Categories: South Africa

Warning to small-stock farmers: cold front on the way!

A cold front expected to make landfall in the Western Cape this week has been forecast to bring cold, wet,…

A cold front expected to make landfall in the Western Cape this week has been forecast to bring cold, wet, windy weather that could be devastating to livestock, especially small stock.

The front is expected over the Western Cape and Namakwa District in the Northern Cape on 15 and 16 June.

Gale force winds of up to 70km/h have been forecast for the West Coast and interior on Thursday, extending into Friday, while the Eastern Cape coastline could be battered by winds of up to 60km/h and waves between 5m and 7m high.

The SA Weather Service (SAWS) has warned livestock farmers in most of the Western Cape, large areas of the Northern and Eastern Cape, and the southern parts of the Free State to take precautions.

“Farmers of small stock are advised that the combination of cold, wet and windy weather may prove fatal to stock unless animals are taken to shelter well ahead of the onset of the extreme winter weather,” SAWS said.

Heavy rain leading to flooding was expected for the City of Cape Town, the Cape Winelands, the western parts of the Overberg, and the West Coast District on Thursday and into Friday, SAWS said.

It also forecast “significant” rainfall from Thursday morning with accumulated rainfall of between 10mm and 25mm, but up to 50mm over the mountains in that area.

Very cold conditions of about 10°C and lower were forecast for the southern interior of the Namakwa district and northern parts of the Cape Winelands by Friday.

By Saturday, the front would have exited the country, leaving cold, dry air in its wake to spread through the interior. Cold daytime temperatures were expected in Free State, North West, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

The interior was also expected to be buffeted by strong, gusty winds, which posed a risk for the development of runaway veldfires.

The deputy chairperson of the National Wool Growers’ Association (NWGA) in the Free State, Herman Archer, who was attending the NWGA’s national congress in Port Elizabeth this week, said the weather there had been warm and sunny on Wednesday.

Despite this, farmers needed to be aware that the weather was unpredictable and could change completely in the course of a few hours, he said.

“If the weather service has issued a warning, people must take precautions.”

He urged farmers in areas forecast to experience cold, wet weather to put contingency plans in place. This included moving sheep into a shed or near to the house so that quick action could be taken if the weather turned, as well as ensuring that staff were on hand to assist.

Archer added that recently sheared sheep and young lambs would be at greatest risk.

Recent Posts

Learning from apple growers in Poland

Poland is the largest producer of apples in the European Union. On a recent visit to the country, Annelie Coleman…

4 hours ago

Counting the cost of the Trompsburg fires

Sheep producer, FC Alexander, lost about 400 animals in the wildfire that raged near Trompsburg between 15 and 17 November,…

1 day ago

Succession: are you and your farming business ready?

Succession planning of the family farm is often taken for granted as the transition to the next generation is assumed…

1 day ago

Damara sheep: No environment too tough

Since importing his first Damaras from Namibia in the late 1980s, stud breeder Frank Blumenthal has firmly believed in the…

2 days ago

Court case over expropriation recommendation looming

While Parliament's Joint Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) is preparing its final parliamentary report on the possible amendment of Section 25…

2 days ago

Leafroll virus in vines can be beaten – here’s how

Leafroll virus is a serious threat to South Africa’s viticulture industry: it shortens the lifespan of vineyards and has a…

4 days ago

This website uses cookies.