Podcast: Talking weather patterns for the season ahead

A climatologist predicts that summer will be in full swing by the end of September. Farmers in the central to western regions of the country can expect a little rainfall around December, but farmers towards the east may see rainfall from next month

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The weather for the last quarter of the year is predicted to be relatively favourable for farming. Johan van den Berg, a climatologist, joins us on this week’s Farmer’s Inside Track podcast to examine the expected weather patterns across Mzansi.

“At this stage, there is still a possibility of relatively light frost in the central to southern parts of the country, but relatively warm conditions are expected over the northern parts. And the summer will be in full swing at the end of September, over the central parts and most of the southern parts as well.” 

Van den Berg says that farmers in the central to western regions of the country can expect a little rainfall around December, but farmers towards the east may see rainfall from October or November.  

Parts of the Northern Cape have been facing persevering drought, and van den Berg says this may continue. The weather conditions in the central to eastern parts of the country are more favourable, however. “For the general farmer or crop farmers, there’s all probability that there will be sufficient rain for a relatively good crop, and for the livestock farmers in the central to eastern parts, [there will be] favourable conditions.” 

Apart from the weather, van den Berg also addresses local commodity prices, explaining that a shift in these prices are difficult to predict. “Most of the grain crop commodity price is a derivative of international production conditions, but it seems that [there is a] relatively good chance of a good maize and sunflower and even soybean crop that can put pressure on prices, if the international conditions are favourable.” 

ALSO READ: Sweet pepper, tomato prices soar amid cold weather 

Other podcast highlights: 

The best agriculture news podcast on the planet also features other highlights for the agricultural sector this week: 

  • 101 of flower farming: South Africa’s indigenous flora are some of the most diverse and unique in the world. We chat to Freddie Kirsten, a protea farmer from the Western Cape, about the ins and outs of flower farming.  
  • Farmer development: FarmSol boss Aron Kole talks to us about how new farmers can unlock their growth potential through technology. 
  • Book of the week: Our book of the week is Billion Dollar Burger by Chase Purdy. The author provides a good overview of cell-based meat developments. 
  • Farmer tip of the week: Our farmer tip this week comes from Boitumelo Mhlanga, an Agricultural Research Council crop scientist. 
  • Soil Sistas: This week’s #SoilSista, powered by Food for Mzansi and Corteva Agriscience, is Gauteng poultry farmer Khethiwe Maseko. This farmer started out as a domestic worker and today, is a proud ambassador for the agricultural sector

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