Many Free State farmers were trapped on their land while their fields became waterlogged after heavy November rain, Free State Agriculture (FSA) said on Tuesday.
Farmers were worried the time for optimal planting was running out after the province received above-average rain recently, it said.
“Though we are grateful for the rain, it also has its challenges. Apart from plantings that get waterlogged, the heavy rain also causes severe damage to our already crumbling road infrastructure,” said FSA president Francois Wilken.
Hugo van Doornick, a farmer in the Bethlehem area, said frost would be a major concern for soybean plantings in early April if farmers sowed later than November.
At least 208mm of rain had fallen in the region in November so far, he said.
“Farmers in the area have so far planted very little and what has been planted is waterlogged. Apart from the very wet fields, many farmers are apparently also trapped on their farms due to the wet conditions,” said Van Doornick.
Rudi Janse van Vuuren, from the Allanridge area, said November had brought 201mm of rain to his area.
“The fields are extremely wet. Water runs out or just stands in some places,” he said, adding that the water on some parts of the S161 road was a foot deep.
In the Marquard area, between 100mm and 150mm of rain fell in the past seven days.
Farmer Cois van Rooyen said farmers in Rouxville could not plant or cut lucerne due to the conditions. – TimesLIVE