Field Crops in South Africa

© Glenneis Kriel
Canola is primarily produced in the southern Cape and Swartland.

Because of the huge variation in climatic conditions, field crop production in South Africa may be divided into two main categories, namely summer crops and winter cereals.

The most important summer crops are maize, soybeans, sunflower seed, groundnuts and sorghum, which are produced in the summer rainfall regions. 
The most important winter cereals are wheat, malting barley and canola. Wheat is produced throughout the country, but the Western Cape, which falls in the winter rainfall region, accounts for almost half the area under production and is in effect the biggest contributor to the overall production.


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....more


Although canola is a summer crop in temperate and cool parts of the world, it is primarily produced as a winter crop in South Africa. The Western Cape, in effect, accounts for almost two-thirds of Africa’s total canola seed production....more

Conservation Farming and Grain Production

Growing awareness over the importance of healthy soil has resulted in a growing number of farmers making use of conservation farming practices....more


Cotton is a versatile fibre crop and the most widely used natural fibre. It is not only used in textiles such as clothing, towels and bedding but in industries producing paper, ammunition, soap, furniture and tyres....more


The trade of hemp in South Africa is controlled by the Medicines Act in South Africa, which has impacted the cultivation of hemp as a viable resource that could substantially grow South Africa’s economy, and in turn, provide sustainable jobs combatting th...more

Herbicide Application

The timing of pre-emergent herbicide applications depends on the type of tillage used. On farms where conventional tillage is used, herbicides should be applied soon after the land has been cultivated so that weeds do not get a chance to germinate, Gavin...more


In South Africa, quinoa research and development is overseen by the NuGrain Consortium which consists of industry, academic, government and private institutions....more

Selling Cereal Crops

After harvesting, farmers can store their grain at co-operation silos to sell cereal crops at a time when prices are better. The cost of storage and grain handling and interest lost because of later sales, might however not justify this option....more

Small Grain Diseases

Rust is a fungal disease in small grain affects both yield and crop quality, with the severity of damage depending on environmental conditions and the plant or variety’s susceptibility to the specific strain....more

Stone Ground Flour

Stone ground flour is nothing new, but dates back to ancient Egyptian times when grains were crushed with a stone mortar or with a saddle stone, where the grain was crushed in a stone bowl by rolling a cylindrical stone over it....more

Summer Crops in South Africa

Summer crops in South Africa are crops that grow during summer and are harvested during the winter period. Most summer crops are staple foods for consumers both locally and internationally, and large commercial farming operations are founded...more

Weed Management in Grain Production

In South Africa weeds need to be managed carefully to prevent them from causing production losses, by overshadowing your crop and competing for resources such as water and soil nutrients....more


Jan van Riebeeck planted South Africa’s first wheat in 1652, with original varieties brought in by trading vessels travelling between Europe and the East Indies....more

Winter Cereals in South Africa

The most important winter cereals in South Africa are wheat, canola and malting barley, with the majority of these produced in the winter rainfall area of South Africa – the Western Cape....more