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Cover of Oilseeds Focus Vol 5 No 2 March 2019
WORKGROUP MINUTES ARCHIVES SUNFLOWER AND SOYBEAN 2009 April 2009
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO VIEW INDIVIDUAL FILES
 NOVEMBER 2009 APRIL 2009
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE
SUNFLOWER & SOYBEAN FORUM
HELD ON 21 APRIL 2009 AT 10:00 AT THE OFFICES OF THE OILSEEDS INDUSTRY, RIVONIA
1. OPENING

 

The meeting was opened with a prayer offered by Mr G Keun.

2. WELCOME

 

The Chairperson, Mr GJH Scholtemeijer, welcomed all to the meeting, with a special word of welcome to Mr Ybema and Ms Mthethwa.

3. ATTENDANCE
 
Present Mr GJH Scholtemeijer (Chairperson)
  Mr GJ Pretorius (Vice-Chairperson)
  Ms R Beukes National Department of Agriculture
  Ms A Enslin SAGIS
  Dr M Griessel PRF
  Mr W Lemmer GrainSA
  Ms C Makobe Ms C Makobe
  Mr V Mapfumari National Department of Agriculture
  Mr ML Mosome National Department of Agriculture
  Ms G Mthethwa National Department of Agriculture
  Dr AA Nel ARC-GCI
  Mr FAS Potgieter GrainSA
  Mr B Prinsloo Epko
  Mr MT Prinsloo ARC-GCI
  Dr W van der Walt OAC
  OAC OAC
  Mr SG Ybema Senwes
  Mr G Keun CEO: OPDT / OAC / PRF
  Ms E Harmse Secretariat
 
Apologies Mr G de Bruin NWK
  Mr DJ Kok Grain Silo Industry
  Mr PG Louw Grain Silo Industry
  Mr B Makhafola National Department of Agriculture
  Ms L Mellet Marketing Council
  Mr C Smit SWL
  Mr P van Heerden PPECB
 
4. PERSONALIA
 

None reported.

5. CONFIRMATION OF AGENDA
 

The agenda was accepted as it stood, with the addition of:

Item 9.10:   Utilisation, and novel uses, of edible oils.

6. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
6.1 Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum held on 17 November 2008
  Resolved:
6.1.1 That the minutes of the meeting of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum, which was held on 17 November 2008, be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting.
7. MATTERS ARISING
7.1 Marketing aspects
7.1.1 Crop Estimates / Intentions to plant
 

The Chairperson tabled the documents reflecting the area and second production forecasts of summer crops for the 2008-2009 production season, which were issued on 25 March 2009 by the Crop Estimates Committee. He called on Ms Beukes to comment.

Ms Beukes reported that the second production forecast for sunflower seed of 875 000 tons for the 2008-2009 production season was 0,4% more than the previous season's final crop of 872 000 tons. She said the second production forecast was 47,9% higher than the five year average crop of 592 000 tons. She mentioned that the forecast average yield was 1,38 tons per hectare, as opposed to the 1,55 tons per hectare of the previous season. She said the area under irrigation represented approximately 1%, or 6 000 hectares, of the total area planted to sunflower seed.

Ms Beukes reported on the soybean production forecast. She said the production forecast for soybeans was 405 035 tons, which was 9,8% more than the 368 875 ton of the previous forecast, 43,6% higher than the previous year's final crop of 282 000 tons, and 44,3% higher than the five year average crop of 280 700 tons. She mentioned that the area planted to soybeans had also been adjusted upward to 224 750 hectare, and added that the expected yield was 1,8 ton per hectare, against the 1,71 ton per hectare of the previous forecast. She said the area under irrigation for soybeans represented approximately 10%, or 22 000 hectares, of the total area planted to soybeans.

