Growing conditions remained favourable. Precipitation was generally normal to above normal during September. Cumulative rainfall is also normal to above normal in most areas. River levels increased significantly. Crop conditions are generally satisfactory. Millet and sorghum are heading; maize and souna millet are maturing. Irrigated rice is tillering.
Pastures are adequate. Insect attacks are reported on sorghum in Koutiala and San areas. Grasshoppers are starting to concentrate in crop zones but damage remains limited. High populations of grain eating birds are affecting millet crops in the Mali-Mauritania border area. Isolated Desert Locust adults were seen in the Kidal region at Tin-Talassabat early in the month. There were also unconfirmed reports from nomads of high densities of adults mixed with grasshoppers between Tarlit and Tibagaten. Small scale breeding is expected to occur and continue during October in the Tilemsi Valley and in some of the larger wadis in the Adrar des Iforas.
A joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission is scheduled from 26 to 31 October to estimate the 1998 cereal production.