This programme is subject to change – please check the congress website for updates.

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15 - 17 August 2023


07:30 – 18:30 Registration Registration Foyer
07:30 – 09:00 Arrival Tea / Coffee Exhibition Hall
09:00 – 10:10 Opening Session
Chairperson: Dr Muhammad Kadwa
Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D
09:00 – 09:20 Welcome SASTA President: Dr Muhammad Kadwa
09:20 – 10:05 Keynote address Wandile Sihlobo
10:05 – 10:10 Vote of thanks Dr Muhammad Kadwa
10:10 – 10:45 Tea / Coffee break, Exhibition Hall
10:45 – 12:50 Plenary Session
Chairperson: Dr Sandy Snyman
Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D
10:45 – 11:10 A Review of South African Sugarcane Production in the 2022/2023 Season: Production, Climate and Economics Sithole P, Nicholson RJ and Stranack RA
11:10 – 11:30 Biosecurity: An Overview of the 2021/2022 Season Basdew IH, McFarlane SA and Stranack RA
11:30 – 11:55 Ninety-Eighth Annual Review of the Milling Season in Southern Africa (2022/2023) Padayachee N, Davis SB and Bhyrodeyal L
11:55 – 12:00 Leg stretch
12:00 – 12:20 Demonstration of Chemical Ripening Best Practice and Economic Benefit to South African Small-Scale Sugarcane Growers van Heerden PDR, Ramusandiwa TR, Chonco B, Shelembe WL, Hlela SN, Gillespie WA, Mkhabela NE, Buthelezi ME and Masondo RT
12:20 – 12:30 A Time-Series and Sensitivity Analysis of the ‘c’ and ‘d’ Factors in the Recoverable Value Cane Payment System – 2000/01 to 2022/23 Kadwa M
12:30 – 12:50 An Economic Analysis of CPI Related Notional Price Increases Coupled with Above CPI Inflation Input Cost Increases in the 2022/23 Season: From a Grower’s Perspective Nicholson R
12:50 – 14:00 Lunch Break, Exhibition Hall
14:00 – 15:35 Agriculture Session 1: Extension and Agronomy
Chairperson: Rowan Stranack

Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D
14:00 – 15:35 Factory Session 1: Front End
Chairperson: Sean Hulley

Venue: Hall 4D
14:00 – 14:20 A Farm Level Economic Impact Analysis of the Carry-Over Cane Crisis for the KwaZulu-Natal Coastal and Midlands Mill Areas: 2021/22 & 2022/23 Seasons Nicholson R 14:00 – 14:25 A Review of Chemical and Microbial Losses of Sucrose in Diffusers Davis SB and Nel S
14:20 – 14:45 Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.): Challenges and Opportunities in Production and Improvements: A Review Mugehu E, Shimelish H and lmpofu LTM 14:25 – 14:50 Review of Devices for Monitoring Juice Flow in Diffusers Loubser RC
14:45 – 14:55 The Economics of Seedcane Production Theunissen P, De Beer E, Stock K, Visser W, Adendorff M, Wilkinson D, Foxon J, Radzilani T, Nkala J, Govender P, Stranack R, Khomo B and McFarlane S 14:50 – 15:10 Old Conventional Power Drive Technology versus New Decentralized Power Drive Technology O’Reilly C and De Souza C
14:55 – 15:15 Small-Scale Grower Contractors: The Adoption of a Code of Conduct Msimango S and Nicholson RJ
15:15 – 15:35 Success Story of Mbetseni Farmers: Growing Sugarcane Under Rainfed Conditions in a Fully Irrigated Region of Malkerns, Eswatini Mkhaliphi P and Mabuza J
15:35 Meet and Greet, Exhibition Hall


