Good rains set to continue

2010-11-19 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL farmers will breathe a sigh of relief with the news that the rains of the past few weeks are likely to continue, bringing relief to many drought-stricken areas.

The summer rains started late this year, subjecting many farming operations to one of the severest droughts experienced in the province.

Siyabonga Mthethwa of the Durban Weather Service said the rains are expected to continue over the next week.

He said that from Sunday until Friday next week the rains will continue bringing relief.

The province matched its monthly rainfall average for October, Mthethwa said.

“For the month of November we are looking at an average of 120 millimetres, and we are already at 75 millimetres. We believe that we will meet the average.

“October was a very dry month, but because we had a storm we made up for the shortage in one week. And the rains have continued steadily since then.”

Mthethwa said the wet weather is expected to continue until around the end of summer in January and February.

Brad Price, a farmer in the Kamberg area, said a whole season’s rain is needed to improve production on farms.

Robin Barnsley, the president of the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union, expressed cautious optimism about the rains.

“The rainfall is very welcome, but more is still needed to mitigate against any more damage to the farming industry.

“There simply is not enough water runoff and the ground is still very dry as the rains are too far apart.

“We need more rains to allow more crops to grow and to prevent crop failure,” Barnsley added.

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