Categories: South Africa

KZN grain farmers hope for good rains

Extensive drought conditions across KwaZulu-Natal are forcing many of the province’s summer grains producers to delay the planting of their crops for the 2014/2015 season.

Most have until the end of November to get their seed into the soil whereupon their planting window will likely have closed.
Average rainfall across most of the province for the January to September period has been below the historical mean, according to the South African Weather Service.

The Department of Water and Sanitation said that many of KZN’s important freshwater storage and supply dams are currently lower than for the same time last year.

“Rainfall has been very patchy [since 1 September],” said northern KZN grain farmer and Grain SA regional representative Ralf Küsel. “Most grain farmers have not started planting yet, mainly due to the scattered rain, but the relatively cold conditions have also scared farmers away from their fields.”

Küsel said KZN’s grain farmers were “nervous but not panicking yet”.

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