The industry has been battling dry and erratic weather patterns, which almost forced commercial farmers in major maize producing regions out of business and saw them approaching the government and banks in January to raise at least R3billion to help those hardest hit by the drought.
However, in its report on the revised area planted estimate and second production forecast for summer crops for 2019, released on Tuesday, the Crop Estimates Committee said maize was planted to 2.3million hectares (ha), with an expected yield of 10.56million tons.
Sunflower seed was planted to 515350ha, soybeans 730500ha, groundnuts 20050ha, sorghum 50500ha and dry beans 59300ha.
FNB Agri-Business senior agricultural economist Paul Makube said for the summer grains, the season was off to a good end with good rains boosting crop prospects. “The only concern is the possible crop damage if frost comes in earlier than expected in areas where the maize plantings were very late,” Makube said yesterday.