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SADC Agromet Update Issue 6, 2015-2016

Highlights

  • Significant January rains were received in drought-stricken areas in the southern half of the region, helping to reduce rainfall deficits. The overall benefit was however diminished by very high temperatures which increased evapotranspiration, as well as low early-February rainfall.
  • January rains following a long dry spell led to very late planting and replanting in parts of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Chances of the late-planted crops reaching maturity are low.
  • October 2015 to January 2016 was the driest in 35 years in many southern parts of the region.
  • Large decreases in planted area occurred in several countries in the southern half of the region, as farmers failed to plant due to persistent dry conditions. In many southern areas where planting did occur, crops are facing varying levels of moisture stress.
  • Grazing conditions remained poor in most of the southern half of the region. Combined with critical water shortages, tens of thousands of cattle have succumbed to drought-related deaths.
  • High rainfall in the northern parts of the region facilitated good crop performance. However, excessive rains led to flooding in parts of eastern Tanzania and northern Malawi.
Organization(s): 
Southern African Development Community
Original Publication Date: 
19 Feb 2016
Document type: 
Situation Report
Theme(s): 
Climate
Information Management
Preparedness