Work Group Minutes

Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum
Meeting held on 31 January 2023 at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry and via MS Teams

  1. Opening

    Dr Jan Dreyer opened the meeting with prayer.

  2. Welcome

    The newly elected Chairperson, Mr Ralph Küsel, welcomed everybody present at the meeting.

  3. Attendance


    Mr R Küsel Chairperson
    Mr A Bennett SACTA
    Mr J Botma OAC
    Dr E Briedenhann PRF/OAC
    Mr T Clark RCL Foods
    Mr GP de Beer PRF Contractor
    Dr J Dreyer PRF
    Mr P Lovelace CEOCO/SAOPA
    Mr S Mahlangu SACTA
    Prof F Meyer PRF
    Ms M Scheepers DALRRD
    Mr B Schultz SAGIS
    Mr A Theron PRF
    Ms M du Preez PRF
    Ms A Schoeman PRF

    Via MS Teams

    Mr J du Plessis Grain SA
    Ms S Behane DBE
    Mr S de Jager COFCO
    Mr G Jordaan Andermatt
    Ms W Louw SAGL
    Dr S Ma'ali ARC-GCI
    Mr B Makhafola DALRRD
    Mr V Mapfumari DALRRD
    Ms L Mellett NAMC
    Mr V Mpumza JSE
    Mr T Prinsloo ARC
    Mr L Schoonraad Corteva
    Dr D Strydom Grain SA
    Ms F Sundani NAMC
    Mr N van Burick Landbouweekblad
    Mr C van Coller Farmer
    Dr A van der Vyver SACOTA
    Mr D van der Westhuizen BFAP
    Mr K van Huyssteen SANSOR
    Mr W van Wyk PRF


    Ms L Bronkhorst ARC-GCI
    Ms AS de Beer ARC-GCI
    Prof S Lamprecht ARC-PPRI
    Mr T Phasoana ARC
    Mr GL Roos Producer: Mpumalanga
    Mr M Jansen van Rensburg Department Agriculture, Mpumalanga
    Mr W Lemmer AgbizGrain
    Mr C Cloete Rolfes Agri
    Mr CJ Louw Grain SA
    Mr W van Pletsen Agricol
  4. Personalia

    None reported.

  5. Confirmation of the agenda

    The Agenda was confirmed with no additions.

  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Minutes of a meeting of the Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum held on 5 October 2023 and referral to website


      1. That the minutes of the Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum held on 5 October 2022 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 oil seed prices: local and international

    Dr E Briedenhann gave a brief overview and did a presentation on 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 the latest Monthly Bulletin included in Annexure B were noted. Cognisance was taken that this and other data were published on the SAGIS website.

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

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

    The latest Supply and Demand Estimates Committee report included in Annexure C was noted.

    Ms F Sundani from the NAMC gave a short presentation on the latest supply and demand estimates as on 27 January 2023.

  10. Crop estimates

    1. Latest crop estimates: Soybeans and Sunflower

      A presentation was delivered on the Crop Estimates Committee's view on the preliminary areas planted for soybeans and sunflower for 2023. An overview was provided of the areas planted with sunflower and soybeans over the period from 2012-2023.

  11. Producer matters: Sunflower and Soybeans

    1. KwaZulu-Natal

      1. General

        Mr Küsel mentioned that the planting season started in mid-October 2022, but due to the heavy rainfall season, farmers in the Dannhauser and Bloedrivier areas still planted Sunflower in the 2nd week of January 2023. They will only be able to harvest towards the end of May beginning of June. Soybeans are consistent in their hectares for the current season. Maize collapsed with the water logging but started to look better with the warmer weather.

    2. Mpumalanga and Gauteng

      1. General

        Mr van Wyk mentioned that it was a very wet season. Bethal area had a lot of rain which caused the crops not the develop roots properly. The heatwave also had an impact on the crops planted and the soybeans that did not get too much damage and looking promising.

    3. North West and Limpopo Province

      1. General

        Mr J du Plessis mentioned that it was a tremendously wet season. Planting started in October 2022 and needed to be halted due to the waterlogged fields. Planting could only resume on the 20th of November 2022. Soybean seeds did not germinate and rotted in the soil and needed to be replanted. Mr du Plessis also mentioned that due to the climatic conditions approximately 300-400 kg/ha less yields will be harvested compared to the previous season.

