South African farmers in the summer rainfall region are expected to increase the area they plan to plant for the coming season, but the overall maize plantings is set to decrease.
According to the latest report released by the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC), the total area of plantings in the country is expected to increase by 1% from the previous season to 4.03 million ha.
Meanwhile, the 6 % decline of surface planted with maize is mainly contributed to an expected decrease of 14.5% in white maize plantings to 1,404 ha for 2018.
Furthermore, the surface planted with yellow maize is likely to increase by 8% from the previous season to 1.07 million ha. Accoring to Agbiz this is largely due to lower commodity prices on the back of large supplies from the 2016/’17 production season.
The area planted with soybeans is expected to increase significantly with 25% to 720 000 hectares for the coming season.
According to Agbiz the eastern parts of the country have already started their planting activities and production activities are expected to continue smoothly over the next few months.
A positive weather outlook and large amounts of rain are expected between November and February 2018, suggesting decent harvests.
Due to ongoing drought conditions, winter wheat crops in the Western Cape Province in South Africa are not in a good condition.
The overall crop estimate was revised down by 4% from the previous estimate of 4.66 million tons. This is 13% lower than the previous season’s crop.
Imports could increase to 1.8 million tons to meet the domestic needs, which has increased from 940 000 tonnes in the 2016/’17 season.
At this stage, it is too early to accurately predict the potential size of the new summer crop harvest.