07:30 – 17:00 Registration Registration Foyer
07:30 – 08:00 Arrival Tea / Coffee Exhibition Hall
08:00 – 08:30 Plenary Presentation
Chairperson: Andy Church
Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D
Dr Kitty Foxon: Lessons from Investigating Sugarcane Product Diversification Opportunities
08:35 – 10:00 Agriculture Session 2: Irrigation, Water Management
Chairperson: Dirk McElligott
Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D
08:35 – 10:10 Factory Session 2: Back-End
Chairperson: Natisha Padayachee
Venue: Hall 4D
08:35 – 08:55 Sugarcane Ratoon Yield Decline Under Three Irrigation Systems: A Case of Ubombo Sugar Tfwala C and Dlamini M 08:35 – 09:00 Rotary Vacuum Filter Operation in Rainy Conditions at Simunye. Lung Kit HN, Myeni P and Dlamini H
08:55 – 09:20 The Impact of Electrical Load-Shedding on Irrigated Sugarcane Farms in South Africa – Part 1: A Situational Analysis Exploring Farmers’ Experiences and Practices in Response to Load-Shedding Jumman A and Tweddle PB 09:00 – 09:25 A Review of the Estimation of Sucrose Inversion Loss Across a Raw Sugar Factory Evaporator Station Rahiman SN, Mbuthuma Y and Walford SN
09:20 – 09:40 The Impact of Electrical Load-Shedding on Irrigated Sugarcane Farms in South Africa – Part 2: Determining the Severity and Extent of Load-Shedding Tweddle PB, Jumman A and Paraskevopoulos AL 09:25 – 09:50 A review of Corrosion in V2 Systems in Factories that Practice High Levels of V2 Bleed Munsamy S
09:40 – 10:00 The Impact of Electrical Load-Shedding on Irrigated Sugarcane Farms in South Africa – Part 3: Preliminary Results on Yield Impact Due to Irrigation Down Time Jumman A, Paraskevopoulos AL and Tweddle PB 09:50 – 10:10 Sugar Screening – From Scalping to Fine Screening Baraye J and Allan G
10:00 – 10:30 Tea / Coffee break Exhibition Hall 10:10 – 10:45 Tea / Coffee break Exhibition Hall
10:30 – 11:55 Agriculture Session 3: Soil Nutrition
Chairperson: Dr Rianto van Antwerpen
Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D
10:45 – 11:45 Factory Session 3: Posters
Chairperson: David Love
Venue: Hall 4D
10:30 – 10:40 Evaluation of Available and Reserve Pools of Soil Micronutrients in the Zimbabwe Sugar Industry Siyakisa F, Rambwawasvika H and Mutatu W 10:45 – 10:55 Improving Pan Stage Crystallisation Using the On-Line Pan Microscope Crystobserver® Duc N
10:40 – 11:05 Management Options for Alleviating Zinc Deficiencies in Sugarcane Farming Mutatu W and Rambwawasvika H 10:55 – 11:05 Development of Analytical Methods for the Determination of Colourant Types Present in Sugar Factory Processing Streams Booysen KC and Walford SN
11:05 – 11:30 Can the Mehlich 3 Multi-Element Extractant be Used as an Alternative to Ambic and Resin Methods in Routine Soil Fertility Testing? Some Preliminary Results Titshall LW, Naicker N, Msezane A, Kanamugire A, Ntshangase V and Collings K 11:05 – 11:15 Development of Potentiometric Methods for the Determination of Reducing Sugars in White and Raw Sugar Moloi T and Walford SN
11:30 – 11:55 Evaluation of Mehlich-3 Multi-Extractant for the Determination of Exchangeable Bases and Essential Micronutrients in the Zimbabwe Sugar Industry Soils Siyakisa F, Muchanyereyi N, Rambwawasvika H and Mutatu W 11:15 – 11:25 Automatic Sampling of Juice Streams in Sugarcane-Processing Factories Barker B, Mbuthuma Y, Loubser RC and Davis S
11:25 – 11:35 Excel-Based Energy Balance Model for Steam System Analysis Foxon KM, Ndinisa NV, Mkwananzi T, Mngomezulu NI and Mkhwanazi Z
11:35 – 11:45 Flow Behaviour Characteristics of C-Massecuite Moloi T, Barker B and Walford SN
11:55 – 13:00 Lunch break Exhibition Hall 11:45 – 13:00 Lunch break Exhibition Hall
13:00 – 14:25 Agriculture Session 4: Varieties
Chairperson: Moipei Lichakane
Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D
13:10 – 14:00 Factory Session 4: Energy
Chairperson: Dr Katherine Foxon
Venue: Hall 4D
13:00 – 13:20 A Snapshop of the Total Industry Sugarcane Variety Data and the 2021/22 Variety Data in the Small-Scale Grower Sector: To Start the Debate on Capturing and Evaluating This Data into The Future Nicholson R, Dube S, Landman M and Masondo T 13:10 – 13:35 Counterflow Air Heater for Industrial Watertube Boilers Marais F, van den Berg, Barnard L
13:20 – 13:45 Indices for Estimating the Ratooning Ability of Sugarcane Dlamini NE and Zhou M 13:35 – 14:00 Replacement of Syrup by Clear Juice to Melt B and C Sugar: Effect on Steam Consumption and Sugar Quality Panda S, Dani R, Mahana N, Gopalakrishnan N
13:45 – 14:05 Cultivar Genetic Gains from the Coastal Breeding Programmes of South Africa Zhou M, Joshi SV, Lichakane M and Mishasha T
14:05 – 14:25 Evaluation of Cross-Compatibility Between Commercial Sugarcane Hybrids and their Wild Relatives Joshi SV, Lloyd Evans D and Ghai M
14:30 – 15:10 Agriculture Session 5: Entomology
Chairperson: Dr Malcolm Keeping
Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D
14:30 – 14:40 Screening Transgenic Sugarcane Plants for Resistance to Eldana Larvae Jacob RM, Ligege R, GM Meyer and SJ Snyman
14:40 – 14:50 Abundance and Diversity of Ground-Dwelling Arthropods Under Rainfed and Irrigated Sugarcane Conditions in South Africa Smith R, Malinga L and Bouwer G
14:50 – 15:10 Modelling Yellow Sugarcane Aphid Using In Situ Infrared Spectroscopy: A Preliminary Study Poona NK, Gokul A and Kistan CJ
14:00 – 17:00 Exhibition Open Afternoon, Exhibition Hall
Cash bar branded by Rotex


