South African farmers need all the encouragement and backing they can get, says Jacques Taylor, Managing Director of CNH Agriculture & Construction in Southern Africa.

Responding to the latest Crop Estimates Committee data released by Agbiz, Taylor hailed the resilience of South African farmers who are doing the country proud with estimations of admirable production results in the face of multiple obstacles, including weather concerns, rising input costs, labour unrest and load-shedding.

Despite a difficult planting period over a large part of the country due to the erratic weather conditions at the start of the 2022/23 summer production season, the new data provides adequate comfort that South Africa will have sufficient staple food supplies in the 2023/24 marketing year, which corresponds with the 2022/23 production season.

Persistent load-shedding raised concerns that areas under irrigation could receive poor yields. Thankfully, the favourable rainfall, at a moderate pace, from mid-February provided a much-needed breather and improved crop conditions. Within the summer grains and oilseeds sections, roughly 20% of maize and 15% of soybeans are produced under irrigation.

In short, the Crop Estimates Committee’s data places the expected yields of staple grains and oilseeds at slightly higher than the previous season. The expected improvement in the maize harvest is on the back of better yields, as the area plantings are down marginally from the 2021/22 season. Meanwhile, the robust forecast increase in soybeans results from both expected large yields and an expansion in planted areas. The drop in the sunflower seed production forecast is a result of the reduced planted area and yields in some areas. Other crops, such as sorghum and groundnuts, also have a reasonably large expected harvest if all goes well.

CNH Industrial wish all summer grain producers a good harvest. As a leading supplier of agricultural equipment, with its brands of Case IH and New Holland, including tractors, combines, planters, sprayers and balers, CNH Agriculture is a long-standing partner of farmers in the region. The company also draws on more than 175 years of heritage and experience of the agricultural industry throughout the world.

Although certain sub-sectors are still under pressure, the outlook for local agriculture as a whole remains strong. Working closely with farmers as we do, we cannot over-emphasise the significance of their hard work and unwavering commitment, in the face of severe challenges, to ensure food security for our country.

It is no secret that a robust agricultural sector, including all smallholders, commercial farmers and associated enterprises, is not only an irreplaceable mainstay of the economy, but also crucial to food security, job creation and the well-being of numerous communities in our rural areas. For these important reasons we urge everyone in South Africa to keep backing our farmers.

Source: CNH Industrial