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Agronomy reaps good awards crop at combined congress

The South African Society of Crop Production (SASCP), the Soil Science Society of South Africa (SSSSA) and the Southern African Society for Horticultural Sciences (SASHS) hosted their annual combined congress from 23 to 26 January 2023. Thirteen delegates from the Department of Agronomy at Stellenbosch University (SU) attended the event in Pretoria, presenting posters and papers while rubbing shoulders with big names in industry and academia.

Dr Estelle Kempen presented to the SASHS and was also elected to the organisation’s council, while Dr Flackson Tshuma delivered a talk to the SSSSA. The new brand-aligned SU poster and PowerPoint presentation templates served delegates well. Striking maroon-and-gold posters were submitted by Beatrix Alweendo, Happiness Baloyi, Guy Musto, Mosima Mabitsela, Mulweli Machidze and Louise Bestbier. Hanneke Augustyn, Guy Musto, Bruno Herrmann, Gert Conradie, Izane Crous, Sandra Clarke and Lisa Matthews delivered engaging student presentations.

The SU delegation scooped more awards than any other university represented at the event. Hanneke Augustyn received the Rovic Leers award for best Conservation Agriculture poster of 2022, while Dr PJ Pieterse won best South African Journal of Plant and Soil paper for both 2021and 2022 . The student award for best presentation of 2022 went to Amandrie Louw, and Lisa Matthews received the 2023 award. In addition, Lisa won the student award for best Conservation Agriculture presentation of 2023 for her talk on greenhouse gas emissions from different crop rotation systems in the Swartland region of the Western Cape.

Louise Bestbier took home the president’s award for best poster of 2023 for her poster on Paraquat resistance and germination in Lolium species. Finally, the dean’s relief trophy for best paper by a young scientist was awarded to Charge Viljoen .

Congratulations to these staff and students who kept the SU banner flying high. You did us proud!

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