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Rainfall remained erratic in December, with some parts of South Africa continuing to experience below-average rainfall while others received more than 200% of the monthly average.

According to the SA Weather Service, Heilbron in the Free State received 212mm in December, compared with the usual monthly average of 102mm. At total of 249mm fell in Amersfoort in Mpumalanga, and reports of crop damage were received.

This contrasted dramatically with parts of the Northern Cape. Fraserberg, for example, registered only 3mm in December, which was 13% of its monthly average of 23mm. Drought-stricken Calvinia, in the winter rainfall area, received just 1mm of rain.

Rainfall figures for Free State over December varied significantly. Heilbron topped the rainfall log with 212mm, followed by Frankfort at 146mm. Koffiefontein received only 9mm for the month, just 16% of its average of 54mm.

Free State Agriculture president Francois Wilken told Farmer’s Weekly that he was concerned about farmers in the west and south of the province.

“Their cash flow is depleted. One farmer in Bethulie told me he would have to stop feeding his livestock,” he said.

 Agri Northern Cape

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