Producers grow for gold

Alzena Gomes, public relations officer, Grain SA
Gepubliseer: 5 Oktober 2021

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Grain SA hosted the second annual Grow for Gold National Yield Competition in Muldersdrift on Thursday 30 September, celebrating 42 producers across 15 categories for outstanding yields achieved with maize, soybean and sunflower crops across South Africa.

With the continuous support of event sponsor Pioneer, supported by Corteva, this prestigious event creates synergy between individual seed companies’ regional yield competitions and setting the bar higher for each future season. 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 are vital to their success.

The winners in the Grow for Gold Maize categories were as follow:

KwaZulu-Natal Region
Bruce Gibbing from Winterton planting Pioneer P1197 with a yield of 15,79 ton/ha.

Eastern Highveld Region
Danie Bester from Balfour planting Pioneer P1197YHR with a yield of 15,90 ton/ha.

Eastern-Free State Region
Jaco Breytenbach from Fouriesburg planting Bayer DKC 73-76R with a yield of 12,87 ton/ha.

Central Region
Japie Breedt from Bapsfontein planting Bayer DKC64-54BR with a competition record yield of 15,38 ton/ha.

North West Region
Jozeph du Plessis from Schweizer Reneke planting Bayer DKC 76-77BR with a yield of 12,47 ton/ha.

Water Table Region
Kobus & Neels Eksteen from Hoopstad planting Pioneer P2927WYR with a competition record yield of 13,13 ton/ha.

Irrigation
Hannes Bruwer from Hopetown planting Pioneer P1197YHR with a yield of 23,36 ton/ha.

The winners in the Grow for Gold Soybean categories were as follow:

KwaZulu-Natal Region
Clinton Frey from Winterton planting Pioneer P71T74R with a competition record yield of 5,4 ton/ha.

Eastern Highveld Region
Danie Bester from Balfour planting Agricol DM 5351 RSF with a competition record yield of 5,5 ton/ha.

Eastern-Free State Region
Josef van Eeden from Fouriesburg planting Pioneer P64T39R with a competition record yield of 4,72 ton/ha.

Central Region
Willie van Niekerk from Vanderbijlpark planting Agricol DM 6.8i RR with a yield of 4,81 ton/ha.

North West Region
Neels Fourie from Schweizer-Reneke planting Pioneer P64T39R with a competition record yield of 5,34 ton/ha.

Water Table Region
Bernard Muller from Odendaalsrus planting Pioneer P71T74R with a yield of 5,09 ton/ha.

Irrigation
Cobus Botha from Winterton planting Pioneer P64T39R with a yield of 5,5 ton/ha.

The winners in the Grow for Gold Soybean categories were as follow:
Frik van Rooyen from Lichtenburg planting Pioneer P65LL02 with a yield 4,05 ton/ha

Dr Pieter Taljaard, Grain SA CEO said the organisation’s key focus is on profitability, allowing farmers to sustain and continually produce profitable in the future. However, matters such as rising input costs and infrastructure challenges have a noticeable impact on a producers profitability necessitating engagement with Government regarding it’s roles and responsibilities withing the ambit of the agricultural industry. Taljaard thanked and congratulated the producers and reiterated that the image of agriculture is changing. “I encourage producers to further engage and interact with fellow producers, input suppliers and government as every contribution is valuable to the industry’s success”, Taljaard said.

Highlighting once again the importance of grain producers achieving record yields amidst price cost squeezes, Dr Dirk Strydom, Manager for Grain Economy and Marketing at Grain SA, said high yields will assist producers in producing sustainably going forward. “Promoting yields will arguably impact supply and Grain SA is ensuring markets are open, profitable and accessible, paving the way for exports”, Strydom said. He further emphasised the importance of local innovative farming and diversification practices. Strydom thanked producers for producing food, for testing limits and for always being open to new ideas. “It remains difficult to produce grain in SA with what we have”, Strydom said. “Resources available to producers are not comparable to the rest of the word, but SA producers achieve comparable yields with limited resources. The Grow for Gold competition platform further gives us the opportunity to measure which types of grains we produce and what yields can be achieved per millimetre of water”. Strydom concluded that South Africa might be a small part of agriculture in the rest of the world, but it’s a small part with a big heart, a great deal of innovation and plenty of hard work”.

Grain SA aim 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 provide SA’s top producers with the opportunity to share their success stories, to teach others in order to duplicate these outstanding yields across South Africa where possible.

The 2022 Grow for Gold competition will further see the inclusion of the first wheat yields following the current harvest, and Grain SA is excited to next year share the winter cereal success stories on the Grow for Gold platform.