The preliminary area estimates of today (30 January) are mainly based on the results of a non-probability survey conducted by the Directorate: Statistics and Economic Analysis of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Less favourable rainfall and warm temperatures in the western producing areas over the past few weeks prevented producers from planting their intended area with summer crops, especially in the Free State and North West provinces.
The revised area planted and production figures, which will be released by the Crop Estimates Committee on, DV, 27 February 2018, will mainly be based on information obtained from the Producer Independent Crop Estimation System (PICES) survey for the Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and North West provinces.
Commercial maize: The preliminary area estimate for maize is 2,309 million ha, which is 12,15% or 319,400 ha less than the 2,629 million ha planted for the previous season, and also 6,53% or 161,200 ha less than the intended planting figure of 2,470 million ha released in October 2017.
The preliminary area estimate for white maize is 1,285 million ha, which represents a decrease of 21,81% or 358,400 ha compared to the 1,643 million ha planted last season. In the case of yellow maize, the area estimate is 1,024 million ha, which is 3,96% or 39,000 ha more than the 985,500 ha planted last season.