Low rainfall could result in poor maize production: SA Weather Service

JANUARY 23, 2015

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) on Friday warned of low rainfall across the country and said farmers should brace themselves for lower crop yields.

Maize, South Africa's main staple food, needs at least 450 millimetres of rain per season to produce a decent crop.

However, the Agricultural Research Council said that a smaller maize crop will not have any negative impact on production.

“In the previous season, we had a tonnage of 14.3 million tons; that far exceed the country's needs. So a reduction in yield, it will be lower but it won't have that big impact, even if we take off, say 10 million tons, which will be close to sufficient for the country's needs,” Agricultural Research Council spokesperson, Tinus Prinsloo, said.