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Special Report: Below-average December to February rainfall is Forecast for Southern Africa’s Main Season Cereals (Updated November 18, 2019)

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• Planting of the 2019/20 main season cereal crop started in mid-October in Southern Africa and rainfall from October through mid-November has been below-average across a number of areas (Figure 1).

• Seasonal rainfall normally spans from October to March across the region with December to February (DJF) rainfall being key for crop establishment and development.

• The latest seasonal forecast models indicate belownormal December to February (DJF) rainfall across the southern half of the region, spanning from southern Zambia to Namibia and south through South Africa (Figure 2).

• Persistent drier than normal conditions during this DJF period may affect crop establishment and suppress crop yields.

• This follows already dry conditions and low reservoir levels, carried over from the previous poor 2018/19 main season.

• Areas forecast to receive below-average rainfall include those areas impacted by the 2018/19 drought. Food security and access will be of increasing concern if forecast below-average rains materialize.