The Grain SA Grow for Gold National Yield Awards were hosted on 15 October at the Avianto Hotel in Muldersdrift. This event, which Grain SA hosted for the first time this year, was established to encourage South African producers to increase their yields. According to Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA, this yield increase is critical to ensure food security for the growth in population predicted for the years to come.

Luan van der Walt, economist at Grain SA, explained that profit per hectare is also calculated when determining the winner. This is to ensure that the increased yield is attained sustainably. Furthermore, water usage is an important consideration when looking at sustainable production. It is calculated in kg/mm (millimetre of water used per kilogram of maize produced).

The winners for the highest-yielding maize, soya bean and sunflower were announced on the day for the various production areas of South Africa. Jaco Snyman, sales manager of Pioneer, said the 2019/20 season averages in South Africa were as follows:

  • Maize: 4,8 tons/ha.
  • Soya beans: 1,8 tons/ha.
  • Sunflower: 1,6 tons/ha.

Grow for Gold winners

The winners in the various Grow for Gold categories were as follows:

Maize: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Highveld

KwaZulu-Natal winner: Tyson Zunckel – Yield: 13,8 tons/ha.

Eastern Highveld winner: Johan Pistorius – Yield: 15,26 tons/ha.

Maize: Eastern Free State and Central Free State

Eastern Free State winner: Jaco Breytenbach – Yield: 13,63 tons/ha (competition record).

Central Free State winner: Danie Bester – Yield: 14,11 tons/ha (competition record).

Maize: North West

Winner: Danie Le Roux – Yield: 13,79 tons/ha (competition record).

Maize: Water table and irrigation

Winner water table: Hennie Roos – Yield: 13,13 tons/ha (competition record).

Winner irrigation: Christo Cronje – Yield: 23,47 tons/ha (competition record).

Small-scale maize farmers

Winner: Gardner Khumalo – Yield: 8,01 tons/ha.

Soya bean: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Highveld

KwaZulu-Natal winner: Clinton Frey – Yield: 5,12 tons/ha (competition record).

Eastern Highveld winner: Gareth Allen – Yield: 3,6 tons/ha.

Soya bean: Eastern Free State and Central Free State

Eastern Free State winner: Josef van Eeden – Yield: 3,65 tons/ha.

Central Free State winner: Japie Breedt – Yield: 5,29 tons/ha (competition record).

Soya bean: North West

North West winner: Wayne Preece – Yield: 4,65 tons/ha.

Soya bean: Water table and irrigation

Water table winner: Willie Dreyer/IG Venter – Yield: 5,28 tons/ha.

Irrigation winner: Tommie Scholtz – Yield: 23,47 tons/ha.


Winner sunflower: Johan Meyer – Yield: 4,44 tons/ha (competition record).

Click here to download the fact sheet of all the Grow for Gold winners. – Ursula Human, AgriOrbit