June rainralls hold promise of good winter crops
The news that the Western Cape has generally received more rain than expected in June has been generally well-received by the Western Cape agricultural industry.
It is important to note, however, that, for the rest of the season, the frequency of rain (i.e. regular rain without dry spells) is more important than the total volume of rain.
This province is known for its dominant role in the horticultural sector and contribution to the grain sector.
Producers could complete the planting season under favourable conditions following good rains in the first week of June and much-needed rains on the planted winter grain crops last week.
The Western Cape’s winter crop season of 2022/23 takes special significance given the Russian-Ukraine war.
The war has harmed global wheat supplies, leading some countries to explore ways to boost domestic production.
South Africa is banking on improved prospects for domestic wheat planting. However, weather conditions and increased input costs will influence this.
GrainSA’s Crop Estimates Committee highlights that producers hoped to boost winter crop plantings by 6% from the 2020/21 season.
Plantings of wheat could increase by 3% in the 2022/23 season to 538 350 hectares, which is significantly above the five-year average of 513 650 hectares.
The Western Cape is set to plant 350 000 hectares of the total wheat hectares in South Africa.
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture will continue to support farmers despite the challenges of climate change and economic hardship and will ensure the food basket is sustainable and secure.