        Mr J du Plessis also mentioned that the farmers are still planting Sunflower. Research in agronomic practices to improve the yield of sunflower was an important matter.

        Prof F Meyer mentioned that it has been the wettest December in the past 100 years. He also mentioned that soybeans planted under irrigation were planted 2 weeks later and harvesting in the Koedoeskop/Atlanta areas will only take place during mid April.

        Prof Meyer also mentioned that planting of Sunflower started late due to the fields that could not be accessed due to the rain. Harvesting of sunflower will take place towards the end of May.

    4. Free State

      1. General

        Mr J Botma mentioned that there was a major shift in planting in the sandy soils especially in the Viljoenskroon, Bothaville, Hoopstad and Bultfontein areas. Soybeans were only planted in late December beginning January. Farmers planted more sunflower later due to the climatic conditions.

        Mr Cobus van Coller mentioned that planting of soybeans started on the 20th of October 2022 and went on until the 1st week of January 2023. Farmers in the Viljoenskroon area are still planting soybeans.

        Mr A Bennett enquired about the hail that was received in the Free State area and Messrs Botma and De Beer mentioned that the leaves and stems of the soybeans got damaged. It was suggested to rather replant the fields.

    5. Eastern and Northern Cape and South Western Districts

      1. General

        Ms Scheepers mentioned that there was an increase in planting of soybeans and a decrease in planting sunflowers.

  12. Soybean value chain

    Prof F Meyer highlighted a few initiatives which the Soybean Value Chain were busy with:

    • Study on high-moisture soybeans;
    • Survey on drying capacity;
    • "Growing for Gold" competition hosted by GrainSA;
    • Rhizobia;
    • Content and Quality;
    • Consistent quality of soybean meal;
    • Release of a crop quality report by SAGL;
    • Exports;
    • Innovation challenge; and
    • Masterplan.
  13. Sunflower value chain

    Dr E Briedenhann reported that the following outstanding issues were being addressed:

    • Sunflower seed quality;
    • Planting dates;
    • Sclerotinia;
    • Incentives of using high oil seed; and
    • Sunflower Symposium hosted by the OAC on the 25th of April 2023.
  14. Research

    1. Soybeans

      1. National cultivar trials

        Mr G de Beer did a presentation on behalf of Ms A de Beer and gave a brief overview of the National Soybean cultivar trials.

        Mr G de Beer mentioned that planting was finished by the end of November 2022 in the Western areas but there was a concern with the soybeans flowering early due to the extreme heat experienced.

      2. Soybean rust

        Dr J Dreyer mentioned that less soybean rust has been reported and that preventative spraying took place.

      3. Sclerotinia

        Mr Keun mentioned that the OPDT/OAC have approved funding for the 2023/2024 financial year for various Sclerotinia research projects.

        Mr Keun also mentioned that GrainSA was hosting a Sclerotinia Workshop on the 15th of February 2023.

      4. Rhizobium

        (Resolution of The Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum of 05/10/2022)

        Mr C Louw was thanked for keeping the Rhizobium list updated.

        Mr Keun mentioned that all the issues identified during the Rhizobia Symposium have been referred to the OAC and RPC and addressed. The only outstanding issue was the possibility of conducting Rhizobium trials.

        Mr Keun also mentioned that Dr A Hassan from the ARC was executing a project funded by the NRF on Rhizobium but experienced problems obtaining products to conduct the trials and mentioned that Messrs Louw and Botma indicated assisting Dr Hassan with products.

      5. Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS)

        Mr Keun mentioned that the continuation application for additional funding for the project "Sudden death syndrome of soybean in South Africa: Etiology, detection and management" of Prof S Lamprecht will be discussed at the Oilseeds Advisory Committee meeting taking place on the 1st of February 2023.

    2. Sunflower

      1. National cultivar trials

        Dr S Ma'ali gave a brief overview by way of a presentation of the National Sunflower Cultivar Trials.

      2. Alternaria

        No feedback.

      3. Sclerotinia

        No feedback.

