Research Network. She reported that the Network experienced a very good year considering the growth seen in the network. The network is based on two pillars which consists of a community of practice and a resource consortium. The community of practice is a web based / internet based platform where information is shared to the public on research done and literature for reading for the producers. All information is available on the South African Sclerotinia Research Network website as well as the Sclerotinia Network Facebook page. She reported in respect of the research consortium that they are very grateful for all the role players ensuring that the research can be conducted. The research consortium was extended to the University of Pretoria.

        Ms L Rothmann mentioned that Sclerotinia infection were reported during the season. Producers are aware that moderate and cool weather conditions allow for more Sclerotinia development.

        Mr Roos enquired about biological agents, the evaluation thereof as well as cost effectiveness of these agents.

        The Chairperson thanked Ms Rothmann for all the work done on Sclerotinia.

      4. South African Cultivar and Technology Agency (SACTA)

        Mr Heyns done a presentation on the role, responsibilities and achievements of SACTA. He provided information regarding the Soybean breeding and technology levy with emphasis on genetic and improved varieties and also the levies already collected as well as the distribution thereof.

        The Chairperson referred to the importance of SACTA and specifically the possibility of new genetics and improved varieties for the producers.

        Mr Lovelace enquired about the expected time when new or improved varieties will be available to producers, whereupon Mr Heyns gave an explanation in respect of processes to be followed before the new technology, new genetics and improved cultivars would be available or released.

        Dr Taljaard provided information regarding the Bayer involvement. He mentioned that by mid-August Bayer will be submitting the dossier for registration of Intacta. The process will be advertised and open for comments via a normal process. If the process can proceed quickly, Bayer will have significant penetration of Intacta within the next two years, which has the advantage of new varieties in terms of germplasm. He also said that the current levy is being paid by producers in terms of the current round-up ready technology, they are currently using and not the new technology to be introduced. Four years of trails with insect tolerance technology which was tested, and it is showing significant effectiveness in South Africa against the bollworm. He further mentioned that Bayer will continue to focus on new genetics in the future towards the best alternative herbicide tolerance. He confirmed Bayer's support for the breeding and technology levy.

        Mr De Jager enquired on the pricing of the new seed. Dr Taljaard replied that Bayer is not a roll-player in the seed market and therefor he cannot express any opinion. The vision of Bayer is science for a better life. The principle is to bring value to the table and share the value with the farmers. Bayer will look at the profitability advantages, sharing profitability advantages to assure that farmers can increase their profitability and increase sustainability.

      5. Rhizobium

        Mr Louw reported that there was an increase in complaints during the season from farmers, especially from North West Province and the Eastern Free State, in respect of new strains not working and inoculation failing. He mentioned that Grain SA and the PRF are in the process of looking at the strains and Rhizobium currently available commercially in the market.


        1. That it be noted that Mr Louw will keep the Forum updated.

          Mr Louw

      6. Sudden Death Syndrome

        Dr Lamprecht reported on the Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) project and that the main aim is to develop a molecular tool to identify Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) in soybeans. She mentioned that there are worldwide five of the species which cause the disease and there were three reported in South Africa. Last year farmers were requested to send samples for testing to her, which only one sample was tested positive. Dr Lamprecht mentioned that the survey which was supposed to be done in April was postpose due to the lockdown. Extension was given until March 2021 to conclude this report. Farmers are requested to still send samples for testing.

    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 entered into the trails. Dr Ma'ali reported that data will be available for distribution within the next 2 weeks.

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

        Mr Keun reported that he is awaiting a commitment from Prof Laing to give a presentation at a Forum meeting as well as to publish an article for the Oilseeds Focus on the work already done.

        It be noted that the matter be kept in abeyance and that the Forum members be kept updated.

  15. Technology transfer

    1. Articles

      Cognisance was taken of the articles included in Annexure G.

    2. Sunflower Highlights

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

    3. LEAF Services

      Mr Botes gave feedback on the actions of Leaf Services. He reported that meetings between Leaf and the industry has commenced.

      The Chairperson suggested that the matter be kept on the agenda for feedback at the next meeting.


      1. That the matter be kept on the agenda for feedback by LEAF at the next Forum meeting.

        Mr Botes

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

      Cognisance was taken that the presentation by Dr E Strydom at the previous Forum meeting, was included in the agenda as Annexure I, for noting purposes.

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

      Cognisance was taken that the presentation by Prof Meyer and Mr D van der Westhuizen at the previous Forum meeting, was included in the agenda as Annexure J, for noting purposes.

      The Chairperson complemented Mr D van der Westhuizen for excellent work done and suggested that he be invited to a Forum meeting in the future to give and update of the work.

    6. Information Days 2019

      It be noted that most of the information days were cancelled due to the lockdown. However, some information days were held by way of a virtual platform.

