Last month I painted a bleak picture of SA’s grain and oilseed crop conditions due to the dryness of the central and western parts of the country. So it is only fair that I present an update after good rains in the first two weeks of February. Crop conditions have generally improved across the country and are likely to be in good shape for some time as rain forecasts for the next couple of weeks are positive, according to the SA Weather Service. The local weather bureau sees a possibility of above-normal rain over the next two months in summer rainfall areas, which should support the late-planted areas. While this is a welcome development, it is worth noting that this is not a normal rainfall pattern for SA. The crop would typically be maturing around April, but this time things are different due to late plantings after rains were At the moment two fundamental factors seem to underpin the weather. First is the “interseasonal variation” in rainfall. The country now gets less rain tha...

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