The 2020 planting season again proves to be a challenge for Cape producers, and with high input costs and low soil moisture the grain industry remains under severe pressure in the province.
After rain in early April in the Swartland, no further follow-up rain occurred. Producers have completed approximately 90% of canola and barley plantings, but only about 50% of wheat. Planting conditions are not ideal at all, with producers planting only in daylight, and earlier planted crops are appearing here and there. Furthermore, the warm day temperatures are not at all conducive to the plantlings. All animals are being fed and the feed bank of producers will certainly come under pressure if they have to continue doing so.
Little rain fell in the Overberg. Producers are already far advanced with canola and barley plantings and some producers planted wheat. Unfortunately, conditions are far from ideal with most producers intending to plant before 20 May. By all statistics, this will give plants the optimum window to begin the germination and growth process. In the region, producers are also feeding animals, with certain parts closer to the mountain, which appear somewhat better.
The Southern Cape received almost no rain in April and conditions are bad in the Heidelberg/ Swellendam/ Riversdal-areas. Planting conditions are far from ideal, with some producers planting pastures, barley and canola. However, little wheat is currently being planted. Harvest insurance, which has always been talked of here previously, is no longer available. Some regions between the N2 and the mountains appear considerably better with the little rain falling in increments. Here, producers are also feeding the animals, but due to last year's poor harvest, the producers have from a few to no feed banks available.