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Green harvests have begun; heavy rains and flooding threaten crops in some areas

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • South Sudan
  • August 23, 2014
Green harvests have begun; heavy rains and flooding threaten crops in some areas

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  • Key Messages
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    Key Messages
    • Moderate to heavy rains continued across South Sudan over the last ten days with up to 300 millimeters of rainfall in localized areas.  Rainfall during the second dekad of August was above average in Upper Nile State but only 50 percent of average across most of Unity and southern Jonglei. Cumulative seasonal rainfall since April continues to be above-average in most of the country, and up to 150 percent of average in most of Upper Nile and in northern Jonglei and Unity states. 

    • Vegetation is near-normal but continues to trend downward in agricultural areas of conflict-affected states as indicated by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). During the second dekad of August, the NDVI, as compared to normal, declined in several counties in Greater Upper Nile including Mayendit, Nyirol, Duk, Maiwut, Baliet and Manyo, suggesting vegetation is not increasing as it normally would just before the harvest period. 

    • Favorable rains continued in Uror, Nyirol and Ayod counties in Jonglei State. Green consumption started in parts of Ayod County, far from the frontline, where households managed to plant. In Bor County, maize is ready for green consumption and short-cycle sorghum is at flowering stages.  

    • Recent field reports indicate significant reductions in area planted in Baliet County, Upper Nile. Much of the population was displaced outside the county for several months and has just begun to return, missing the planting season. Despite erratic rains in Ulang and Nasir counties, green maize is ready for harvest. Increased rainfall in recent weeks has improved fishing opportunities in these areas. 

    • Continued heavy rains this month in Payinjiar County, Unity State increased flooding in Nyal Payam that started in July. Significant crop failure is likely, due to inundation of sorghum fields. Green harvests of maize began in Pariang County and planting of second season long-cycle sorghum is underway. Field reports from Pariang estimate that up to 40 percent of households in Pariang did not cultivate this season. 

    • The Global Forecast System (GFS) precipitation forecast indicates seasonally moderate to heavy rains across the western part of the country in the coming week, maintaining the risk of flooding over many already-affected and flood prone areas. Light to moderate rains are expected over eastern areas of the country.  


    Figures Rainfall estimate (RFE2) in mm, August 11-20, 2014

    Figure 1

    Rainfall estimate (RFE2) in mm, August 11-20, 2014

    Source: FEWS NET/ NOAA

    Global Forecast System (GFS) rainfall forecast in mm for August 22-30, 2014

    Figure 2

    Global Forecast System (GFS) rainfall forecast in mm for August 22-30, 2014

    Source: FEWS NET/ NOAA

    FEWS NET’s Seasonal Monitor reports are produced for Central America and the Caribbean, West Africa, East Africa, Central Asia, and Somalia every 10-to-30 days during the region’s respective rainy season(s). Seasonal Monitors report updates on weather events (e.g., rainfall patterns) and associated impacts on ground conditions (e.g., cropping conditions, pasture and water availability), as well as the short-term rainfall forecast. Find more remote sensing information here.

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