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OPDT   OIL & PROTEIN SEEDS DEVELOPMENT TRUST
OAC   OILSEEDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

OPDT
OIL & PROTEIN SEEDS DEVELOPMENT TRUST

OAC
OILSEEDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE


Working Group Minutes

Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum
Meeting held on 9 October 2019 at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry

  1. Opening

    Mr Ralf Küsel opened the meeting with prayer.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson, Mr Jozeph du Plessis, welcomed all to the meeting.

  3. Attendance

    Present

    Mr J du Plessis Chairperson
    Ms R Beukes DAFF
    Mr D Boshoff AFMA/SACOTA
    Mr J Botma Producer: Free State
    Dr E Briedenhann PRF/OAC
    Mr H Davies Eden Social Development
    Mr G de Beer Contractor
    Dr J Dreyer PRF
    Mr H Hamman FSO
    Mr G Heyns SACTA
    Mr M Jansen van Rensburg Mpumalanga DOA
    Mr PR Janse van Rensburg Pioneer
    Mr R Küsel Producer: KwaZulu-Natal
    Mr C Louw Grain SA
    Ms W Louw SAGL
    Mr P Lovelace CEOCO/SAOPA
    Dr S Ma'ali ARC-GC
    Mr R Pholo Producer: North West / Grain SA
    Ms M Purnell Agbiz Grain
    Mr L Schoonraad Corteva
    Dr D Strydom Grain SA
    Dr P Taljaard Bayer
    Mr A Theron PRF
    Mr WF van Wyk Contractor
    Ms M du Preez PRF
    Ms S Brits PRF

    Apologies

    Dr A Balarane NAMC
    Mr H Conradie Producer: Mpumalanga
    Ms A de Beer ARC-GC
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Dr C Joubert NAMC
    Mr G Keun PRF/OPDT CEO
    Ms W MacPherson SABO/Madumbi
    Prof F Meyer PRF
    Mr J Rankin Producer: North West
    Mr G Roos Producer: Mpumalanga
    Ms L Rothmann UFS
    Mr R van Niekerk Agricol
    Mr W van Pletsen Agricol
    Mr A van Vuuren NWC
  4. Personalia

    Wishes for a complete recovery were conveyed to Mr Arno van Vuuren.

  5. Confirmation of the agenda

    The agenda was accepted, with the addition of:

    • Item 17.5 – Election of Vice-chairperson
  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Minutes of the combined meeting of the Soybean working group and the Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum held on 23 April 2019 and referral to website

      Resolution:

      1. That the minutes of the combined meeting of the Soybean Working Group and the Sunflower, Soybean and Soybean Food Forum held on 23 April 2019 be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting, and that the minutes be referred to the PRF and Oilseeds Industry's websites for publication.

        Ms du Preez
        Steering Committee
        OAC

  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 2 October 2019 was R5 575 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 SAGIS website.

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

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

  10. Weather and climate forecast

    Cognisance was taken that weather conditions have seemingly changed over the last few years, with for example the usual August winds having shifted to October, and the first rains coming in later than in previous years. Warm weather had been predicted for October, with rain expected from the last week of October. The expectation, however, was that the coming season's rainfall would be disappointing.

  11. Crop estimates

    1. Latest crop estimates: Soybeans and Sunflower

      A presentation was delivered on the local production of soybeans and sunflower from 1988 to 2019. Information was also provided on the ratio of soybeans/maize planted, and of the area planted to soybean under irrigation.

      Cognisance was taken of the area planted and eighth production forecast for summer crops in 2019, and of the revised area and second production forecast for winter crops in 2019.

      The Crop Estimates Committee was thanked for the world-class information it provided.

    2. Soybean value chain

      1. Local soybean stocks/supply and demand

        It was noted that the concerns about excessive soybean stocks, that had been raised in December 2018, had to a large extent been mitigated.

      2. Quality of local soybeans and soybean oilcake

        The issue with regard to the quality of local soybeans and soybean oilcake was amongst those raised during the December 2018 meeting of role-players in the two industries. The perception was that locally produced soybeans and soybean oilcake was not up to standard. It was however noted that much progress had been made in this regard. The question was raised as to whether or not further measures could be taken to sway the perceptions of the few remaining sceptics.

        One of the big issues faced by the processing industry is that no minimum specifications have been made available for the raw materials provided. Material provided by producers had to be accepted, yet commitments had to be made to end-users with regard to protein, fibre, urease and so forth. There was no real consistency of quality in the raw material provided. This puts tremendous on the processors. The same applied to sunflower. This matter will be discussed at the Grain and Oilseeds Value Chain Indaba, which is to be held on 11 November 2019.

        Cognisance was taken that Grain SA was also investigating the matter, specifically with regard to sunflower, and that the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) would include the issue of quality in a comprehensive value-chain study on oilseeds.

        Noted:

        1. That feedback is awaited on the matter of minimum specifications on raw materials provided by producers to processors.

          Chairperson
          SSSFF

        1. Feedback on industry study

          Cognisance was taken that BFAP's proposal for a comprehensive in-depth study on the factors that influence the nutrient content of sunflower and soybeans was being awaited.