In response to a question by the Chairperson, Mr Bert Prinsloo reported that the current local capacity which was available to press sunflower seeds was 1,2 million tons per annum. He mentioned the possibility of a carry-in stock during the following year, as one of the crushers in Randfontein had experienced some problems, the crusher in Isando was taking out six to eight weeks of its production time during that year, and the plant in Boksburg was also not going to crush at full capacity. He added that the carry-in stock that year amounted to 180 000 tons.

The Chairperson said this could result in a surplus situation, which could affect intentions to plant sunflower seed, during the following production season. Mr Pretorius indicated his approval of the Crop Estimates Committee's estimates of the sunflower crop. He said it should, however, be noted that there was a large percentage of late sunflowers, and that the cold weather which had been predicted, could impact on the crop estimate.

Dr Griessel said he found the dramatic increase in both the sunflower and soybean acreage interesting, and asked whether the increased acreage would be sustainable, in view of the current decrease in international oil prices. Mr Pretorius said he expected an increased consumption of sunflower oil, if prices were to drop. He said the forecast average yield per hectare of 1,38 tons compared very favourably with yield per hectare in America. He added that there was a good probability that increased acreage would be sustainable, if sunflower were to be properly marketed, as prices were close to import parity and exports had become a possible option.

The Chairperson said certain aspects had to be taken into consideration. He mentioned that South Africa was still importing large amounts of vegetable oil, and said although local capacity was indeed available to press more oil, the problem of disposing of the sunflower oilcake had to be considered.

Mr Bert Prinsloo reported that annual edible oil imports were in the region of 850 000 tons. He said it had always been a better option for local crushers to stop their plants, and rather import oil. He mentioned that the local price had always been determined on import parity, and that import parity had for the first time reached a higher level than the local price.

The Chairperson said SAGIS' figures indicated that sunflower and soybean oil prices were on par, for the first time in many years. He noted that this was totally out of kilter, and asked whether this imbalance would prevail. Mr Bert Prinsloo said the situation was driven by political factors, with the Argentinian farmers not bringing their soybeans to the market, resulting in China importing soybeans from America, which had exhausted stocks in America. He was of the opinion that matters would stabilise, once the Argentinian soybeans entered the market. The Chairperson agreed with Mr Prinsloo, and added that prices may go down, as a surplus could result if less soy oil were to be utilised for biodiesel in America.

Dr Griessel said price dictated the amount of sunflower oilcake which the animal feed manufacturing industry consumed. He mentioned that about 250 000 tons of sunflower were used in the days when approximately six million tons of feed were produced annually. He said the annual local production of animal feed was currently in excess of nine million tons, and added that it was surprising how much more sunflower could be absorbed by the animal feed industry, if there were a price incentive. He added that the fibre content of sunflower was, however, considered to be a drawback.

Dr van der Walt referred to the matter of the sustainability of increased acreage. He said statistics indicated that the yield of sunflower and soybeans had on average been fairly constant over the past number of years, while yellow and white maize yields had increased by more than double over the last twenty years. He considered the maize industry to be fairly sustainable, and said increased sustainability boiled down to a different look, with other technologies needed to increase the yields per hectare and lower production costs per hectare, as well as exploring other possibilities, such as niche markets.

The Chairperson was in disagreement on this, and said a comparison could not be made between twenty years' yield increase in maize production and ten years' yield increase in soybean production. He said Dr van der Walt's point was, however, taken, and that the matter was certainly being addressed by the sunflower and, especially, the soybean industry. He mentioned that a considerable amount of information had been sourced from South America in particular, about amongst others, multiple gene stacking, to combat diseases such as nematodes and rust, and added that yield was obviously considered to be very important. He thought the oilseeds industry had lagged, as they had been trying to increase the oil content of the cultivars, instead of concentrating on yields.

Dr van der Walt said varieties were only one part of the equation, and mentioned that the two major multinational seed companies had predicted an increase of at least 50% in the yield potential of soybeans within the next ten years, followed by a 100% increase in yield potential, a few years later.

