BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — In its third forecast of the 2018 European Union grain and oilseeds crop, COCERAL revised down its total to 283.5 million tonnes from its early June figure of 299.1 million tonnes.

That would be far below last year’s total of 300.2 million tonnes as the region this year has been dealing with abnormally hot and dry weather.

The wait for El Niño is on. Most computer forecast models continue to suggest an El Niño event will begin evolving in September and it may be a significant event for a few months during the heart of the Northern Hemisphere winter. This year already has been an interesting year for crop weather with drought still lingering in Europe, and dryness from eastern Ukraine into Russia’s Volga River Basin and in Canada’s Prairies.

Donald Trump’s twitter feed is the gift that keeps on giving. His remarks on South Africa’s land politics provided a foil for his detractors: his contentions are erroneous, his actions are reckless (if not downright racist), and he is in any event ignorant of the context and trajectory of South Africa’s land reform endeavours.