          Noted:

          1. That BFAP's proposal on a comprehensive in-depth study on the factors that influence the nutrient content of sunflower and soybeans is being awaited.

            Dr Briedenhann
            RPC
            OAC
            SSSFF

        2. Benchmarking against international standards and quality

          The issue with regard to the comparison between international soybean and sunflower grading regulations with local regulations was discussed at some length during the previous meeting. Data had been gathered on grading in the US, Canada and Argentina.

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

          Resolution:

          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
            SSSFF

      3. Pricing transparency – feedback

        Cognisance was taken that the issue with regard to the listing of soybean oilcake contracts on SAFEX had been resolved.

      4. 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 on industry, agriculture and growth.

      5. Imports and exports

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

        Resolution:

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

          Chairperson
          SSSFF

      6. Grain and oilseeds value chain indaba

        Cognisance was taken that a grain and oilseeds value chain indaba will be held on 11 November 2019.

        The resolution with regard to the five year plan for oilseeds in agriculture, that the Presidency had requested to be drawn up, was held in abeyance.

        Resolution:

        1. That feedback is awaited on the five year plan for oilseeds.

          Messrs Keun, Boshoff
          SSSFF

  12. Producer matters

    1. KwaZulu-Natal

      1. General

        Cognisance was taken producers in KwaZulu-Natal were hoping for good rains after a very dry winter.

    2. Mpumalanga and Gauteng

      1. General

        It was reported that rainfall and hail damage had been the most important factors in the average yields obtained by producers during the past season.

    3. North West and Limpopo Province

      1. General

        The past season had been very dry, with planting dates having been delayed. Average yields were disappointing.

    4. Free State

      1. General

        Cognisance was taken that weather conditions in the Free State had impacted negatively on soybean yields achieved during the past season. It was expected that producers would prefer to plant maize and sunflower in the coming season.

    5. Eastern and Northern Cape and South Western Districts

      1. General

        No report back.

  13. Research

    1. Soybeans

      1. National cultivar trials 2018/2019

        The results of the 2018/2019 soybean trials were still being awaited.

        Details were provided of the national soybean cultivar trials planned for 2019/2020, with information provided on the cultivars to be planted, the localities where the trials would be planted, and the seed companies that would participate.

      2. Soybean rust

        There had been a very low incidence of soybean rust infection in the past season, due to the fact that most of the producers in the east sprayed preventatively.

      3. Sclerotinia

        1. "Phenotypic and genotypic screening of soybean to identify potential sources of resistance to the destructive pathogen Sclerotinia sclero­tiorum", Ms L Roth­mann and Prof N McLaren, UFS

          Cognisance was taken of the copy of Ms Rothmann's presentation titled "Phenotypic and genotypic screening of soybean to identify potential sources of resistance to the destructive pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum" that had been delivered during the previous meeting.

      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 royalties on soybeans. The issue with regard to the DNA analysis of material delivered was complicated and costly, and the feasibility of these analyses will be assessed from January 2020 and finalised within approximately 18 months.

      5. Weigh and Win Yield Competition (Maize and Soybeans)

        It was noted that Grain SA would organise and manage the Weigh and Win Yield Competition in 2019/2020. The names of the winners of the 2018/2019 competition were announced.

      6. Rhizobium

        Cognisance was taken that Grain SA had discussed the concerns about the irregularities with regard to the registration of inoculants, especially the biologicals, with the Registrar. Following on the discussion, it was concluded that there had been miscommunication between the various companies, and that similar issues should not occur in future.

    2. Sunflower

      1. National cultivar trials 2018/2019

        Feedback was given on the results of previous national sunflower cultivar trials. The 2018/2019 results will be published on the ARC-GC website.

        Concern was expressed about the lack of sufficient information on the best sunflower agronomic practices. The matter will be discussed by Grain SA's Sunflower Working Group.

        It was mentioned that the industry would pay a significant premium for sunflower with a high oil content.

  14. Seed

    1. Soybeans

      1. Non-GM seed

        No feedback.

      2. Other

        No feedback.

    2. Sunflower

      No feedback.

  15. Technology transfer

    1. Information Days 2019

      Producers will be invited to visit Mr van Wyk's trials. Dates have yet to be confirmed.

    2. Videos

      No feedback.

    3. Oilseeds Focus

      Any suggested content for publication in the Oilseeds Focus will be appreciated.

  16. Soybean Food Association

    Cognisance was taken that a symposium on soybeans in human food was planned for September 2020.

  17. Other matters

    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

      Cognisance was taken that there had been no further developments with regard to the revitalisation of LEAF Services. It was noted that the industry had to be mindful of the status of LEAF Services, as there was a lot of risk associated with their planned activities.

    4. Speaker: Mr Wessel van Wyk on the Sclerotinia evasion trials

      Mr van Wyk informed the meeting about the Sclerotinia evasion trials planted in Mpumalanga.

    5. Election of Vice-chairperson

      Mr Jan Botma was unanimously re-elected to the position of Vice-Chairperson of the Forum.

      Resolution:

      1. That Mr Jan Botma be re-elected to the position of Vice-Chairperson of the Forum.

        Mr Keun, Mr Botma,
        SSSFF

  18. Date of next meeting

    The next meeting will be held on 30 January 2020.

  19. Adjournment

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