Poor veld conditions in some parts recorded
Large parts of the country are currently reporting poor to reasonable veld and livestock conditions, according to the climate advisory for the 2023/24 summer season issued by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.
Veld fires in several provinces have resulted in damage to grazing land and infrastructure, as well as contributing to livestock fatalities. Assessments are being conducted by provinces to quantify the damage.
Farmers are being advised to be on the lookout for daily extreme weather warnings and implement risk-reduction measures.
The average level of major dams remains high with most provinces above 80%.
According to the seasonal climate watch issued by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) dated 3 October 2023, above normal rainfall is anticipated for large parts of the country during the early part of summer (though mostly with low probabilities of above normal rainfall). Below normal rainfall is expected during mid-summer over the western and central parts of the country as predictions still favour above normal rainfall conditions over the north-eastern parts of the country during mid-summer, even with an El Niño in place.
SAWS further cautions that the El Niño effect might still manifest its influence over the next few months and change the outlook of the rainfall forecast for mid- and late summer. Both minimum and maximum temperatures are expected to be above normal countrywide.
Livestock should be kept in balance with carrying capacity of the veld and provided with additional feed such as relevant licks. Additionally, livestock should be provided with enough water points on the farm as well as shelter during bad weather conditions.
Veld fires have been reported in several provinces and the risk remains, especially in summer rainfall areas, until sufficient rain is received. Winter rainfall areas are drying out, increasing favourable conditions for veld fires. Therefore, the creation and maintenance of fire belts should be prioritised as well as adherence to veld fire warnings.
Episodes of flooding resulting from rain-bearing weather systems are likely and preventive measures should be in place.
Source : Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development