SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa has one of the most flourishing grain sectors in the region, with the industry highly contributing to the country’s economy.

According to a recently released Crop Estimates Committee report, the expected grain output in 2022 for both the summer and winter crops, will comprise of a mixed bag of performance.

For instance, maize, one of the country’s main staples, is expected to register an output of 14 527 950 tons during the summer season, which is 10.95% less than the 16 315 000 tons of the previous corresponding period.

The decline in output is attributed to the shrinkage in area put under cultivation to 2 613 500 ha, from 2 755 400 ha planted for the previous season.

From the total maize produce, white maize is expected to account for 7 535 100 tons, which is 12.38% less than the 8 600 000 tons of last season.

While yellow maize production is forecasted at 6 992 850 tons, 9.36% less than the 7 715 000 tons of last season.

Meanwhile, sunflower seeds production is forecasted at 914 350 tons, 34.86% more than the 678 000 tons of the previous season.

The area put under production is estimated to total 655 700 ha, 37.23% larger than the 477 800 ha planted the previous season.

CEC highlighted that 915 300 ha have been planted to soybeans, which represents an increase of 10.66% compared to the 827, 100 ha planted last season.

The soyabeans production forecast is 1 821 400 tons, 3.99% less than the 1 897 000 tons of the previous season.

For groundnuts, the area put under production is estimates at 44 900 ha, which is 16.47% or 6 350 ha more than the 38 550-ha planted for the previous season.

The expected crop is 69 200 tons – which is 7.62% or 4 900 tons more than the 64 300 tons of last season.

Still focusing on the summer crops, sorghum production is expected at 146 590 tons, which is 31.82% or 68 410 tons less than the 215 000 tons of the previous season, corresponding to a 23.37% decline in area planted from 49 200 ha to 37 700 ha.

For dry beans, the cultivated area estimate is 42 900 ha, which is 9.47% or 4 490 ha less the 47 390-ha planted for the previous season.

The production forecast is 59 690 tons, which is 3.50% or 2 018 tons more than the 57 672 tons of the previous season.

Shifting focus to the winter cereal crops, wheat production is forecasted to attain an all-time high of 2,257 million tons, which is 2.17% more than the previous forecast of 2,209 million tons. This is the largest expected wheat crop produced since 2002, when it was 2,427 million tons.

Meanwhile, the production forecast for malting barley is expected to remain unchanged at 331 100 tons. The area planted is estimated at 94 730 ha, while the expected yield is 3,50 t/ha.

The expected canola crop also remained unchanged at 197 000 tons. This is the largest expected canola crop produced in the history of SA. The area estimate for canola is 100 000 ha, with an expected yield of 1,97 t/ha.

Lastly, the projected crop for oats during the season is 69 950 tons and the area planted is 36 250 ha, while sweet lupines production is forecasted to remain unchanged at 28 600 tons.

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