Dr Nel said the maize industry had improved as a result of improved cultivars, with companies such as Monsanto contributing intensively to breeding programmes. He mentioned that local sunflower and soybean breeding had lagged behind somewhat, as the big companies had not invested as much time and effort in oilseed crops. With reference to yield, he held the opinion that the yield per hectare had improved due to increased effectiveness on the side of producers and improved technologies.

In response to a question on the possibility of damage to soybean crops by the cold front, which had been predicted, Mr Potgieter reported that there were a number of soybeans in Mpumalanga, which had not yet been harvested because those had been planted later in the season, due to the prevailing wet conditions early in the season. He said some damage could be expected to soybean crops on the Highveld, although such damage would not impact on the size of the crop, but would have an effect on the quality of the soybeans. Mr Pretorius mentioned that frost would have an effect on the size of the sunflower crops. Ms Beukes said the possible effect of cold damage was not necessarily factored into the crop estimates, as the Crop Estimates Committee based their estimates on the inputs received by collaborators.

Dr Van Twisk asked what the effect of the increased production of soybeans would be on the oil market, and whether the soy oil would be consumed locally or exported. The Chairperson said his personal guess would be that the oil would be consumed locally, as more than 100 000 tons of soybeans had to be imported the previous year, due to a shortage of local soybeans for pressing purposes. Mr Bert Prinsloo held the opinion that there would not be a local market for soy oil, as sunflower oil was discounted at R1 000 per ton on import tariff. He said soy oil was not being imported, as all the consumers were expected to use sunflower oil, as sunflower was cheaper than soy. He mentioned that some of the crushers had converted their soybean crushing capacity to sunflower.

Ms Enslin reported that SAGIS' January and February data confirmed that the crushers had processed less soybeans, and had processed more sunflower. The Chairperson said Mr Prinsloo had already mentioned that South Africa imported 850 000 tons of edible oil annually. Mr Prinsloo mentioned that those imports included palm oil, which, at that stage, was as expensive as soy. He said if the import prices remained steady, all of the sunflower seeds produced locally would be crushed. Dr Griessel said he was uncertain how the sunflower oilcake would be disposed of, as the animal feed industry could only consume a certain amount. Mr Prinsloo said there was uncertainty about the value of the rand, and added that the rand would weaken if international soybean prices were to decrease.

Mr Lemmer said the considerable increase in international soybean prices, which resulted from the higher prices of the previous season's palm oil stocks and the decrease in the Argentinian crop estimates, had resulted in the ratio between the maize and the soybean price, which was usually in the region of 1:2.2, increasing to 1.2:2.7. He said in view of this the producers in the US may review their intentions to plant. He also mentioned the effect of the latest season's palm oil coming into the market during April and May.

The Chairperson said there was much uncertainty in the oil market at the moment. He said during a meeting held the previous week, Dr Griessel had reviewed all the market forces, and had taken the view that soy prices would remain stable in the near future, and may even increase somewhat. He said there would be more clarity about the American situation in a few weeks' time. He mentioned that the splash and dash policy, in terms of which the Americans brought a shipload of cheap oil to the country, added a bit of animal fat, exported it to Europe and were heavily subsidised in the process, had been scrapped. He added that the total production of biodiesel in the States had taken a knock, in view of the decreased profitability of biodiesel production. He also mentioned the tough droughts which had hit Argentina, and the subsequent dramatic decrease in crops, as well as the initial dry period in Brazil, which was followed by too much rain, and also had a negative effect on crop production. He said there should be more certainty about the soybean industry at the following meeting of the Forum.

  Resolved:
7.1.1 That cognisance be taken of the area and second production forecast of summer crops during the 2008-2009 production season.   Members
7.1.2 SAGIS
 

The Chairperson tabled the various items of information issued by SAGIS, viz the Market Information dated 31 March, the Weekly Bulletin dated 28 October, and the Monthly Bulletin, dated 19 March. He called on Ms Enslin to comment.

