Winds blow away hope for high yields in Western Cape- South Africa

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Grain producers in the Swartland, Overberg and Southern Cape suffered considerable damage due to unnatural weather conditions that brought stormy winds to the areas. While already harvesting winter crops, producers’ expectations for an above average harvest yielded disappointment.

Following last year’s drought, producers looked forward to above-average yields. The gale force winds caused major damage to canola and barley in the Swartland district last week, with wheat, yet to be harvested, suffering the most damage. Although some areas felt nature’s brunt more than others, very few parts were not affected by the winds.

Turbulent weather conditions expanded to the Overberg and Southern Cape districts on Monday night (29 October 2018). Producers in these areas cut winter crops down in order to limit wind damage, but stormy winds blew away the expected average- to above average canola yields. Producers observed large yield differences with damage of up to 1 ton per hectare.

The recent wind damage was a major disappointment for producers and, although the extent of damage between crops and in areas varies, and the yield potential is affected, producers are still expected to harvest average yields. – Press release