Giving an update of the crop situation in Zimbabwe, ZFU said from the assessment done it is estimated that about a third of the maize area has been written off.
"The crop has been written off especially in the southern regions of the country such as Masvingo, Matabeleland South, most parts of Matabeleland North and the dry areas of the three Mashonaland provinces, Manicaland, Midlands. The maize in the high rainfall areas is doing well with the majority between soft and hard dough stages," said ZFU.
ZFU said heavy rains continued during the past week in the highveld, while the rest of the country received widespread rains. This included those districts that had been experiencing long dry spells.
ZFU said most of the crops in the southern provinces and some dry districts in the northern provinces of the country were now totally written off due to the prolonged dry conditions.
"The crops in the high rainfall areas have been performing very well. Continued rains will be good for livestock (grazing) and increased water availability for winter cropping," said ZFU.
ZFU said the tobacco crop has been doing well in most tobacco growing provinces. While the early crop was being marketed, the late crop is at reaping and curing stages.
"The cotton crop is in the good condition across the provinces except for that which has been written off. The crop is at the boll formation stage for most of the areas. The major challenge is that of pest infestation. The soya bean crop is at pod filling stage and early groundnuts have reached maturity," ZFU said.
Commenting on livestock, ZFU said generally livestock condition was "fairly good" but there could be shortage of grazing later in areas hard hit by drought. "Foot and Mouth Disease has been controlled in Matabeleland provinces.
Mashonaland West has reported an outbreak lumpy skin disease which has caused mortalities from some herds," said ZFU.
On challenges being faced, ZFU said lions had killed about 65 cattle in Matabeleland North, while pest attack on cotton has continued.Post published in: Agriculture