Field Crops in South Africa

© Nima t100
A field of flowering Buckwheat. Buckwheat is technically not a grass but is classified as a 'grain'.

Buckwheat is a flowering plant and not related to wheat. Its flowers produce tiny seeds that can be eaten and ground to produce flour. It is a good cover crop and provides a good source of nectar for bees.

It is an ancient crop that is widely cultivated everywhere in the world, particularly Russia and China. Although buckwheat was extensively planted in South Africa a few decades ago, it has since diminished in favour of other crops that can provide grazing as well.

Buckwheat has once more started to attract the attention of consumers keen on gluten-free grains.

By Marinda Louw

Buckwheat Farming

Buckwheat farming in South Africa is not usually included in a crop rotation program as it is a heavy user of minerals, especially phosphorus. This should be considered when fertilising for subsequent crops....more

Buckwheat Production

Buckwheat was widely planted a few decades ago in South Africa, but due to its poor harvest residues and wider dependence on crop residues for animal feeding, the production of buckwheat for its seeds is minor....more