Production conditions for summer grains

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  • The season is about a month later than normal due to late rains.
  • Cool conditions during December, becoming warmer after Christmas, meant root development was not as good as it should have been.
  • Mealie yields expected to be lower than last season. 
  • ‘Average’ yields are generally expected. 
  • Due to the relatively poor root development, follow up rain is essential.


  • Mealies are mostly in seed in the Highveld.
  • Water stress is common (the amount of damage is currently unknown). 
  • Hailstorms in November affected the harvest in some areas. 
  • The foregoing factors aside, the current maize harvest looks promising. 
  • Soya bean crops do not look as good due to cold and wet conditions.

Free State

Eastern region

  • Most summer crop yields look good here, partly due to regular follow-up rain.
  • Most of the wheat has been negatively affected by the incessant rains, and lower grades are mostly being delivered. Yields/grades in the Reitz area were good, though.

North-west/central region

  • Rainfall was patchy, meaning agricultural conditions vary greatly here.
  • Crops look good where rain recently occurred. 
  • Crops struggling in the Brandfort/Theunissen/Bloemfontein area.
  • Severe drought conditions in the Hertzogville/Hoop City area during planting. 
  • Planting was late in some areas due to a lack of rain.
  • It is estimated that only 85% of the region is already planted. 
  • Rain is urgently needed, as plants are at the stage where the yield potential is determined. 
  • Follow-up rain is really critical now. It can make or break a crop.

North West

Southern parts

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  • Current agricultural conditions are believed to be better than a year ago.
  • Dry conditions began to change when rain fell after the first week of December. 
  • Sub-surface moisture has still not recovered. 
  • Plants are small and stressed. 
  • Follow-up rain urgently needed.

Northern parts

  • December rains also alleviated the situation here.
  • Good rains in the Lichtenburg/Coligny/Koster area; growing conditions look promising. 
  • Less rain in the Delareyville/Vryburg area; dry conditions persist. 
  • Follow-up rain is critical across the region, as the sub-surface moisture has not been replenished.
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