SASIAA Symposia




Field Days

Annual Symposia

Symposia are held annually.

2023 SYMPOSIUM: Sugarcane Variety Production

31 October 2023

  • Opening: SASRI Director (Terry Stanger)
  • SASRI Variety Development Strategies (Marvellous Zhou)  PDF
  • Genetically Modified (GM) sugarcane update (Sandy Snyman) PDF
  • NovaCane® laboratory production process at SASRI (Linda Mkhize) PDF
  • Commercial NovaCane® production of SASRI N sugarcane varieties (Nokuthula Myeza) PDF
  • Research on NovaCane® field management (Peter Tweddle) PDF
  • On-farm practicalities of NovaCane® and seedcane production (Dean Percival) PDF
  • AGM: Coordinator’s Report PDF

2022 SYMPOSIUM: Crop Diversification

1 November 2022

  • Opening: SASRI Director (Terry Stanger)
  • Diversification in sugarcane farming (Barry Cole: Farmer)   PDF
  • Climate change and opportunities for diversification (Richard Nicholson: SA Canegrowers) PDF
  • The pros and cons of macadamia nut farming (Ant Goble: Farmer) MP4
  • Product diversification (Andy Church: SA Canegrowers) PDF
  • Management of unplanned carryover cane (Kevin Drew: THS, Mafambisse) PDF
  • AGM: Coordinator’s Report PDF
  • Tribute to Rian van Antwerpen MP4

2021 SYMPOSIUM: The impact of climate change on sugarcane agriculture in the future

2 & 3 November 2021

  • Opening: SASRI Director (Dr Terry Stanger)
  • Future climate trends – what we know and don’t know and implications for adaptation of crop production (Professor Angelinus Franke, University of Free State) (PDF)
  • Research update – Unravelling sugarcane plant response to a future climate (Dr Riekert van Heerden, SASRI) (PDF)
  • Future sugarcane production areas estimated with the BFAP model (Dr Abraham Singels, ex SASRI) (PDF)
  • Feasibility to breed sugarcane varieties for a future climate (Dr Marvellous Zhou, SASRI) (PDF)
  • AGM: Dr Rian van Antwerpen

2020 SYMPOSIUM: Cane Quality

2 & 3 November 2020

Dr Rian van Antwerpen view pdf

Deterioration in Cane Quality and Milling Performance in the South African Sugar Industry from 2007 to 2016
Tim Murray view pdf    view video

How UCL handled their Big Midlands Crop
Rolf Lütge    view pdf       view video

Harvesting Planning and Practices to Maximise Recoverable Sucrose
Don McCulloch   view pdf     view video

Varieties, Ripeners and Climate Trends
Kerry Redshaw view pdf      view video

2019 SYMPOSIUM: Conservation Agriculture

24 October 2019

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)