The early forecast of Sudan Metrological Authority (S.M.A. ) anticipated an average to below average rainfall in zone III, which includes the most important agricultural production areas, namely Gedaref, Kassala, Gezira, White Nile, and Blue Nile states, while in Kordofan and Darfur regions, an average to slightly above average rainfall is expected. The forecast was not very far from reality, as the tendency towards below average is much more than towards average and very limited locations received average rainfall. Kordofan and Darfur regions rains till end of August were average to below average. It is observed that July rains, which are considered essential for the evolution of crops, were minimum in nearly over all states. The effective rains were in mid-July in very few areas, but in the majority of the states they were in late July and early August, and even the areas which received good showers in June , witnessed long dry spells in July. The continuation of rains during September and even early October is crucial for the success of crops in the rain-fed sector.
The total planted area of crops (Sorghum, Millet, Sesame, groundnuts and cotton) in the 14 visited states is estimated at over 32 million feds ( till end of August), representing about 62% of targeted area and is less by about 27% than the previous season and 29% more than the 5 years average (2008/9-2012/1013).