Senwes Scenario June / July 2019 - Page 10

NEWS Record rainfall brings hope Senwes area receives the highest rainfall in April in 104 years – 188,7 mm Danie Niehaus' Afrikaans song says “Dis reën dis wind dis water en die son kom eers weer later”. It was also the case for producers in the Senwes area over the past four and a half weeks in April 2019.  By Aubrey Kruger Senwes Scenario Editor I n During this period the average rain- fall in our area was a massive 188,7 mm - the highest rainfall in April in 104 years. Senior Grain Analyst at Senwes, Thys Grobbelaar, said that it broke the existing record. The previous highest rainfall was 117 mm during the 1942/43 season. To put it into perspective, the long-term average rainfall for April in the Senwes area is a mere 40,5 mm. In other words, it is more than four and a half times the long-term average. Places with the highest rainfall in April were Winburg silo where 280 mm was measured, Arlington silo with 275 mm and Theunissen silo with 257 mm. At the other end of the scale we have Jan Kempdorp silo with the lowest rainfall, namely 108 mm, as well as Gottenburg silo at 113 mm and Heilbron silo at 114 mm, just below the previous average rainfall record for April. The winners since the beginning of the 2018/19 season (1 July 2018 until 30 April 2019) were Enselspruit silo with 792,5 mm, followed by Raathsvlei silo with 710,6 mm and Arlington silo a few drops behind them with 709 mm. Amongst those with the lowest rainfall during this period were Jan Kempdorp with 270,2 mm, Hartswater silo with 327,5 mm and Petrusburg silo with 390 mm. It is evident from the statistics that we received 333,3% more in April this year than in the corresponding period of the previous year, and the cumulative rainfall for the season to date, was 106,1% of the 33-year average. Grobbelaar also said: ”We are experi- encing one of the strangest seasons since accurate rainfall records commenced.” We have only had four seasons over the past 104 seasons during which the 1 July to 31 December rainfall had been less than this season for the same period. The average rainfall for the pre-season from 1 July to 31 December was 232 mm. The average of the past season was a mere 118 mm. The dryest pre-season for the period since rainfall statistics commenced, was 88 mm during the 1945/46 season. Grobbelaar also said that we should remember that rainfall in the eastern districts was very close to normal for the pre-season period. The cumulative rain- fall for the more western districts was, in many instances, significantly lower and in a few instances the lowest recorded rainfall history. Examples are Regina with only 56 mm, Viljoenskroon with 85 mm, Vierfontein with 84 mm, Bothaville with 91 mm and Odendaalsrus with 78 mm. The more westerly districts, such as Bultfontein and Wesselsbron, received good rain during August 2018, which increased their pre-season rainfall figures. Despite the very dry pre-season, some of the districts will realise very good yields. What do we learn from this? That we should never lose hope. Rain does not only bring relief, but also hope. All the best with the season, producers. *In the schematic representations, the rain- fall for April 2019 in the traditional Senwes area of operation can be studied in more detail. The rainfall for April 2019 in the traditional Senwes area. 08 SENWES SCENARIO | WINTER 2019