The 2016/2017 production season for summer grains started out unsteadily – particularly in the more western parts of the country where significant wind damage to the young plants occurred initially, and where a considerable number of hectares had to be replanted. The extremely dry conditions in the previous season, which caused a large percentage of the fields in certain areas not to be planted, led to the ground cover being relatively sparse. The producers were also forced to allow stock to graze the crop residue for longer than usual because of a shortage of natural pasture. For these reasons dust storms in the Free State and North West were common and producers realised that their fields would not survive another year like that. Quite a number of the plantings for the season only really started late in December and were therefore regarded as late plantings. Initially, the producers were extremely sceptical when talk of the possibility of above-average yields expected for the season started doing the rounds. However, as the season progressed, the odd conditions in the summer sowing areas improved considerably and the past season will be remembered not only for above-average yields, but also as the absolute record year where good recoveries were made after the extremely dry season before that. In the summer sowing areas the season will be remembered for the abundant blessings received in terms of the yield and production of most of the summer grains.
View the 2017 Annual Report in eBook format.