Winning yields for these producers

Alzena Gomes, public relations officer, Grain SA
Published: 27 October 2020

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Grain SA hosted the first Grow for Gold National Yield Competition in Muldersdrift on Thursday 15 October 2020, celebrating 46 producers – from commercial to small-scale farmers – across 16 categories for outstanding yields achieved with maize, soybean and sunflower crops across South Africa.

Following extensive consultation with all seed companies, a standard protocol was established during 2019, ensuring the assessment of all participating producers on the same level and criteria. With the support of event sponsor Pioneer, supported by Corteva, this prestigious event created synergy between individual seed companies’ regional yield competitions setting the bar high for future seasons.

Grain producers competed in various categories, including dry and irrigated land – both regionally and nationally. In order to achieve the highest yields per hectare, regardless of the cultivar planted, innovative production practices and smart farming plans were vital to their success.

The winners in the various categories are:

Maize categories
KwaZulu-Natal region
Tyson Zunckel from Bergville, planting Pioneer P1197 with a yield of 13,80 t/ha.
Eastern Highveld region
Johann Pistorius from Standerton, planting Pannar PAN 3A-124 with a yield of 15,26 t/ha.
Eastern Free State region
Jaco Breytenbach from Fouriesburg, planting Bayer DKC 72-74R with a competition record yield of 13,63 t/ha.
Central region
Danie Bester from Balfour, planting Bayer DKC 74-26R with a competition record yield of 14,11 t/ha.
North West region
Danie le Roux from Schweizer-Reneke, planting Bayer DKC 75-65BR with a competition record yield of 13,79 t/ha.
Water table region
Hennie Roos from Hoopstad, planting Bayer DKC 75-65BR with a competition record yield of 13,13 t/ha.
Irrigation
Christo Cronje from Vrede, planting Bayer DKC 64-54BR with a competition record yield of 23,47 t/ha.

Soybean categories
KwaZulu-Natal region
Clinton Frey from Winterton, planting Pioneer P 64T39R with a competition record yield of 5,12 t/ha.
Eastern Highveld region
Gareth Allen from Middelburg, planting Pioneer P 48T48R with a yield of 3,60 t/ha.
Eastern Free State region
Josef van Eeden from Bethlehem, planting Pioneer P 64T39R with a yield of 3,65 t/ha.
Central region
Japie Breedt from Bapsfontein, planting Agriseed RA 560RR with a competition record yield of 5,29 t/ha.
North West region
Wayne Preece from Coligny, planting Pioneer P 71T74R with a yield of 4,65 t/ha.
Water table region
Willier Dreyer and IG Venter from Viljoenskroon, planting Pannar PAN 1644R with a yield of 5,28 t/ha.
Irrigation
Tommie Scholtz from Bergville, planting Pioneer P 64T39R with a yield of 23,47 t/ha.

Sunflower category
Johan Meyer from Hartbeesfontein, planting Agricol AGSUN 8251 with a competition record yield of 4,44 t/ha.

Small-scale category
Gardner Khulekani Khumalo from Newcastle, planting Bayer DKC 68-58BR with a yield of 8,01 t/ha.

A word of thanks
Jannie de Villiers, Grain SA CEO, thanked seed companies for their participation and engaging, encouraging and assisting their producers. ‘This competition provides us with the actual potential growth that is evident in the yields these outstanding producers were able to achieve. These yields are vital in order to meet global food production targets by 2050 with an ever-increasing population,’ Jannie said.

Thanking South African producers for their dedication and for achieving good yields with what they have, Dr Dirk Strydom, manager: Grain Economy and Marketing at Grain SA, emphasised that South African producers, despite not having the rainfall and quality soils when compared to the rest of the world, are still achieving world-class yields. He further congratulated and paid tribute to South African small-scale farmers who, with limited resources, still produce outstanding yields.

Grain SA aims to utilise the Grow for Gold platform to give producers the opportunity for continuous learning and improvement in order to establish what can be achieved. More importantly, this platform provides South Africa’s top producers with the opportunity to share their success stories and to teach others in order to duplicate these outstanding yields across the country where possible. ‘The economy of grain production and optimal level of profitability still remain some of the most important factors for the organisation. This platform will delve somewhat deeper into statistics concerning the record-yielding crops to further promote the efficiency and sustainability of grain producers,’ Dr Strydom concluded.

Winners and finalists in the Grow for Gold National Yield Competition, hosted by Grain SA.