Frost in Some North West Maize Fields

Although I am generally positive about South Africa’s 2017/2018 maize harvest, leaning on the National Crop Estimates Committee’s production estimate of 12.9 million tons, the reports of frost in parts of the North West province could lower the maize crop quality. So far, there have been reports of frost in areas around Lichtenburg, Delareyville and Sannieshof.

Harvest activity has commenced in the North West province and other provinces. One will have to closely monitor the yields and crop quality reports in the coming weeks in order to get a sense of the extent of the damage.

Overall, maize harvest activity should progress smoothly across South Africa during the next two weeks as the weather forecasts show a possibility of cool and drier weather conditions.

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Author: Wandile Sihlobo

Wandile Sihlobo is an agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) in South Africa. He is a columnist for Business Day and Farmers Weekly magazine. Sihlobo is a member of the South African Agricultural Economics Association. He has previously served as an economist at Grain South Africa. He holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University.

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