Heavy rains at the start of the summer crop season led to fears that lower plantings would reduce maize and soya production.
However, says Agri News’s Farming Portal, a pause in the rains allowed farmers to replant areas where crops had been damaged.
In its latest report, the Crop Estimates Committee increased its forecast for maize and sunflower harvests, while retaining its estimate that soya production would be 1% below last year.
Despite lower plantings and lower yields in some areas, the maize harvest is expected to be well above the 10-year average and also above national consumption. South Africa will likely remain a net exporter of over two million tonnes of maize in the 2022/23 marketing year.
Soya and sunflower harvests are expected to be the second largest on record. This was opportune, as the Ukraine war and Indonesia’s ban on palm oil exports led to uncertainties about global vegetable oil supplies.
“Therefore the increase in domestic output will slightly lessen South Africa’s reliance on imports, although imports will likely still be required to meet our annual needs,” Farming Portal said.