According to a recent Crop Estimate Committee report, While maize plantings are expected to drop by 8,5% for the 2009 season, other crop plantings are expected to increase. These crops include sunflower (by 3,9%), soya beans (37,5%), groundnuts (6,1%), sorghum (9,3%) and dry beans (23,3%). T his should be seen in context, as last season’s maize plantings were huge, said Nico Hawkins, an economist at Grain SA, adding that a slightly smaller planting estimate is definitely not a crisis.
He said producers perceive crops such as sunflower and soya to have more profit potential than maize at the moment, but it’s important to realise these estimates are based on undertakings to plant and that weather conditions play a far more important role, especially with sunflowers. He added production costs and the current prices of delivery also influence producers’ strategic planning, and according to estimates producers need R2 400/t of maize for a yield of between 3,5t/ha and 4t/ha in order to produce profitably. The current maize price is 000/t. – Wouter Kriel