Data on farmers’ summer crop planting intentions for the 2022/23 season point to yet another large harvest, according to Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist at Agbiz.
According to a report in Farmer’s Weekly, Sihlobo said the robust tractor sales seen since the start of the year, prospects of yet another La Niña weather system, albeit weaker than last season’s, and relatively high commodity prices supported an increase in hectarage earmarked for grains and oilseeds.
The National Crop Estimates Committee’s latest statistics show that commercial farmers intend to plant more hectares of yellow maize, but fewer hectares of white maize, than last year.
Sunflower plantings were also expected to be down on last year, but soya bean plantings are predicted to increase by 16% taking total plantings to more than 1 million hectares in the coming season.
Derek Mathews, chairperson of Grain SA, said the good rainfall forecasts were a major factor in decisions to plant, despite higher input prices. Although these costs would reduce the profit margins from relatively high grain prices, soil moisture and future rains should result in bumper crops.