Farmers work on a field outside Lichtenburg, a maize-growing area in the North West.  Picture: REUTERS
Farmers work on a field outside Lichtenburg, a maize-growing area in the North West. Picture: REUTERS

The estimated planting area for maize has been revised to 2.629-million hectares, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Crop Estimates Committee said on Tuesday.

It said this was 35.03% or 681,850ha more than the 1.947-million hectares planted in the previous season, and also 3.11%, or 79,400ha, more than the preliminary area estimate of 2.549-million hectares announced in January.

The expected commercial maize crop was 13.918-million tonnes, which was 78.93%, or 6.140-million tonnes more than the 7.778-million tonnes of the 2016 season, a drought year.

The production forecast of white maize is 8.313-million tonnes, which was 143.89% or 4.904-million tonnes more than the 3.408-million tonnes of last season. The average yield for white maize was 5.06 tonnes per hectare, the committee said.

In the case of yellow maize, the production forecast was 5.605-million tonnes, which was 28.27% or 1.235-million tonnes more than the 4.370-million tonnes of last season. The yield for yellow maize was 5.69 tonnes per hectare, the committee said.

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