Mid-season dry spell returns to haunt farmers

Tough times: Ramoshibidu Lesile’s field in Mokagateng, Mogobane. He planted the sorghum in October and it wilted recently. He, however, also planted this year and is hoping to reap a harvest PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Tough times: Ramoshibidu Lesile’s field in Mokagateng, Mogobane. He planted the sorghum in October and it wilted recently. He, however, also planted this year and is hoping to reap a harvest PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

With very few exceptions, the cropping seasons of recent years have been affected by a mid-season dry spell, which involves a sudden blast of heatwaves and the absence of rain stretching from the New Year to early February. This year, farmers were told to expect above-normal rains but are back in familiar trouble. Staff Writer, MBONGENI MGUNI reports

It was all moving along swimmingly. After the Meteorological Services Department released its forecasts for the season, farmers actually saw the heavens open and the rains come down as predicted.

“A moderately wet season is expected over the entire country, however, the southwest will start off moderately dry and then progressively become wet as the season progresses,” the Department said in late August.

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