On 20 and 21 February, the FABI Grain Research Programme Pest and Disease Extension and Diagnostics Clinic visited the maize and soybean trial plots in the Ngqeleni and Mthatha areas in the Eastern Cape Province. The trial plots are part of the Agricultural Research Council's (ARC) National Cultivar Evaluation Programme in collaboration with the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Grain SA and the Eden Social Development Foundation. The main objective of these trials is to compare the agronomic performance of different maize and soybean cultivars in different regions. Two fields were sampled. Field one is located at Dimanda High School, where 24 maize and 35 soybean varieties are grown. Field two is located in Ross Mission, 25 kilometres outside of Mthatha, where the same maize cultivars and two of the 35 soybean cultivars are grown. A total of 347 maize samples (178 from field 1 and 169 from field 2) and 44 soybean samples (36 from field 1 and 8 from field 2) were collected from both sites.

We would like to thank Mxolisi Mtyobile for the invitation to contribute to this ongoing study. And we also thank the FABIans Lawrence Mataha, Boitshoko Rammuki, Ngoye Zondo and Vinolia Danki for the great work. Thank you.