After showing solid recovery from drought in the previous and current marketing seasons with above-average maize and soya bean production, the debate on climate-related challenges could resurface as the opening of the summer crop-planting window approaches in the next two to three weeks. On Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology indicated that there is a 50% chance of El Niño developing over the 2018-2019 summer season in Southern Africa. This corroborated the message shared in August by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, which indicated a more than 60% chance of El Niño developing. The local weather agency has also expressed concerns about the weather outlook, forecasting dryness between October and December, a period that coincides with summer crop planting. It is still unclear whether SA farmers will reduce the intentions to plant because of this forecast. However, we will have a better indication when the National Crop Est...

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