South Africa’s 2021 maize harvest nears halfway mark

South Africa’s summer grain harvesting is progressing well in the 2021/2022 marketing season, with maize harvesting in particular being completed at a much faster rate than at the same time last year.

South Africa’s 2021 maize harvest nears halfway mark
Grain SA has reported that South Africa’s summer grain harvest is progressing very well.
Photo: Annelie Coleman
- Advertisement -

South Africa’s summer grain harvesting is progressing well in the 2021/2022 marketing season, with maize harvesting in particular being completed at a much faster rate than at the same time last year.

This was according to Luan van der Walt, Grain SA (GSA) economist, who ascribed this to the fact that producers were able to plant considerably earlier than the previous three years.

This was due to the good and timeous rainfall received in the 2020/2021 production season. During the previous three seasons, producers had been forced to plant as late as the end of January.

- Advertisement -

“[During this period], many of the summer grain production regions [received the] first good rain only in December, which is very late.

“Normally the optimum planting window starts in October, and that is what happened this season. The grain had ample time to reach maturity and dry off properly,” he told Farmer’s Weekly.

According to a Grain SA statement, harvesting of white maize was 41% completed based on the year-to-date deliveries as reflected in the Crop Estimates Committee’s fourth production estimate for the season. During the corresponding period last year, only 14% of harvesting had been completed.

The year-to-date yellow maize deliveries were 53% completed, compared to 23% during the same time in the previous season.

The soya bean and sunflower seed deliveries for the season were 94% and 66% completed, respectively.

Maize exports for the season were also progressing at a good pace. It was expected that maize exports up to the end of July would amount to 1,27 million tons.

During the corresponding period in the previous five years, average exports amounted to approximately 950 000t.

Van der Walt said 156 000t of yellow maize had so far been exported to Vietnam, 103 400t to Spain and 52 700t to Taiwan, where it would be used as animal feed.

In addition, some 52 000t were exported to Southern African countries such as Botswana, Lesotho and eSwatini for human consumption.

Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.