South Africa’s wheat growing areas likely to receive rainfall

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South Africa’s wheat growing areas likely to receive rainfall

wheat
  • The weather has changed overnight and currently shows a possibility of rainfall over most parts of South Africa within the next eight days. Most wheat growing areas of the country could potentially receive between 16 and 35 millimetres, which will slightly improve soil moisture and subsequently benefit the new season crop.
  • The expected showers could, however, slow that planting process, which is currently underway in the Free State and Northern Cape provinces. These are the two biggest wheat growing provinces after the Western Cape, collectively accounting for nearly a third of the intended area of 500 500 hectares in the 2018/19 production season. The planting window in these particular provinces typically runs between June and July of each year
  • Furthermore, the Eastern Cape regions around Matatiele, Ugie and Maclear that are preparing field trials for various dryland winter wheat cultivars could also benefit from the expected rainfall over the province. We will monitor the developments over the coming months in order to assess whether the new cultivars adapt well. If the trials succeed, additional production could boost the province’s contribution to national wheat production, which currently stands at mere 0.4 percent of the intended area of 500 500 hectares for the 2018/19 season.
  • The Western Cape province, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the intended area for this season, planted earlier than other provinces and the crop has already emerged and currently in good shape following recent showers. The expected rainfall will help sustain the crop in good condition and also improve dam levels. The Western Cape provincial dam levels averaged 47 percent in the week of 09 July 2018, up by 5 percentage points from the previous week and 23 percentage points from the corresponding period last year.
  • In terms of data, last week South Africa imported 56 050 tonnes of wheat, all from Russia. This is down by 15 percent from the volume imported in the week of 29 June 2018. This brought South Africa’s 2017/18 wheat imports to 1.6 million tonnes, which equates to 84 percent of the season’s import forecast of 1.9 million tonnes.

 

Click HERE to read the full report by Wandile Sihlobo