Ms Enslin mentioned that there was currently 100 000 tons more sunflower in the country than the previous year. With reference to the submission of returns, she reported that the percentage of returns submitted by the oilseeds co-workers by the 10th of each month had showed a significant improvement, since the amendment to the date on which returns had to be submitted. She thanked the co-workers for their support.

Cognisance was taken of the information and figures provided by SAGIS.

7.2 Soybean rust
 

The Chairperson said the soybean industry had become accustomed to the occurence of soybean rust during January in KwaZulu-Natal, and mentioned that soybean rust was, indeed, considered to be endemic to that province. He noted that the occurence of rust on the other side of the Drakensberg was still considered to be a rarity.

The Chairperson reported that rust had, however, been positively identified at the trials at the ARC-GCI in Potchefstroom during the present production season, and invited comment on this from Mr Thinus Prinsloo. Mr Prinsloo said rust was identified in Potchefstroom at a very late stage, on 30 March, and added that it was improbable that rust infection had been spread to the trials by humans not adhering to the sanitary prescriptions with regard to contact with rust.

Mr Potgieter mentioned that rust had been identified at the Pannar trials at Kinross during late March, and at the Pannar trials at Delmas, on 4 April, which he found interesting. He raised the possiblity that the rust spores had in this case been spread by humans moving between the two localities. He said it seemed strange that rust infection had occured in Delmas, at such a late stage. The Chairperson said this was an issue of concern, as rust infection increased the cost of soybean production. With reference to the reports on the identification of soybean rust, included in Annexure D, Mr Pretorius said it seemed to him as if the disease had not only occurred sporadically. He said this was a cause for concern.

Mr Keun suggested that the matter be referred to the Soybean Rust Working Group, with the comment that the Sunflower and Soybean Forum had expressed their concern about the spread of soybean rust during the past production season. The Chairperson mentioned that the soybean rust sentinel trials in KwaZulu-Natal served to timeously inform producers that rust had occurred at certain localities, and that producers had to implement a spraying programme, so as to prevent rust infection on their crops. He added that this warning system functioned very effectively. He said the big concern was that rust had not previously occurred to such an extent on the other side of the mountain, that producers had to spray preventatively against rust infection. He said although rust had occured at Kinross, Morgenzon, Delmas and Potchefstroom, the infection had taken hold at a very late stage, when it was too late for the crops to be damaged, but that it still remained a serious issue, which had to be raised at the next meeting of the Soybean Rust Working Group.

Cognisance was taken of the pamphlet "Identification and control of soybean rust". The Chairperson mentioned that the pamphlet had been revised and amended, and would be tabled at the meeting of the Soybean Rust Working Group, for finalisation.

  Resolved:
7.2.1 That the Soybean Rust Working Group be informed of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum's concern about the spread of soybean rust during the past production season, at their meeting in July 2009.   Chairperson
Mr Keun
7.3 Consumption of edible oil in South Africa
(Resolution 7.4.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 17 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson referred the members to Annexure E, which contained a letter from the South African Oil Processors' Association to the Department of Health, on the matter of regulations relating to the labelling and advertising of foodstuffs. He said although the letter provided some of the information the Forum required on the consumption of edible oil in South Africa, certain information was still lacking.

The Chairperson referred the members to the statistics on page two of the document, where a breakdown per oil type of total tonnage used was provided. He said although it was a known fact that soybean oil in excess of one hundred thousand tons, or possibly more, was consumed a year or so ago, no reference was made to such, and neither was any reference made to palm oil usage. He said although palm oil usage could be listed under industrial use, soybean oil was considered to be a cooking oil, as far as he was concerned. He invited comments on this from the members involved in the industry.

Dr van Twisk agreed that the information was not comprehensive. He mentioned that palm oil was not considered to be a cooking oil, and was included in the category other vegetable oils, which was used largely in the industrial and hospitality sectors, where a large portion of the oils used were palm based. Mr Bert Prinsloo agreed that "industrial" referred to oil use by companies such as Simba, and added that spent, or used, oils and derivatives, or oleochemicals, were used in the production of, for example, paint. Dr van Twisk and Mr Prinsloo agreed that soy oil should be included as a cooking oil.

