A recent climate advisory for the 2017 winter season from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), stated that most summer rainfall areas, veld and livestock are in reasonable to good condition, with above-average summer crop yields anticipated, according to Farmer’s Weekly. “On the other hand, very dry conditions have been reported in the winter rainfall areas, and drought status has been declared in the Western Cape with water restrictions in place,” it states. DAFF said that dryland winter crop farmers should wait for sufficient moisture before planting and stay within the normal planting window. “They are also advised to be conservative in their planting i.e. planting density/cultivar/area being planted. In addition they should consider drought-tolerant cultivars where possible,” the department said. Irrigation farmers were urged to reduce the planting area in line with water restrictions in their areas. DAFF advised livestock farmers to keep stocking levels in line with the carrying capacity of veld and supplement with feed such as licks.
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