In the light of the seasonal outlook as produced by the South African Weather Service (SAWS), the following advisory guidelines are suggested. It is emphasized that these advisories are broad guidelines and should be interpreted considering the local aspects of the region such as soil types, cultural preferences and farming systems. Depending on the particular region, the prioritization of the guidelines will differ. The basic strategy to follow would be to minimize and diversify risk, optimize soil water availability and to manage the renewable resources (rain water and grazing) to uphold sound farming objectives. Long-term mitigation strategies should be considered by implementing techniques to enhance in-field water harvesting by reducing run-off and improving infiltration. Reduced tillage methods are very important in this regard, as is basin tillage, to capture rainwater in the drier areas. The provinces should further simplify, downscale and package the information according to their language preference and if possible use local media and farmers’ days to disseminate the information. Users are advised to be on the look-out and act on the daily extreme weather warnings as well as the monthly advisory.
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), South African Weather Service, ARC-LNR