The Chairperson said it was very important to source authoritative information on the consumption of edible oils in South Africa. He reported that the Protein Research Foundation had had negotiations with the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), associated with the University of Pretoria, but that no feedback on the matter had been provided thus far.

In response to a question from the Chairperson, Ms Enslin said SAGIS dealt with oilseeds, and that a calculation of the consumption of edible oils would be difficult. She mentioned that the imports of oilseeds would be included in SAGIS' figures for the oilseeds press, but added that she could consult with the oil processors and people like Dr Griessel, to establish in which way the seeds could be transferred to volumes of oil. She cautioned that such a figure would be an assumption, and not necessarily represent reliable data. The Chairperson said he would, however, prefer to obtain such information from the Oil Processors' Association, as they should hold reliable information on the matter.

7.4 Retention of grain as seed
(Resolution 7.5.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 17 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson said during a previous meeting the Forum had taken cognisance of GrainSA's intention to apply to the National Department of Agriculture for a statutory levy to be imposed on soybean producers, in order to support the development of new soybean cultivars. He invited comment on progress on the matter from GrainSA.

Mr Potgieter reported that GrainSA had to first discuss the matter with the seed companies, to determine whether the companies would support such a levy. He said the producers supported the initiative, as they valued the contribution made by research.

The Chairperson ruled that the matter be considered as concluded, until such time feedback had been received from GrainSA.

  Resolved:
7.5.1 That the matter of GrainSA's intention to apply to the National Department of Agriculture for a statutory levy to be imposed on soybean producers, in order to support the development of new soybean cultivars, be considered as concluded, until feedback had been received from GrainSA.   Mr Keun
7.6 High-oleic sunflower
(Resolution 9.2.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 17 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson mentioned that high-oleic sunflower had been a topic of discussion for some time. He said an internet search had been done on the topic, and that Mr Kleingartner of the American National Sunflower Association (NSA) had addressed the issue at the Sunflower Symposium, which was presented at Bothaville on 11 September 2008. He mentioned that a number of questions had been raised on the issue at a previous meeting of the Forum, and that Dr van Twisk had undertaken to summarise these in a letter to Mr Kleingartner. He called on Dr van Twisk to comment on the answers received in response to the letter.

Dr van Twisk said the letter to Mr Kleingartner had been written because concerns were raised about certain nutritional factors in breeding for mid- and high-oleic sunflower. He reported that he had, in the meantime, visited the Medical Research Council's (MRC) Institute for Nutritional Diseases to discuss the nutritional aspects with Dr Petro Wolmarans, who worked both nationally and internationally with fatty acids. He said he had only received the Director of the MRC's approval of the report he had compiled on the outcomes of the discussion the previous day. The Chairperson ruled that the report on the MRC discussion be included with the documentation of the following meeting of the Forum.

Dr van Twisk said the main concern had been the reduction in the essential fatty acids of mid- and high-oleic sunflower, and what the effect would be if mid- or higholeic sunflower oil were to be consumed instead of traditional sunflower oil. He reported that Dr Wolmarans had indicated that problems may be experienced with meeting essential fatty acid requirements.

Dr van Twisk said he and Dr Wolmarans had decided to propose a two pronged strategy approach to sunflower oil, and to in the first instance recommend that sunflower oil be the oil of choice for the South African household, so that the nutritional importance of sunflower oil could be maintained, especially with regard to the essential fatty acid content of tradional sunflower oil. He noted that the second recommendation was that the local development of mid-oleic sunflower oil should be continued, for use in industrial and catering operations, as its improved stability could result in it replacing imported oil, with associated financial advantages.

