The area planted estimate and fifth production forecast of summer crops for the 2018 production season was recently released by the National Crop Estimates Committee.
The size of the expected commercial maize crop has been set at 13,207 million tons, which is 2,31% or 298 700 tons more than the previous forecast of 12,909 million tons. The area estimate for maize is 2,319 million hectares, while the expected yield is 5,70 tons per hectare.
The estimated maize crop is 21% smaller than the 2017 crop, which was the highest crop ever (16,820 million tons). The three main maize producing areas, namely the Free State, Mpumalanga and North West provinces are expected to produce 82% of the 2018 crop.
The area estimate for white maize is 1,268 million hectares and for yellow maize the area estimate is 1,051 million hectares.
The production forecast of white maize is 6,880 million tons, which is 2,67% or 178 700 tons more than the 6,701 million tons of the previous forecast. The yield for white maize is 5,43 tons per hectare. In the case of yellow maize, the production forecast is 6,327 million tons, which is 1,93% or 120 000 tons more than the 6,207 million tons of the previous forecast. The yield for yellow maize is 6,02 tons per hectare.
The production forecast for sunflower seed remained unchanged at 792 255 tons. The area estimate for sunflower seed is 601 500 hectares and the expected yield is 1,32 tons per hectare.
The production forecast for soya beans is 1,551 million tons, which is 8,42% or 120 500 tons more than the 1,430 million tons of the previous forecast. It is also the largest soya bean crop produced in the history of South Africa. The estimated area planted to soya beans is 787 200 hectares and the expected yield is 1,97 tons per hectare.
The expected groundnut crop was decreased by 11,40% or 7 800 tons to 60 600 tons. For groundnuts, the area estimate is 56 300 hectares and the expected yield is 1,08 tons per hectare.
The production forecast for sorghum remained unchanged at 83 070 tons. The area estimate for sorghum is 28 800 hectares. The expected yield is 2,88 tons per hectare.
In the case of dry beans, the production forecast also remained unchanged at 65 610 tons. The area estimate of dry beans is 53 360 hectares, with an expected yield of 1,23 tons per hectare.
Please note that the sixth production forecast for summer field crops for 2018, as well as the preliminary area estimate of winter crops for 2018, will be released on 26 July 2018. – CEC report