SOUTH AFRICAN MAIZE GROWERS EXPECTING BETTER 2017 SEASON

Farmers in South Africa's Free State province are expecting a better planting season for maize, the country's most important cereal crop, after having gone through the worst drought in decades.

Farmers group Grain South Africa is expecting a maize surplus in 2017, which will bring relief for consumers, as good rainfall has been recorded over large parts of the maize producing areas. Free State province accounts for about one third of South Africa's maize production.

Most farmers in the eastern part of Free State have finished planting their maize and soybean crops but it has been a bit slower for those in the western areas of Free State, says Grain South Africa chief executive Jannie De Villiers.

"The planting season is continuing. We expect a good season ... (but) more rain is needed in several areas."

Although the recent rains have been welcomed, farmers in the western parts of the province are not yet out of the woods. The wheat harvest in those areas has also suffered because of severe drought.

Farmer Gys Olivier says: "The wheat is sub-standard this year. We will barely break even because of the drought."

With the current high temperatures, farmers can only pray and hope for more rain to fall in their area.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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