Annual Symposia


Symposia are held annually. This year’s symposium took place in the form of a webinar on Monday and Tuesday, 2 & 3 November 2020.


Theme: Maximising RV Yield

1. Opening: Dr Carolyn Baker (SASRI, Director)

2. Welcome: Dr Rianto van Antwerpen View PDF

3. Deterioration in Cane Quality and Milling Performance in the South African Sugar Industry from 2007 to 2016 (Tim Murray) View PDF

4. How UCL handled their Big Midlands Crop (Rolfe Lutge) View PDF

5. Harvesting Planning and Practices To Maximise Recoverable Sucrose (Don McCulloch) View PDF

5. Varieties, Ripeners and Climate Trends (Kerry Redshaw) View PDF

6. AGM: Rianto van Antwerpen View PDF



Theme: Conservation Agriculture

1. Opening: Dr Carolyn Baker (SASRI, Director)

2. Conservation Agriculture – an introduction: Rowan Stranack (SASRI, Head: Extension & Biosecurity) View PDF

3. Conservation Agriculture legislation in SA: Paul Botha (SASRI, Extension – Eston) View PDF

4. Surface water control with contour structures – using the CoSDT calculator in its design (Guest speaker: Professor, Jeff Smithers, UKZN) View PDF

5. Regenerative Agriculture in sugarcane: Making a start: (Guest speaker: Deon Schröder, Sugarcane Producer – Dalton) View PDF

6. Status of Conservation Agriculture in rural areas (Guest speaker: Lehman Lindeque, United Nations Development Programme) View PDF

7. Should soil conservation be on your balance sheet? (Guest speaker: Dr Philip Theunissen, (Economist & Farmer)
Unfortunately Dr Theunissen had to withdraw from the symposium but sent the following two articles which should be of interest:
Should soil conservation be on your balance sheet?  View PDF
Does farm land have a scrap value?  View PDF



2018: Soil Acidity, Compaction and Soil Health.

Subsoil acidity and its management
Dr Louis Titshall, SASRI Senior Soil Scientist

Soil Organic Matter and its management for optimum production
Guest speaker: Dr Alan Manson, Cedara Senior Soil Scientist

Soil compaction: its occurrence and management
Dr R van Antwerpen, SASRI Senior Soil Scientist

Controlled traffic and its impact on sugarcane production
Dr Peter Tweddle, SASRI Agricultural Engineer

Improved soil health and its impact on sugarcane yields
Guest speaker: Egon Schulz, Midlands sugarcane grower

2017: The benefits of new technology

New fertiliser strategies for SA and the sugarcane industry (Guest speaker: Adam Mostert, former CEO of FERTASA)

Farming for soils to be sustainable (Richard Cole, South Coast Grower)

Soil health in perspective (Dr Neil Miles, SASRI Senior Soil Scientist)

Yield mapping – its potential in precision agriculture (Alasdair Harris, Agricultural Engineer, Tongaat Hulett Limited)

Potential of remote sensing imagery to enhance farming practices based on data driven decisions (Brent Griffiths, Cane Centre of Excellence Manager, Illovo Sugar Africa)

2016: How do we recover from the drought?

What can we expect from the weather?  (Guest speaker: Prof Francois Engelbrecht, CSIR)

Soil conservation guidelines for sustainable farming (Paul Botha, SASRI extension specialist)

Recovery from the drought: An economical perspective (Richard Nicholson, SACGA)

A story of one grower’s survival tactics (Dean Percival, Amatikulu grower)

Persisting drought in the irrigated region (Marius Adendorff / Cobus Horn)

2015: Review of Variety and P&D Programmes

Genetically modified sugarcane and eldana (Dr Sandy Snyman, Biotechnologist, SASRI)

RV Yield, pest and disease resistance of new cultivars (Dr Marvellous Zhou, Plant Breder, SASRI)

Scouting and new pests – Thrips and Aphids (Kevin Language, Ayrsta LifeScience)

Spread of eldana in the Midlands (Rowan Stranack, Biosecurity Specialist, SASRI)

How an individual grower is coping with eldana and trying to age his cane (Ant Goble, Sugarcane Farmer, KZN)

Eldana in Sierra Leone (Pete E Turner, Consultant)

Glass Use