Record soya crop estimated for SA farmers

South Africa’s Crop Estimate Committee raised the expected soya harvest to record levels. It kept the expected maize harvest for 2017 the same in the fifth crop estimate for the summer season.

The soya crop was raised with 8.7% to 1.34 million tons from the previous estimate of 1.233 million tons. This is the highest soya harvest on record for South Africa.

According to Wandile Sihlobo, agricultural economist at Agbiz, this means South Africa could be a net exporter of soybean this season, with export volumes reaching 30 000 tons.

“South Africa’s soybean production has been on the rise for some time, driven by strong growth in animal feed demand, which in turn was spurred on by an increase in demand for high protein food, especially within the growing middle class.”

The Crop Estimate Committee left its summer crop estimate the same for the commercial maize harvest. It is set at a record level of 15.63 million tons. The harvest is made up of 9.467 million tons of white and 6.164 million tons of yellow maize.

According to Sihlobo, the harvest season is in full swing with a total of 6.8 million tons already delivered since the start of the season.

Sihlobo said the latest crop estimate confirms that South Africa is well supplied in both grain and oilseed. This means the current trend of low prices for commodities could prevail for some time.

The sixth production forecast will be released on July 26, 2017.

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