South Africa

Site Description


South Africa Western Freestate (Sub-site for Intensive Observation 2)
Site Extent   Centroid: -28.144, 26.157
Top left: -28.029, 26.026 Bottom Right: -28.260, 26.289

South Africa Full Site
Site Extent   Centroid: -28.428, 27.065
Top left: -26.851, 24.548 Bottom Right: -30.741, 29.770

South Africa Eastern Freestate (Sub-site for Intensive Observation 1)
Site Extent   Centroid: -28.113, 28.694
Top left: -28.002, 28.564 Bottom Right: -28.225, 28.823

Typical field size range: 0.5 ha to 40 Ha.  Crop types are Winter – Wheat and Oats and  Summer – Maize, Sunflower, Soya, Groundnuts, Sorghum, Dry Beans.  The crop rotation patterns vary from maize followed by legume (soy beans, groundnuts or dry beans), or maize followed by fallow the next summer with wheat in the immediately following winter. Sunflower is sometimes interchanged with Maize as a summer crop depending on the current prices at the time of planting. The majority of grain that is irrigated is under centre pivot systems, and in many cases it is a double cropping rotation with winter wheat followed immediately with summer maize.

The climatic zone is sub-humid to semi-arid. (Summer convectional rainfall)

The total cropping season covers an entire calendar:  1 July 2012 up to 30 June 2013 (12 months) The Free State province has a continuous cropping season that include both summer crops (maize, sunflower, soy beans, sorghum, groundnuts etc) as well as winter crops (wheat, oats etc). and spatially distributed across the province.

Typical Crop calendar (Colours in lower rows simulate CIR imagery)

Therefore there is no specific end of season or fixed area for summer vs winter crops. Lucern (also known as Alfalfa) is a perennial crop that is grown under irrigation, of which the majority is centre pivot irrigation.

Soil Texture
Cultivation occurs on sandy to sandy-loam soils. Wind erosion is often an issue

Landscape Topology
Landscape ranges from flat undulating plains to mountainous in the east.

Topography of the Free State Province

Soil Drainage
Soil drainage ranges from well drained areas to areas with very high water tables.

Soil Drainage Classes of Free State Province

Other Site Specifications
Irrigation infrastructure is mainly centre pivots

Topo-cadastral map of the Free State Province showing Roads and towns

Land Cover Map of the Free State Province

Climate Zones of the Free State Province

Distribution of automatic weather stations

©2015 Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring