Harvest prospects are favourable. Following decreased rains in late August, precipitation recovered and was generally widespread and abundant during the first two dekads of September. It decreased again in late September but soil moisture reserves are adequate. Cumulative rainfall is normal to above normal over most parts of the country and well above normal in the north and east. Millet and sorghum are in the flowering/grain formation stages in the southern half of the country and entering the maturing phase in the north. Overall crop condition is adequate except in some low-lying areas affected by excess water. A good cereal harvest is anticipated.
Pastures are abundant and of good quality. Some insect infestations have been reported locally. The total infested area since the start of the season is estimated at about 105 000 hectares of which only one part needed treatment. Disease problems appeared on cotton, millet, sorghum, niebe and pastures in some provinces of the west. Research is underway in order to determine possible treatments.
A joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission is scheduled from 19 to 23 October to estimate the 1998 cereal production.