Agriculture: Wheat forecast slashed by 4.8%

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FARMERS might produce 4.8 percent less wheat this season than a year earlier, making it the smallest harvest since 2010, the Crop Estimates Committee said yesterday. Wheat growers might reap 1.78 million tons compared with 1.87 million tons last year, Marda Scheepers, a committee spokeswoman, said. The committee decreased its estimate for the area planted with wheat by 3.3 percent from its July prediction to 468 000ha – the lowest on record. But the canola harvest might be 25 percent bigger at 139 500 tons after the committee raised its prediction for the area planted by 5.9 percent to 90 000ha, the biggest on record. The committee raised its forecast for maize production this season by 2.1 percent to 14.3 million tons, the largest since 1981. – Bloomberg

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