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South African Farmers Brace for Potential El Niño Impact Over 2023/24 Summer Crop Season

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

With South Africa's 2023/24 summer crop production season about to commence, farmers across the Republic are apprehensive due to uncertainty surrounding the El Niño weather phenomenon. This weather event has the potential to cause higher temperatures and lower-than-normal rainfall rates, potentially impacting farming output.

However, a beacon of hope lit up the farming community when the South African Weather Service (SAWS) in a Seasonal Climate Watch update on August 28 forecasted a more optimistic scenario. According to the multimodel rainfall forecast in the update, the country is poised to experience above-normal rainfall for most parts of the country, during mid-spring (September to November) and late spring (October to December). This increased precipitation will be a boon to farmers and improve prospects for the upcoming crop.

This SAWS report provides renewed optimism for South Africa's farming sectors, set to kick-start their summer crop production soon. As they closely monitor the weather conditions to mitigate their risks, this positive forecast might just slightly quell their concerns over imminent El Niño-induced adversity.

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