Senwes Scenario June / July 2017 - Page 47

••• • • D CO RUPPE ME R L A S IN OP O D R IE SHIN DA E K • • How is the season progressing? THYS GROBBELAAR SENIOR GRAIN ANALYST, SENWES GRAINLINK RAINFALL THIS SEASON The 2016/17 season is coming to an end and it is interesting to see whether the predictions made actually realised. Meteorologists predicted a La Niña-type season, which is normally associated with above average rainfall for the season and usually with above average yields. This made every­ one optimistic about the new season. As the season progressed, it became evident that the status of the season was changing from a La Niña-type season to a neutral season. People became pessimistic since below average rainfall was expected. Good rain was received from December 2016 until the end of February 2017 and indi­ cations are that the largest maize crop in history will realise. The largest part of the traditional Senwes area received above average rainfall for this season, as indicated in the map (right). Rainfall in the South-Western Free State was, however, lower than normal. It has the impli­ cation that lower volumes of dry-land wheat will realise. Rain at planting time was simply not enough. Producers have indicated that they would be planting wheat on their fallow fields in the central parts of the Senwes area. Graph 1reflects the rainfall for this season, compared to the THE CUMULATIVE RAINFALL FOR THE PERIOD 1 JULY 2016 TO 30 APRIL 2917 AS A % OF THE LONGTERM RAINFALL Graph 1. A comparison between the average rainfall of the 2015/16, the 2016/17 and the long term rainfall for the Senwes area. previous drought season and the long-term rainfall per month and cumulatively. The long-term average rainfall for the traditional Senwes area is 556 mm per sea­ son. The cumulative rainfall this season was 701mm. The good dis­ tribution of rain during the active growing process of the summer crops resulted in the large crop expected. The South African Weather Bureau indicates in its rainfall > CONTINUED ON PAGE 46 SENWES Scenario • JUN/JUL 2017 45