Dr van Twisk referred to Mr Kleingartner's responses to the questions put to him, and said Mr Kleingartner had stated that 90% of sunflower production in the United States was mid-oleic, and that they had decided to opt for mid-oleic sunflower production, as there was a problem with patent infringements on high-oleic sunflower, there was a taste problem associated with high-oleic sunflower, and because of the genetic modification issue. He said essential fatty acids were not considered an issue with regard to mid-oleic sunflower oil consumption in the US, as maize and soy oil were the household oils of preference in the States.

Dr van Twisk said major concern was expressed at the previous meeting about the vitamin E or tocopherol content of high-oleic sunflower oil, but that Mr Kleingartner had fortunately allayed these fears by stating that there was no difference in the vitamin E content of traditional and mid-oleic sunflower oil. He found the wide variation in linoleic acids of one cultivar in different production areas in the US to be interesting, with a recorded variation of between 18% to 45% content of linoleic acid, depending on location. He said this should also be taken into consideration locally. He mentioned that mid-oleic sunflower oil was more beneficial than olive oil, as far as lowering cholesterol was concerned.

Mr Bert Prinsloo said corn oil and soy oil were the primary household oils consumed in the US, with the situation being completely reversed in South Africa. He said while mid-oleic represented 90% of the sunflower crop in the States, the American sunflower crop was about 5% of the soybean and corn crop, with the result that mid-oleic sunflower oil could be used for industrial applications such as frying potato chips. He noted that this would not be an option locally, unless a number of producers were contracted by a specific crusher to only produce midoleic sunflower.

Dr Griessel asked whether the idea was to continue importing palm oil for the fast foods industry. Mr Bert Prinsloo said producers could not demand a premium for mid- or high-oleic sunflowers. He said historically, palm oil was discounted against all the other oils, with the result that producers would be paid less for mid-oleic than for traditional sunflower. Dr van Twisk said according to the literature, palm oil had no deleterious effect on cholesterol levels. He noted that the linoleic acid content of palm oil was in the region of 11%, although it contained approximately 50% saturated fats.

Dr van Twisk said although Mr Bert Prinsloo believed that mid-oleic sunflower did not have a future in South Africa, he was inclined to think there was a small market for mid-oleic, for the deep frying and the catering industry. He mentioned that there were market forces, with companies such as Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) who were forced to move away from palm oil by their international parent company, with one of the few alternatives being mid-oleic sunflower.

Mr Prinsloo said KFC had informed him that they would be interested in an oil that could be used for deep frying, if this could be traded at the price of palm oil. Dr Griessel mentioned that trans fatty acids was considered to be a problem in the States, and that the trans fat content of edible oil was limited to 2%. Dr van Twisk said palm oil contained a high level of saturated fats, and that the trans fatty acid content was not an issue. He added that nutritionists believed palm oil was not conducive to good health.

The Chairperson mentioned that the Protein Research Foundation had also considered the issue of high-oleic soybeans and canola. He said the matter of higholeic cultivars could be referred to a smaller group, as there were far too many technical aspects to be considered.

Dr van der Walt said high-oleic sunflowers and high-oleic groundnuts had already been developed in the States. He mentioned that the industry should look for some degree of unanimity within their operations. He reported that the Groundnut Forum had decided to opt for high-oleic groundnuts, and had recommended to the oilseeds industry that an agricultural economist be tasked to evaluate the competitiveness of the groundnut industry. He held the opinion that high-oleic cultivars would eventually occupy a niche market, but added that he did not have clarity on the matter at that time, and realised that a deeper analysis of the opportunities and potential disadvantages was required. He found it strange that people were running with the idea of high-oleic soybeans and high-oleic groundnuts, while the Forum did not wish to promote high-oleic sunflower, because there was possibly no market for it. He found this confusing.

The Chairperson mentioned that high-oleic canola could be added to the list. He said an agricultural economist could only assist with the economics of the situation, whilst the services of a food technologist was essential to come up with the solutions, considering the various oils available in South Africa.

