SOUTH AFRICA GRAIN FARMERS REPORT BEST YIELDS IN YEARS DESPITE LESS RAIN

Farmers in South Africa's Western Cape Province are having a good harvesting season this year despite less rain with grain farmers in the Southern Cape area of the province enjoying one of their best yields in many years.

Nearly 250,000 tons of wheat, barley and canola have already been harvested, compared with only 156,000 tons at the same stage of last year with the good harvest said to be the result of beneficial weather patterns and good practices by the farmers.

The grain harvesting season is nearing its end in the Southern Cape and it has resulted in an abundance of crops although the region did not receive a lot of rain in 2016. A farmer in the Heidelberg area, Lafras Uys, said sometimes a little rain at the right time, means a lot.

The Chief of Operations at the Sentraal-Suid (farmers) Co-operative, Henk de Beer, said good practices by the farmers also had a major contribution to the above-average harvest.

"A combination of factors; first, rain at the right time, moderate temperatures and most important is the farmers are progressive, they learn from experience and learn to accommodate their natural resources to the best of their ability."

De Beer said the economic benefits were also being felt by farm-workers, local businesses and surrounding communities. "The spin-off in this area is huge. The economic spin-off for this area from Swellendam to Heidelberg, Riversdale, Albertinia to Mossel Bay, every little business in these small towns is affected by this and obviously, the advantages are phenomenal."

The collapse of 14 grain silos in December last year is now a distant memory although De Beer said a definitive cause of the disaster was never established. The silos have now been rebuilt and more capacity added, just in time for this year's abundance of crops.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.

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