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06 Feb 2015

The Executive of Grain SA met in Pretoria yesterday. The Executive consists of 35 farmers from all the grain producing regions of the country. The farmers gave a report on the status of the current crop condition:

• Crops in Mpumalanga and Eastern Free State are generally good, but urgently need follow up rain;

• Damage to the maize crop especially in the Northwest Free State and the Northwest Province is already visible;

• There is a possibility of an average crop should wide spread rain occur in the next ten days. Weather forecasts are however not promising at this stage;

• The extreme heat and very dry conditions are exactly the opposite of what the plants need during pollination;

• A below average crop (if no rain within the next 10 days) will result in tragic conditions in the grain farming communities and the rural economy. This will result in high food prices for the next 12 months at least.

“The maize produced under irrigation (mostly yellow) represents almost 20% of the crop and is taking strain as well, with all the load shedding.” Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA said. New season white maize prices have increased by R357 per ton (17.5%) during the past ten days. If we have a crop failure this year, we can see prices increase further by almost 30%. Maize meal is the biggest staple food in South Africa, especially for the poor, and form the basis for processed products like poultry, dairy and meat. “Good rains in the next ten days could change the direction the crop is going at the moment, but currently it does not look good,” De Villiers said. South Africa has not experienced a general drought since the early 1990’s.


Issued by:
Grain SA Communications

Further enquiries:
Jannie de Villiers, CEO, Grain SA
086 004 7246