Good rains continue to fall with significantly higher rainfall throughout the country with crops in good condition and most areas already surpassing 300 millimetres, says the Meteorological Services Department mid-season outlook with normal to above normal rains expected over the next three months.
But farmers and others need to take care as Met Department agricultural meteorologist Mr Daniel Kwenda warning that risks of flooding were rising as most soils were soaked while spillage of dams could result in flooding.
Water supplies had improved and this had resulted in good crop conditions across most areas although there is water logging and leeching in some areas.
“We are expecting the rains to continue throughout the country. Traditionally January, February and March experience higher rainfall amounts than the first part of the season. So the likely implications in agriculture are that there is a higher likelihood of leaching of nutrients hence split application of fertilisers is encouraged,” he said.
“Waterlogging is also expected especially for those areas with poor drainage and in wetlands. Flooding incidents are also highly likely due to either dam spillages or increased runoff from the surface. This is because in most places the soil is quite soaked already.
“We are expecting hazards associated with predominantly high rainfall such as flooding because much of the soil in most places is soaked.”
According to the mid-season rainfall outlook, October 1 to December 31 in this season showed significantly more rain than the same three months in the last season.
As in all above normal seasons, heavy storms are getting more frequent.
“Due to the significant rainfall amounts that were recorded across most parts of the country during the first half of the season (October to December), it is important to be on watch for flood-related disasters during the second half but also take measures to conserve and store water.
The rainfall season started around the second and third weeks of November for most parts of the country.