Focus on Wheat
Wheat season 1999 : Profit or loss?

20 Years of development and proof arrives in South Africa to boost a potentially bad market year for wheat.

The glut of wheat on the world market due to a good USA season and weak Pacific Rim purchases has left wheat growers with little as to the Rand return expected on this year's crop.

South African tariffs raised on wheat imports should help, but higher tonnage, higher protein levels and improved quality yields per hectare will be the true determination of profit or loss; i.e. maximising return on invested input.

South Africa, as fertile as it is, does suffer from extreme conditions and agriculture needs every bit of help it can get. Although boosted by educated and very talented farmers, very rarely do we realise anywhere close to the full genetic capability of the crops we grow. Therefore, added innovation and technology is essential.

A product, most recent to show phenomenal results, especially under stress conditions, is now in South Africa and is already being fervently endorsed by major growers, packers and small farmers alike, based on the outstanding results of last season's fruit, fibre, vegetable, timber, sugar and grains such as wheat, canola and others.

Yield-Plus is an organic product with L-Cysteine (an amino acid) as its active ingredient. When applied to plants as a spray, it promotes the production of proline in the plant which enables it to cope with stress situations. By increasing the level of plant proline, the plant, in a stress situation, will not immediately invoke its natural defence mechanisms such as shedding or slowing its metabolism, but continues to produce at an optimum. It is especially effective in situations where osmotic stress occurs due to heat and/or a shortage or excess of moisture. It is equally effective in situations of unseasonal cold spells, shallow or poor soil conditions and other stress related factors.

Tests done in the USA and around the world have shown increased yields of 18 to 20 percent on irrigated wheat, and as much as 100% on dryland wheat. The latter was achieved in extreme conditions of drought where untreated crops failed totally, but treated crops survived.

Yield-Plus is not a miracle cure or substitute for good agricultural practise, but at minimum, helps the plant to naturally produce at a higher optimum, maximizing its genetic potential. Yield-Plus can save crops under adverse stress conditions and/or may greatly improve yield and quality. Wheat treated with Yield-Plus, when compared with untreated plants which experienced the same stress conditions, has shown:

Yield-Plus has been used on a number of other crops, apart from success in other parts of the world, extremely positive results in terms of increased yield, quality and increased exports have been achieved in South Africa on grapes, peaches, cotton, beans, plums, tobacco, melons, potatoes and many other crops.

Practical considerations will determine how many applications of Yield-Plus are applicable on wheat, but as a general guideline, it is recommended:

Other benefits achieved through the use of Yield-Plus include better volume, bigger and more uniform kernels as well as higher protein. Generally, the treated wheat takes about 7 days longer to dry to the required moisture level due to the increase in kernel size.

Table 1. Estimated income increases with Yield-Plus.

Figures based on 1999 projections at R900/ton BPS BPI to R873 for BHS BHI (lower grades not included).


Rand income per hectare after input cost on different yields per hectare


Input cost

1.5 t/ha

3 t/ha

7 t/ha


Without Yield-Plus

R 1280

R 30

R 1234

R 4831

R 2067

600ml Yield-Plus

R 1505

R 520

R 1816

R 5425

R 2587

900ml Yield-Plus

R 1618

R 542

R 1838

R 5627

R 2669

1000ml Yield-Plus

R 1655

R 708

R 1909

R 5779

R 2799

Table 2. Summary of Yield-Plus treated wheat.

This table indicates the Rand increased difference over and above the untreated areas after input costs.

Figures based on 1999 projections at R900/ton BPS BPI to R873 for BHS BHI (lower grades not included).


1.5 t/ha

3 t/ha

7 t/ha


600ml Yield-Plus

R 490

R 476

R 594

R 520

900ml Yield-Plus

R 512

R 498

R 796

R 602

1000ml Yield-Plus

R 678

R 569

R 948

R 732