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Climate concerns for farmers

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Recent weather conditions in southern Africa had a significant impact on grain producers in the region. Image credit: Melissa Askew from Unsplash.
Recent weather conditions in southern Africa had a significant impact on grain producers in the region. Image credit: Melissa Askew from Unsplash.

Climate concerns for farmers

Recent weather conditions in southern Africa had a significant impact on grain producers in the region.

The recent weather conditions that prevailed in the winter grain regions and current conditions in the summer grain regions have a significant economic impact on grain producers in South Africa.

The winter grain production season faced several challenges with excessive rain in certain areas resulting in losses in yields and placing financial pressure on producers in affected areas.

Damage almost irreversible

In stark contrast to the winter grain production regions, the summer grain production regions are currently experiencing major challenges with drought conditions.

The extreme heat and dry conditions caused the harvest to deteriorate much faster than initially expected.

According to Tobias Doyer, Grain SA CEO, there are large areas where the damage is already irreversible. “We have seen irrigated maize which is also experiencing challenges due to load shedding as well as the heat conditions.

These challenges are experienced at a time where margins on crops such as maize are already low due to international supplies and international price pressure. (https://sagrainmag.co.za/2023/01/25/winsgewendheid-barometers/).

This makes the recovery period of individual producers very difficult in challenging production conditions.

Monitoring local conditions

Doyer says that Grain SA is very concerned about the impact of the drought and market conditions on grain producers.

“International competitors enjoy the benefits of subsidised, affordable comprehensive insurance, providing them with a competitive advantage. Similar local systems could have substantially supported South African producers given the challenging production conditions,” says Doyer.

Grain SA continuously monitors the production conditions and publishes a qualitative production overview (https://bit.ly/3SPjSGs).

Derek Mathews, chairman of Grain SA says that the National Crop Estimate Committee’s first estimate, which will be published at the end of February, will be important to evaluate the national situation.

“However, the reality is that there are currently several individual producers who are facing significant losses due to the drought and markets,” says Mathews, also a producer in one of the areas experiencing significant challenges.

Climate concerns for farmers

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 Climate concerns for farmers

 

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