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Perspektief | Perspective Week 49 - 2018

06 Dec 2018


Petru Fourie, Agricultural Economist & Research Coordinator

As on 6 December 2018

With the optimal planting time for maize and soybeans that have passed some time ago, some producers still continue to try and plant a last few hectares (mainly soybeans). There are reports that certain areas are experiencing emergence problems with soybeans which were planted later; and although it is currently too late to still plant soybeans, several hectares have already been re-planted, while others may still be planted. Producers report that there is a lot of gerbil and cutworm damage. Currently very hot and dry, rain is urgently needed throughout most of the region.

Eastern Free State
The optimal planting time for maize and soybeans passed a few weeks ago. The Vrede, Frankfort, and Villiers areas are very dry; estimated that only about half of maize and soybean hectares there, have been planted with many hectares still to be planted. In the Harrismith area, ± 60% of maize and 50% soybeans have been planted. Fouriesburg managed to plant approximately 85% of maize with estimates that only 30% to 40% could be planted in Ficksburg, Clocolan and Senekal. Although the plant window lapsed, producers are still attempting to plant. Germination of planted crops varies from very poor to good, a lot of cutworm and gerbil damage. Widespread rain is critically needed; conditions are currently very dry. Production in the area are much later than normal and largely outside of the optimal plant window.

North West Central Free State
Producers in the North West Central Free State's optimal planting time for maize commenced middle November. Although a large percentage of land preparations have been completed, some producers are still awaiting rain to complete soil preparations. Minimal hectares have been planted to date due to drought conditions. Although virtually no plantings has been done in the largest part of the region, it was reported that Wesselsbron (15%), Hoopstad (10%) and Bothaville (5%) have planted some hectares. Expected that maize will be planted up to end-December, while producers will try to plant sunflower up to end-January. Conditions in the area are generally very dry and producers will commence with planting when rain occurs.

Producers in the North West Province's optimal planting time for maize commenced mid-November. To date, only a little bit of cotton was planted with no other summer crops that could be planted due to very dry conditions. Expectations that producers will attempt to plant maize until end-December, while sunflower will be planted until late January.

North / Limpopo
Conditions are generally very dry and no dryland summer grains have been planted to date. Sunflower can still be planted until end-February.

In the Northern Cape it is very hot, windy and dry. Very little early maize have been planted while ± 10% later maize have been planted. Producers are currently harvesting their wheat after which maize will be planted. Producers also report that loadshedding is creating severe problems. In Limpopo, producers have almost completed summer grain plantings. Reports of poor germination, very high temperatures and dropping dam levels.


As part of the Combined Congress of the Crop, Soil, Horticultural, and Weed Science Societies of South Africa a Conservation Agriculture Workshop will be conducted on 23 January 2019 at the University of the Free State. Facilitated by Prof M.C. Laker, the workshop, themed “Conservation Agriculture (CA)”  aims to share and exchange experiences and lessons in different types and fields of conservation agriculture in order to identify research and development gaps that need to be addressed.

For more information, the workshop structure, programme details and registration, please download the workshop documentation here. Alternatively visit www.combinedcongress.org.za

2019 Regional Meetings

The schedule of Grain SA Regional Meetings that will take place in January and February 2019 has been updated. Download the most recent copy on the links below.

View the important 2019 dates below:



World Soil Day celebrates the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being. It was created by resolution in 2002 by the International Union of Soil Sciences and in December 2013, the UN General Assembly declared 5 December as World Soil Day.

The Soil Health Institute produced a film Living Soil: A Documentary for All of Us... 

Take a break and watch this film. Click here to access the full length film

Catch a sneak preview in the trailer below.



Remember that members will only be able to access their 2019 NAMPO tickets directly from their Grain SA digital membership cards. Your membership card will utilise smart technology and afford us the opportunity to communicate smarter, directly and more cost-effective.

If you have not downloaded your membership card yet, do so without delay from your APP Store.


Use your cellphone number to access your Grain SA Digital membership card,
search for the JOYN APP on Google Play Store or on the Apple App Store

To download a copy of the User Journey, with all the information and features

For any queries and/or assistance, contact Elray at Grain SA on 08600 GRAIN (47246) or e-mail members@grainsa.co.za