Crop prospects are favourable reflecting generally abundant and widespread rains during the entire season. Above normal and widespread rains were received in early or mid-September. Following those of early August, torrential rains were again registered over Niamey and its region (150 mm on 5 September). They also caused flooding in several areas of the country, notably in Diffa (in Maine Soroa), southern Dosso and southern Maradi areas. The Niger river in Niamey reached a record level and flooded several irrigated rice fields around the capital. Precipitation decreased significantly in late September signalling the end of the rainy season. Soil moisture reserves may be insufficient in some areas for late planted or long cycle crops but overall, a good, possibly record, harvest is anticipated.
Pastures are abundant. Grasshoppers and insects infestations are reported on millet in several areas, notably in Diffa, Tahoua and Zinder departments. Isolated Desert Locust adults were reported in mid September near Diffa. Low numbers of adults are likely to be present and breeding in areas of recent rains in southern Tamesna and western Air. Their numbers could increase but remain at a low and non-threatening level.
A joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission is scheduled from 19 to 23 October to estimate the 1998 cereal production.