Summer crops in many areas have been literally scorched to death and even good rains in the near future would no longer benefit yields, a senior official at Grain South Africa said yesterday.
"Though grain producers in the summer crop areas planted their crops relatively late this season, the expectation was that good rains early this year would ensure good yields," said Neels Ferreira, Grain South Africa's chairman.
Ferreira was commenting on Tuesday's Crop Estimates Committee report, which showed that summer crop production had been scaled back because of hot temperatures in the maize heartlands. The committee is expecting crop yield to fall by 28 percent.
Ferreira said that weather conditions characterised by a lack of rainfall coupled with high temperatures over the past few weeks drastically affected the once- promising crops.
"In certain areas, however, good rainfall is still of critical importance to maintain the yield potential and save the crop from further damage," he said.
"Of major concern is the fact that there are areas and individual producers that are facing a total crop failure, and this will certainly have a hugely negative effect on the ability of these producers to survive financially," said Ferreira. - I-Net Bridge