Drought hurts SA maize, soy plantings, Grain SA says

The window for planting maize and soybeans in South Africa has passed, and with hardly anything planted in western growing ares because of drought, the likelihood of the need for imports increases, a grain farmers’ lobby group said.

“Some of the scenarios we are facing look even grimmer than the previous drought," Jannie de Villiers, chief executive officer of Grain SA, said in an emailed statement Thursday.

"The financial position of most farming units in the production area are far worse than it was in 2016. The current grain prices are not high enough and thus do not favor nor encourage farmers to take a similar risk by planting beyond the optimum window, as they did in 2016.”

The country is Africa’s top maize producer but profitability has been squeezed as a record crop in 2016-17 that boosted stocks was followed by another good harvest this year.

Farmers are coming under pressure because of dry conditions when they should be planting maize for the new season, Jacques Taylor, the head of sub-Saharan Africa at equipment-maker Deere & Co, said earlier this month.

Rainfall in 2015 was the lowest since records began in 1904 because of El Nino, with cities including Johannesburg recording their highest temperatures yet.

Cape Town, among the continent’s top tourist destinations, is recovering from its worst drought that’s seen water rationing.

ZAR/USD
17.01
(-0.26)
ZAR/GBP
21.27
(-0.29)
ZAR/EUR
19.24
(-0.20)
ZAR/AUD
11.84
(-0.03)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.15)
Gold
1782.97
(-0.10)
Silver
18.19
(-0.40)
Platinum
817.00
(-0.30)
Brent Crude
43.07
(+0.70)
Palladium
1924.00
(+0.34)
All Share
54846.28
(+0.60)
Top 40
50503.91
(+0.65)
Financial 15
10134.53
(-0.15)
Industrial 25
76434.98
(-0.16)
Resource 10
51142.00
(+2.00)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1653 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2176 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 3227 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2350 votes
Vote