Agricultural land use and productivity in South Africa

The area planted with maize and wheat have declined steadily over recent decades, while there has been a pickup in the harvest areas planted with soybeans and sunflowers. This has been accompanied by an intensification of farming, with the yields for these crops increasing steadily as farming practices improved and new technologies like synthetic fertilisers, planting and harvesting machinery and hybrid seeds have been introduced.

In the absence of detailed historical statistics on the land area used for cattle and sheep farming, the available data shows that the number of head of cattle has increased slightly over the last decade, while the number of head of sheep has been declining over the last 30 years. But yield per animal has increased strongly.



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