Farmers in the North West province have welcomed the recent downpours, but say more follow up rain is needed.

For several weeks now the North West has experienced a heatwave, taking its toll on crops and pastures.

The recent rain has brought relief. Vuyani Loloane, farmer at Larey Straight Farm, says that his groundnuts and beans are now flowering.

“My groundnuts and beans are now flowering. My maize is tussling as you can see. This rain has helped a lot on it. My sunflower is coming, but this rainfall will definitely assist, going forward. We only hope that the winter doesn’t come early because we got late rainfall. So, it will definitely affect if we get early frost. So, we’re hoping not for frost to come early. We hope it rains so that the winter goes a little backward.”

In some areas, farmers have had minimal rain. Those close to Sannieshof say conditions have improved since last week.

Farmer Jan Pretorius says that they received about 22 mm of rain. “We’ve got about 22 mm of rain and that will help the crop to sustain, but we must have rain to come in the days coming.”

Others have not had a drop of rain in weeks:

“We’re scared, but we hope because we’re doing this (farming) through prayer. We will be able to provide for our children, our families and relatives.”

“The way things are going, I am not hopeful, but we are farmers, we will continue to work. Whenever there’s time, we will put shoulder to the wheel.”

Climatologists say the transition between the late summer months and autumn still indicate that wet and dry spells will alternate.

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