Dr Nel mentioned that high-oleic sunflower had a yield drag associated with it, and reported that the high-oleic cultivars he had evaluated had a yield that was 10% lower than that of traditional cultivars. He said producers would not be motivated to plant high-oleic sunflowers, if they were not paid a premium for it.

Mr Pretorius mentioned that consumers may be willing to pay a premium for healthier oils, and said in his opinion mid-oleic should form part of local sunflower production. Dr Griessel asked whether the pressers had considered blending different oils, in order to combine the best attributes of the various oils. Mr Bert Prinsloo said high-oleic sunflower offered a high degree of stability for products such as potato crisps, to ensure a long shelf life. He said traditional sunflower oil had a very good profile as far as fatty acids were concerned. He mentioned that he would not be prepared to blend, and was producing corn oil for Simba, to replace some of the palm oils they were using.

Mr Lemmer asked whether it would be possible to include the proposed Oilseeds Information Day in the present discussion. The Chairperson said there still seemed to be some confusion about the intended purpose of the Oilseeds Information Day, and what the size of the audience should be. He asked whether it would not be more sensible to perhaps first have a smaller group discussion, to obtain clarity on what exactly the oilseeds industry required, with the four oils involved, competing against the imported palm oil. He expressed his doubts that an information day would be desirable, from what had thus far transpired from the discussions. He called on Mr Lemmer to comment.

Mr Lemmer said he had been tasked to investigate the possibility of presenting a healthier oils day. He reported that he had met with various role players, who were without exception very interested in the subject. He mentioned that he had drawn up a tentative programme, which included international consumption trends and demands, the composition of conventional versus healthier oils, and the reasons why the consumption of healthier oils was desirable. He added that the regulatory aspects would also be addressed, as a draft bill on the labelling of foodstuffs was expected to be tabled in the middle of the year. He said a representative of the Consumer Goods Council could also be invited to elaborate on the current market for edible oils. He mentioned that the day could be concluded with a panel discussion on the consumption of edible oils. He said attention should also be paid to the demand and supply of the crops involved, local oil pressing capacity and the possibility of increasing such, and, very importantly, the availability of cultivars and the research programmes which were in place.

The Chairperson said Mr Lemmer had drawn up a very good and well thought out programme, but that the question still remained whether July 2009 was an appropriate time for such an event. Mr Lemmer reported that August would be more acceptable, to accomodate the various speakers. The Chairperson said although the oilseeds industry had thought it prudent to position itself on the issue of high oleics and healthier oils, it may be advisable to postpone the event until such time more clarity had been established.

Following on further discussion, it was resolved to refer the matter of the Oilseeds Information Day to the Research Priority Committee, Dr van Twisk and Mr Lemmer.

  Resolved:
7.6.1 That Dr van Twisk's report on the outcomes of the discussion on the nutritional aspects of mid-and high-oleic sunflower at the MRC be included with the documentation of the following meeting of the Forum.   Mr Keun
7.6.2 That the matter of the Oilseeds Information Day be referred to to the Research Priority Committee, Dr van Twisk and Mr Lemmer.   Research Priority
Committee
7.6 Crop Insurance
(Resolution 9.7.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 17 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson noted that the Forum had resolved to refer the matter of the possible local implementation of the American farming insurance model to the Oilseeds Advisory Committee, for further deliberation. He said the matter should in reality have been referred to GrainSA for further investigation.

  Resolved:
7.6.1 That the matter of the possible local implementation of the American farming insurance model be referred to GrainSA.   Mr Keun
8. RESEARCH
8.1 Sclerotinia survey
(Resolutions 8.1.1 to 8.1.3 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 17 November 2008)
 

Ms Beukes confirmed that the Crop Estimates Liaison Committee had received a request from the Forum to continue with the survey on the occurence of sclerotinia on sunflower and soybeans during the 2008-2009 production season. She reported that the questionnaires would be forwarded to the producers during June, and that the results would be presented to the meeting of the Forum which was to be held on 4 August.