  15. Technology transfer

    1. Articles

      The contents of the document, included in Annexure F, were noted.

    2. Sunflower highlights

      The contents of the document, included in Annexure G, were noted.

    3. Information Days 2023

      The Chairperson requested that any dates of "Information Days" be forwarded to the Administration for distribution to the SSSFF members.

    4. Videos

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

    5. Oilseeds Focus

      Dr Briedenhann reported that the March 2023 edition of the Oilseeds Focus is being finalised.

    6. Yield Competition: Grain SA

      Dr D Strydom gave feedback on the "Grow for gold competition" that took place during September 2022. Dr Strydom also mentioned that feedback from the farmers were obtained on what they did differently compared to previous years and the feedback was published in a booklet which can be accessed at the following link.

  16. Other matters

    1. Chemicals and inoculants

      Mr Keun mentioned that a document from AgriIntel were circulated to the industry regarding "phasing out of active ingredients in some of the classified categories". Mr Keun also mentioned that feedback needs to be sent to the Administration before the working group meeting that is taking place on the 3rd of February 2023.

    2. Fertilisers

      No feedback.

    3. Seed/cultivars

      1. Seed certification

        No feedback.

    4. Processing

      Mr P Lovelace mentioned that load shedding have a big impact on processors and that solar was being considered due to the high cost of operating generators.

    5. Trading

      1. Exports

        (Resolution 16.5.1 of The Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum of 05/10/2022)

        Dr A van der Vyver gave feedback on the exports of soybeans. Dr van der Vyver mentioned that 2 vessels of soybeans are going to Malaysia. He also mentioned that a few logistical challenges are experienced to move crops by rail transport instead of road transport. Challenges were also experienced at the RBT terminal due to renovations and upgrading of the terminal. He also mentioned that yellow maize booked all the slots and that possible slots will only become available in October/November. It is also difficult to switch between single slots due to cleaning because it was disruptive switching between products.

        Dr D Strydom mentioned that the protocol signed with China was in place.

    6. Consumers and soybean food

      Mr Keun mentioned that BFAP compiled a summary of all the soyfood research done over a number of years by researchers and will be tabled at the Oilseeds Advisory Committee taking place on the 1st of February 2023 for approval. Once the report was approved it will be circulated to the SSSFF members.

      Mr Keun also mentioned that initiatives and projects were still running for the lower income consumers and once reports have been received from the researchers it will be communicated to the SSSFF members.

    7. Dispute Resolution Process

      (Resolution 16.7.1 of The Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum of 05/10/2022)

      Dr D Strydom mentioned that a "Sampling procedure" document was still awaited from Agbiz.


      1. That it be noted that a draft document on the "Sampling procedure" was awaited from Agbiz.

        Dr Strydom

    8. JSE/SAFEX Feedback

      Mr V Mpumza mentioned that notice 022A/2023 regarding "Soya differentials with multiple reference points" and notice 022B/2023 regarding "Proposed Soya Differentials with Multiple Reference Points" was published on the 24th of January 2023 by the JSE and gave feedback on the notices that have been published.

    9. SACTA: Feedback

      Mr A Bennett gave feedback on the following:

      • Levy utilisation
      • Commission and Admin Costs
      • Crops and Levy Amounts
      • Levy collection efficiency
      • Levy statistics
      • Transformation overview
      • Achievements
    10. Request from GrainSA: Weekly information on sunflower and soybean oilcake imports and exports

      (Resolution 17.1.1 of The Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum of 05/10/2022)

      Dr D Strydom mentioned that a meeting will be held with the Competition Commission regarding the matter and that feedback will be given to the SSSFF members at the next meeting.


      1. That it be noted that a meeting will be held with the Competition Commission with regards to collecting information on "Weekly information on sunflower and soybean oilcake imports and exports".

        Dr Strydom
        Mr Louw
        Mr Keun

  17. Additional matters

    1. Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri)

      Mr J Botma mentioned that the correct chemicals need to be applied to keep Palmer amaranth under control.

      Mr Keun suggested making the item a standing point under "Weed and Weed Resistance" and the Chairman approved the suggestion.

  18. Dates of meetings for 2023

    • 23 May 2023
    • 4 October 2023
  19. Adjournment

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