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A WORD FROM…Sinelizwi Fakade

May 2019

As the saying goes, its better late than never! that’s the exact case for Eastern Cape grain farmers, and perhaps farmers throughout the country. From a season rattled by poor rains, late planting dates, volatile fuel prices and policy uncertainty, the general outlook of the season has drastically changed for the better. 

Statistically, we have repeatedly analysed the production forecasts for each grain crop planted, and indeed we could’ve performed better. It must be commended however of the turn-around late rains have done to those forecasts, the picture is definitely brighter. 

Harvesting projections have taken a turn for the better, with the maize crop in the Eastern Cape particularly, showing remarkable recovery after a long dry-spell. Farmers within the province and somewhat generally countrywide are breathing a sigh of relief, most notably from yield forecasts. May is a month where yields are estimated more accurately, with summer crops having reached the pinnacle of their development. 

Harvesting plans are in full swing and related to that is marketing which according to business experts, is one of the big five when it comes to a successful and sustainable business. May is also the month where Grain SA host arguably the biggest agricultural show in Southern Africa, namely the NAMPO Harvest Day. A show renowned for fun filled activities, insightful exhibitions, good food and what Xhosa speaking enthusiasts describe as ‘ixesha elimyoli’, loosely translated as time of good fun and joy. 

From a pressured planting season, to worrying crop development we can truly say that May bode well from an expected harvesting perspective and it’s a month where farmers can be proud of their effort in difficult and trying circumstances. 
Happy Harvesting to all!

Publication: May 2019

Section: Pula/Imvula