The weather forecast for the week still paints a worrying picture of continuous dryness in much of South Africa. There will likely be scattered light showers over the eastern regions during the week, which won’t make much difference in the deteriorating crop conditions because of excessive heat in the various areas of our beautiful country.

The farmers’ survey done by our colleagues at Grain SA on 21 February 2024 shows that the North West province is under much strain, and some regions already see crop damage. The Free State, primarily the western and central areas, is also worrying.

Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are slightly better, and the crop could still yield a decent harvest if we get good rains soon. Still, the crop is under immense strain from the current heat wave and scant rains. I must say, within these provinces, there are regions experiencing crop damage; it is not all better.

Overall, the summer crop conditions in South Africa are not ideal –our optimism from the start of the season is no longer the reality.

The crop urgently needs rain, and we hope that the forecast widespread showers in the first week of March will materialize.

The farmers have done their part – ploughed roughly 4,4 million hectares of summer grains and oilseed, up 0,4% year-on-year – the rest is out of their hands.

We pray for rain.

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