Maize farming in South Africa

Are you interested in maize farming? South Africa makes a significant contribution to maize production across Africa and internationally, and with the right climate and soil conditions, you can set up a successful agricultural enterprise. Find dependable farm equipment for sale on AgriMag and get your business off to a good start.

Maize Farming - Harvest
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Maize farming overview

Maize, also referred to as corn, comes in different shapes and various sizes. Maize farming dates back thousands of years, when it was first cultivated in Mexico. Since then there has been a range of different types cultivated to thrive in various conditions. With over one billion tons of maize produced on an international scale, it’s a popular grain crop that forms part of the staple diet of many people. Maize forms 38% of the overall grain production followed by wheat and then rice.

Maize farming in South Africa

Locally grown, maize makes up a significant contribution to international cultivation. Planted on 2.8 million hectares, locally cultivated maize accounts for 20% of the production in sub-Saharan Africa. The growth of maize production has been promoted by cutting-edge technology as well as the use of genetically modified crops. However, drought has had a negative impact on South Africa’s production over the previous year.

Maize Farming - Maize Harvesting
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What equipment do you need?

Finding durable equipment for sale is a worthwhile investment for any farmer. Maize farming requires a range of implements, including:
A combine harvester
A planter
An irrigation system
Tillage implements

What climate is suitable for maize farming?

Maize farming is well-suited to warm weather conditions. If the average temperature drops under 19°C or exceeds 32°C, it’s not the best conditions for cultivating this type of crop. In summer, the best-suited areas for growing maize have a temperature that is higher than 23 °C. While it’s possible for the seeds to grow when the temperature is 10°C, the best conditions are a soil temperature that is between 16°C to 18°C. With a soil temperature of 20°C, the seeds should germinate in five to six days.

Maize Farming - Corn
Image Credit – Ioana Cristiana on Unsplash

Frost is a threat to maize farmers. In order to safeguard the crop, the region should have periods without frost that last for 120 to 140 days. Rainfall is another important consideration and each plant uses 250l of water before it is harvested, providing that there is no moisture stress.

What soil does this type of crop require?

The right soil sets the foundation for your crops to thrive. The ideal clay content for the cultivation of maize is between 10% and 30%. When it comes to maize farming, the following conditions need to be considered:
● Ample depth
● Good structure
● Sufficient internal drainage
● Moisture content
● Balanced nutrients
● Chemical properties

Maize Farming - Corn on the Cob
Image Credit – Dragne Marius on Unsplash

What factors affect crop yield?

Projecting the potential crop yield is an important part of any agricultural enterprise. There are numerous methods that can be used to speculate what yield your maize will generate. Data collection is a useful technique as it takes into account the specific factors of your farm. The following factors impact crop yield potential:
● Fertilisation
● Soil cultivation
● Plant density

Maize farming forms an important part of the South African economy. You can benefit from the demand for this grain by setting up your own maize farm. Looking for the right machines for your business? Find top-quality farm equipment for sale on AgriMag.

Tips on Maize farming in South Africa | AgriMag Blog
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Tips on Maize farming in South Africa | AgriMag Blog
Are you interested in maize farming? South Africa makes a significant contribution to maize production across Africa and internationally.
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