Field Crops in South Africa

©Glenneis Kriel
Wheat derived from natural grasses.

Wheat evolved from wild grasses more than 10 000 years ago in areas now occupied by Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. It is a cereal crop with edible kernels.

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. Production was well established in the Cape by 1684, according to the Agricultural Research Centre’s Production Guidelines for Wheat. Evaluation of cultivars started in 1891 and the first wheat breeding programme was initiated in 1902.

Fertilisation of Wheat

The fertilisation of wheat programme would have to be adapted to accommodate soil variation in different part of the farm as well as the same land, soil fertility, climatic conditions, targeted yields, tillage method as well as crops that were planted dur...more

Wheat Cultivation

For wheat cultivation in South Africa the climate should ideally be cool and moist for planting, followed by a warm dry season for harvesting....more

Wheat Pest Management

For wheat pest management in South Africa farmers should regularly scout their lands to identify insect and disease problems before these get out of control....more

Wheat Production

Winter wheat produced on dryland in the Western Cape in South Africa accounts for about 50% of the country’s total production, whereas most of the summer wheat is produced under irrigation along major rivers in the Northern Cape....more

When To Harvest Wheat

Harvesting in South Africa generally starts when the moisture content of the wheat is about 16%, but may be as low as 13% when the wheat will be stored....more