The revised area estimate and first production forecast for 2017 summer crops have been released.

The revised area estimate for maize is 2,629 million hectare. This is 35,03% or 681 850 hectare more than the 1,947 million hectare planted for the previous season. This is also 3,11% or 79 400 hectare more than the preliminary area estimate of 2,549 million hectare released in January 2017. The expected commercial maize crop is 13,918 million tons, which is 78,93% or 6,140 million tons more than the 7,778 million tons of the previous season (2016).

The area planted figures are mainly based on information obtained from the Producer Independent Crop Estimation System (PICES), conducted by the National Crop Statistics Consortium (NCSC) for Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and North West provinces. Please note that information from the objective yield survey by the NCSC for the Mpumalanga province will be available in April 2017; and for the Free State and North West provinces in May 2017. The current yield figures are mainly obtained from producers in the different provinces.

The area estimate for white maize is 1,643 million hectare, which represents an increase of 61,92% or 628 350 ha compared to the 1,015 million hectare planted last season. In the case of yellow maize, the area estimate is 985 500 hectare, which is also 5,74% or 53 500 hectare more than the 932 000 hectare planted last season. The production forecast of white maize is 8,313 million tons, which is 143,89% or 4,904 million tons more than the 3,408 million tons of last season. The expected yield for white maize is 5,06 t/ha. In the case of yellow maize, the production forecast is 5,605 million tons, which is 28,27% or 1,235 million tons more than the 4,370 million tons of last season. The yield for yellow maize is 5,69 t/ha.

Other summer crops.

The revised area estimate for sunflower seed is 635 750 hectares, which is 11,52% or 82 750 h hectares less than the 718 500 hectares planted the previous season. The production forecast for sunflower seed is 928 620 tons. This is 23,00% or 173 620 tons more than the 755 000 tons of the previous season. The expected yield is 1,46 t/ha.

It is estimated that 565 850 hectares have been planted to soya beans, which represents an increase of 12,54% or 63 050 hectares compared to the 502 800 hectares planted last season. The production forecast is 1,070 million tons, which is 44,27% or 328 495 tons more than the 742 000 tons of the previous season. The expected yield is 1,89 t/ha. For groundnuts, the area estimate is 52 500 hectares, which is 132,30% or 29 900 hectares more than the 22 600 ha planted for the previous season. The expected crop is 88 175 tons – which is 398,73% or 70 495 tons more than the 17 680 tons of last season. The expected yield is 1,68 t/ha. The area estimate for sorghum decreased by 12,68% or 6 150 ha, from 48 500 ha to 42 350 ha against the previous season. The production forecast for sorghum is 140 950 tons, which is 99,93% or 70 450 tons more than the 70 500 tons of the previous season. The expected yield is 3,33 t/ha. For dry beans, the area estimate is 45 550 ha, which is 32,41% or 11 150 ha more than the 34 400 ha planted for the previous season. The production forecast is 64 345 tons, which is 81,53% or 28 900 tons more than the 35 445 tons of the previous season. The expected yield is 1,41 t/ha. -CEC release

The second production forecast for summer field crops for 2017 will be released on 28 March 2017.

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