The area planted estimate and fourth production forecast of summer crops for the 2018 production season was recently released by the National Crop Estimates Committee.

Lees dit in Afrikaans.

Commercial maize

The size of the expected commercial maize crop has been set at 12 909 million tons, which is 0,64% or 81 800 tons more than the previous forecast of 12 827 million tons. The area estimate for maize is 2 319 million hectares (ha), while the expected yield is 5,57 t/ha.

The estimated maize crop is 23% 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 81% of the 2018 crop.

The area estimate for white maize is 1 268 million ha and for yellow maize the area estimate is 1 051 million ha. The production forecast of white maize is 6 701 million tons, which is 1,08% or 71 600 tons more than the 6 630 million tons of the previous forecast. The yield for white maize is 5,28 t/ha. In the case of yellow maize, the production  forecast is 6 207 million tons, which is 0,16% or 10 200 tons more than the 6 197 million tons of the previous forecast.

The yield for yellow maize is 5,91 t/ha. The yield per ha for the Free State and North West provinces was based on scientific and objective results provided by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC).

Sunflower seed

The production forecast for sunflower seed remained unchanged at 792 255 tons. The area estimate for sunflower seed is 601 500 ha and the expected yield is 1,32 t/ha.

Other crops

The production forecast for soya beans also remained unchanged at 1 430 million tons, which is the largest soya bean crop produced in the history of South Africa. The estimated area planted to soya beans is 787 200 ha and the expected yield is 1,82 t/ha.

The expected groundnut crop was decreased by 15,14% or 12 200 tons. For groundnuts, the area estimate is 56 300 ha and the expected yield is 1,21 t/ha. The production forecast for sorghum was also adjusted downwards by 1,98% or 1 680 tons, from 84 750 tons to 83 070 tons. The area estimate for sorghum is 28 800 ha.

The expected yield is 2,88 t/ha. In the case of dry beans, the production forecast remained unchanged at 65 610 tons. The area estimate of dry beans is 53 360 ha, with an expected yield of 1,23 t/ha. – Press release