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The excessive rains since the start of SA’s 2021/22 summer crop production season in October raised concerns that farmers might not have been able to till the initially planned area of 4.34-million hectares (3% higher than the 2020/2021 production season).

The preliminary plantings data released on Thursday afternoon by the government’s crop estimates committee confirmed these fears. Still, the actual plantings are a relief as many analysts, ourselves included, had expected a much smaller area. ..

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