The development of seasonal climate forecasts with significant scientific skill has led to their uptake, utility and application in various sectors, but economic and social benefits are not assured outcomes of forecast dissemination. This research aimed to determine, assess and analyse the uptake, use and application of seasonal forecasts amongst commercial maize farmers, and to determine the role that forecasts played in their management decision-making processes. Two assertions regarding the usefulness are made, namely that seasonal forecasts in South Africa are not generally used amongst maize farmers; and secondly, that they are only likely to be beneficial when they are more accurate, more focused, more specific and better disseminated than at present. Maize farmers were targeted and surveyed to determine their use of forecasts. The gathered information provides appreciable insight into the usefulness of seasonal forecasts, validating both assertions and allowing forecast providers, analysts and distributors the opportunity of continual improvement, adaptation and sector-specific tailoring of information.