Maize plantings down by half

The planting window for maize in the summer production areas has expired, with only about 50% of the four million hectares earmarked for maize production planted.

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According to the latest Grain SA survey, while it’s unlikely that more maize would be planted this season farmers could still plant sunflower until mid-January.

Maize hectares that have been planted are in desperate need of rain because of depleted soil moisture levels and the extreme temperatures over the summer grain production region, said Grain SA.

Only 30% of the maize hectares, between 5% and 10% of the sunflower hectares and between 20% and 30% of the soy hectares were planted in the North West.

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Only 23% of the maize hectares were planted in the central Free State, while about 10% of the rainfed maize hectares were planted in Limpopo. Irrigation maize producers in Limpopo planted about 65% of the grain production hectares.

Some 66% of the planned maize hectares in the eastern Free State were planted while up to 80% of the hectares in KwaZulu-Natal have been planted.