Crop prospects remain generally favourable despite decreased rains in September. Abundant and well-distributed rains in August maintained adequate soil moisture in most productive zones. During September, rains decreased significantly and were below normal in the south-west and the centre. Early millet and sorghum are in the heading or early stages of maturity in the Sahelian zone. However, maturing of late-planted cereals in the Sudanian zone might be hampered if rains stop too early.
Pastures of good quality are available across the country. Surveys reported isolated Desert Locusts in a few areas in the Timetrine and the Adrar des Iforas. During September, mature adults and swarms were reported near Aguelhok, Tessalit and in the Tilemsi Valley. Locust numbers are expected to continue to increase in the Timetrine, Adrar des Iforas and the Tilemsi Valley and could extend to parts of Tamesna. Once vegetation starts to dry out, some concentration and grouping may occur.
A joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission is scheduled from 25 to 29 October
to estimate 1999 cereal production.