      Dr Strydom reported that there will be a virtual NAMPO.

    7. Videos

      Mr Keun requested that interesting video's be forwarded to Ms Du Preez.

    8. Oilseeds Focus

      Dr Briedenhann thanked everybody for contributions and support and requested that any articles and pictures for the September 2020 edition, be sent to the office.

    9. Yield Competition

      Dr Strydom reported on the Yield competition, Weigh and Win. He mentioned that the competition is now organised by Grain SA and is known as the "Grow for gold competition". He further mentioned that entries for the competition were received in the various categories. The competition will be virtual unless the lockdown regulations change.

      Mr Louw mentioned that the closing date for the entries is 15 August 2020.

  16. Other matters

    1. Chemicals and inoculants

      No feedback.

    2. Fertilisers

      No feedback.

    3. Seed/cultivars

      Cognisance was taken that the item was discussed at a previous discussion point.

    4. Processing

      No feedback.

    5. Trading

      No feedback.

    6. Consumers and soybean food

      Mr Keun mentioned that the Soybean Food Symposium, which was scheduled for 17 September 2020, was postponed until 16 September 2021, at the CSIR Convention Centre.

  17. Additional matters

    1. Acquisition and Utilisation of Grains and Oilseeds

      Mr D Kok gave feedback on SACOTA's letter in respect of the acquisition and utilisation of grains and oil seeds included in the agenda as Annexure K. He requested the Forum's comments regarding the request.

      Ms M Purnell requested the Forum to take note of Agbiz's comments and concerns.

      Mr Louw mentioned that Grain SA supports SACOTA's request and also requested additional information in this regard.

      The Chairperson suggested that a Task Team be appointed to attend to the matter and report back to the Forum.

      Mr Keun mentioned there is the possibility of a financial implication and therefor the matter must be referred to the Oilseeds Advisory Committee and the Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust for consideration. He further mentioned that the proposed Task Team may include members of SACOTA, Agbiz Grain, Grain SA, a representative of the Oilseeds Advisory Committee and SAGIS.


      1. That Mr Keun be requested to facilitate a Task Team meeting and give comprehensive feedback at the next Forum meeting.

        Mr Keun

    2. Dispute Resolution Process

      Mr Keun mentioned that this matter was also submitted by SACOTA. He reported that the matter was supported by Agbiz, Grain SA and AFMA, and SACOTA and requesting the Forum to discuss the matter and provide input.

      The Chairperson requested that the matter be dealt with in the same manner as the previous discussion point. It be noted that the matter be kept in abeyance until the next Forum meeting.

      Mr Kok mentioned that there are two issues which need to be addressed. The one is the commodity passport system and the other the dispute resolution process.


      1. That Mr Keun be requested to facilitate a Task Team meeting and provide feedback on both issues, namely the commodity passport system and the dispute resolution process.

        Mr Keun

      2. That it be noted that the matter be kept in abeyance until the next Forum meeting, for further review and discussions.

        Mr Keun

    3. Transport Differential on SAFEX

      The Chairperson referred to the earlier comments given by Mr Küsel regarding the matter.

      Dr Strydom provided feedback regarding the discussion by the JSE Advisory Committee on the matter. He further mentioned that a special meeting with the JSE Advisory Committee to discussion the soybean differential separately was also convened. He said the JSE decided to implement a location differential for soybeans, currently for the 2020/21 season on a 25% level of the maize differential. The University of the Free State is currently doing research to investigate an alternative system in terms of the soybean location differential. He further proposed that a small working group be established to attend to the matter and report back to the Forum.

      Dr Joubert suggested that the Chairperson write a letter to the JSE requesting them to consult the Forum and not only the JSE Advisory Committee when decisions are taken which have consequences for the soybean industry.


      1. That Dr Strydom be requested to establish a small Working Group with different role players to discussions the soybean location differential and to determine a way forward.

        Dr Strydom

      2. That a letter be sent to the JSE with the committee's view and actions and a way forward regarding the soybean location differential.


    4. Feeding Schemes

      The Chairperson reported that the Oilseeds Advisory Committee and Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust approved R1 million worth of soybean products and oilseed products which were handed out to the vulnerable communities.

      He suggested that at the next meeting Forum members give feedback in respect of all the feeding schemes, which have been initiated by organisations and individuals and the assistance provided across the oilseeds sector.

      He further mentioned that it is important that people take cognisance of initiatives taken by the Agricultural Sector during this time to support communities.


      1. That members of the Forum give feedback at the next Forum meeting in respect of food scheme initiated by organisations and individuals provided assistance across the oilseed sector.

        Mr Keun

  18. Date of next meeting

    The next meeting will be held on 7 October 2020.

  19. Adjournment

    There being no further business for discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 14h00.