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  • Last week, the South African Weather Service noted that ‘the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is still in a neutral phase and although most models indicate a strong strengthening towards an El Niño phase in the early summer season, it is not expected to have an influence on South Africa during the first half of summer.’

  • The expected rainfall in the western parts of South Africa did not materialise in many areas this week, and thus the maize and sunflower seed planting activity has not progressed much in this particular region. This, however, is not a major concern for now as optimal planting window will be open until mid-December.

  • Given concerns regarding the impact of El Niño and the general lack of rainfall in many key maize production regions, futures prices have spiralled over the past week. This raises concerns about staple maize inflation, as well as the financial position of many producers, especially in the western production regions that have experienced multiple droughts over the past five years.

  • As a result of maize prices increasing to import parity price levels and carcass prices declining due to the suspension of beef exports as a result of SA’s loss of its free Foot-and-mouth disease status, feedlots are near break-even cost levels.

  • The drier weather conditions that affected parts of South Africa also had a negative impact in the maize-producing areas of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi over the past couple of months. Hence, these particular countries could experience a double-digit decline in maize production in the 2018/19 season compared to the previous one.

  • Summer rainfall now nearing its end with only light falls expected in the last week of March and first week of April 2019. Heavier falls are however still possible over the eastern Summer Rainfall Area. Very little or no rain for Western Cape for the short to medium term.

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Farming Diary

Aug
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4:00 pm 08.21.2019 - 5:00 pm 08.22.2019

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2:00 pm 09.17.2019 - 3:00 pm 09.18.2019

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