Cognisance was taken that the resolution, passed at a previous meeting, on determining whether the effect of sclerotinia infection on the quality of oil had been researched, would be held in abeyance.

  Resolved:
8.1.1 That it be investigated whether the effect of sclerotinia infection on the quality of oil had been researched, with feedback being provided at a following meeting of the Forum.   Mr Keun
8.2 Damage caused by pigeons on sunflower
(Resolution 8.2.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 17 November 2008)
 

Mr Keun reported on the status quo of the matter regarding the problem of damage caused by pigeons on sunflower. He said a quotation from Eagle Eye, on its system to deter pigeons from certain areas, would be tabled at the May meeting of the Research Priority Committee. He added that the Research Priority Committee also intended meeting with Dr Reilly of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), to discuss the project proposal that he had submitted on damage caused by pigeons on sunflower.

  Resolved:
8.2.1 That feedback on the matter of pigeon damage to sunflower will be provided as and when available.   Mr Keun
9. ADDITIONAL MATTERS
9.1 Information days
9.1.1 Oilseeds Information Day – 16 July 2009
 

Cognisance was taken that the Oilseeds Information Day, which was to be presented on 16 July, had been cancelled until further notice.

9.2 Articles
 

The Chairperson thanked all the contributors to, and authors of, the various articles published. Cognisance was taken of the articles "Doeltreffende gebruik van onkruiddoders - gee aandag hieraan", "Etikette vir GM-voedsel – hoe wys is dit werklik", "Droogte in Suid-Amerika stut pryse", "250 ton Club – a success story", "Contributions of plant breeding to sunflower production", "LisensiŽring van variŽteite is tot voordeel van bedryf", and "Oliesaadvoorraad daal en pryse word gestut".

9.3 Fumigants
 

Cognisance was taken of the information received from the Grain Silo Industry on the analysis of certain fumigants.

9.4 Grading regulations: soybeans
 

Cognisance was taken that the regulations relating to the grading, packing and marking of soya beans intended for sale in the Republic of South Africa had been promulgated, and came into operation on 6 March 2009.

9.5 National Research and Development Strategy
 

Cognisance was taken of the preliminary list of potential research areas compiled by the National Department of Agriculture.

9.6 Daily imports and exports of grain
 

Cognisance was taken that the National Agricultural Marketing Council had decided not to continue with its proposed new statutory measures regarding records and returns on daily imports and exports of grains.

9.7 Afri Compliance: Press release
 

Cognisance was taken of the press release issued by Afri Compliance titled "Afri Compliance protects interests of the seed industry".

9.8 Sunflower Week in Review
 

Cognisance was taken of the editions of the Sunflower Week in Review dated 2 February and 31 March respectively.

9.9 Webpage
 

Mr Keun reported on progress with the website of the oilseeds industry. He mentioned that the website had been activated, at the web address www.opot.co.za, and was currently in a development phase. He said information was being uploaded on a continuous basis, and added that any contributions, especially photographs with descriptions, would be welcomed.

The Chairperson thanked Mr Keun and his staff for the implementation and development of the website of the oilseeds industry.

9.10 Utilisation and novel uses of edible oils
 

Mr Pretorius was called on to comment on the last agenda item, as he had requested that it be added to the agenda. Mr Pretorius reported that the Oilseeds Breakaway Session, which had followed on the GrainSA Congress, had requested that research be undertaken with regard to the implications of the implementation of biofuel from vegetable oils in new technology tractor and agricultural machinery engines.

Mr Pretorius said the information was for the cognisance of the members of the Forum, and that GrainSA had been requested to inform the South African Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA) in this regard, and to provide the necessary feedback.

10. DATES OF MEETINGS
 

The dates of meetings of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum for 2009 were confirmed as:

•  6 August 2009, and
•  17 November 2009.

11. ADJOURNMENT
 

The Chairperson thanked the members of the Forum for their attendance at, and contributions to, the meeting. There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 13:15.

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