Will it rain before Christmas?
South Africa is still in the grip of a very strong El Niño phase, although there are indications that El Niño will reach maturity relatively early, before December. This can assist in improving the conditions for the second part of the season. In the short term, conditions that are more conducive to rainfall should occur in the second part of November in most of the summer crop area . “In the longer term, most strong El Niños of the past were followed by a relatively strong La Niña phase and resulted in wet conditions. If this is also true for the current situation, 2016/17 may [experience] favourable rainfall conditions,” says Johan van den Berg, Santam Agriculture manager: specialised crop insurance.