07:30 – 13:00 Registration Registration Foyer
07:30 – 08:00 Arrival Tea / Coffee Exhibition Hall
08:00 – 09:00 Plenary Presentation
Chairperson: Dr Sumita Ramgareeb
Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D2023 ISSCT feedback session by the SASTA President and Jubilee Agriculture and Factory Winners
09:05 – 10:10 Agriculture Session 6: Soil Nutrition
Chairperson: Dr Thandile Mdlambuzi
Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D
09:05 – 10:40 Factory Session 5: Lab/Management
Chairperson: Dennis Walthew
Venue: Hall 4D
09:05 – 09:30 An Overview of the Soil Fertility Status of the South African Sugarcane Industry from 2017 to 2022 Titshall LW, Naicker N and Mdlambuzi T 09:05 – 09:30 Estimated Recoverable Crystal Measurement in the Zimbabwe Sugar Industry Mutatu W
09:30 – 09:50 Long-term Trials Supporting N Management Guidelines for Sugarcane Grown in the Australian Moist Tropics Schroeder B and Wood A 09:30 – 09:55 An Assessment of the Impact of 5S on the Safety Climate in an Agro-Processing Unit: The Case of a Sugarcane Processing Unit Debwe M
09:50 – 10:10 Modelling Leaf Nitrogen Using In Situ Infrared Spectroscopy: A Preliminary Study Poona NK, Radebe T and Titshall LW 09:55 – 10:15 How Do We Keep Our Microbes Aka ‘Bugs’ Happy and Healthy? An Overview: Trending Chemical Parameters with Biomass Population Kungwa Z and Daya V
10:15 – 10:40 Installation of a Steam-Heated Pilot Pan at the Sugar Milling Research Institute Rahiman SN, Mbuthuma Y, Love DJ and Davis SB
10:10 – 10:45 Tea / Coffee break Exhibition Hall 10:40 – 11:00 Tea / Coffee break Exhibition Hall
10:45 – 12:10 Agriculture Session 7: Soil Health
Chairperson: Dr Ruth Rhodes
Venue: Dube AgriLab Hall 4C & 5D
11:00 – 12:25 Factory Session 6: Commercial
Chairperson: Gavin Smith
Venue: Hall 4D
10:45 – 11:10 The Potential of Vermicomposted Sugarcane Filter Cake and Other Sugarcane Residues as an Alternative Fertiliser for Sugarcane Production – A Review Mthimkhulu SS 11:00 – 11:25 The New Dimple Tube: A Technology to Improve Vacuum Pan Performance Bezuidenhoudt D, Gokool M, Rosettenstein S and Stevens M
11:10 – 11:30 A Comparison of Pre-Harvest Dry Matter Allocation and Selected Nutrient Content of Various Plant Components Between ZN10 and N14 Sugarcane Varieties Over the First Five Ratoons in Zimbabwe Mutatu W, Nzvenga P, Nzima M, Dzinotyiwei K and Chinorumba S 11:25 – 11:45 Flexible and Fast Steam Turbine for the South African Sugar Industry Conrad M and Lopes R
11:30 – 11:50 Quantifying the Contribution of Residue Retention and Fertiliser Use to the Financial Viability of a Rainfed Sugarcane Crop Van Antwerpen R and Tweddle PB 11:45 – 12:05 Common Grate Defects and Maintenance Recommendations Du Preez J-P
11:50 – 12:10 A Comparison of Soil Compaction in Chopper-Harvested Fields and Manually-Cut Fields at Ubombo Sugar Tfwala C, Ndlangamandla S, Ngomane D, Magagula M, Dlamini M and Kunene N 12:05 – 12:25 Operation of Falling-Film Evaporators in Cane Sugar Factories: Current State of Knowledge Lehnberger A and Thaval O
12:15 Lunch break, Exhibition Hall
Congress Closing by Dr Sumita Ramgareeb, Chair: SASTA Congress Organising Committee

Keynote Speaker 2023

SASTA is very pleased to announce that Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz), has accepted our invitation to present the keynote address at the 2023 Congress. We look forward to welcoming Wandile to the 2023 SASTA Congress.

In his address, Wandile will shed light on the challenges and opportunities confronting the agricultural sector in South Africa. Given the recent difficulties faced by the sugar industry, his expertise and perspectives are bound to be of interest, as he is expected to offer valuable guidance on potential areas of improvements in the overall agricultural and agribusiness landscape.

Wandile is a highly esteemed professional, currently holding the position of Senior Lecturer Extraordinary at the Department of Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Wits School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand. Notably, he has served as a member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Presidential Economic Advisory Council in 2019 (and re-appointed in 2022), having served on the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture from 2018.

Wandile is a member of the Council of Statistics of South Africa (Stats SA) and serves as a Commissioner at the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC). Additionally, Wandile is a respected columnist for prominent publications such as Business Day, The Herald, and Farmers Weekly, and is also the author of “Finding Common Ground: Land, Equity, and Agriculture”. His written work allows him to share his insights widely and influence public discourse on critical issues in agriculture.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Fort Hare and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University.