China - Crops dry up as drought drags on

A prolonged and severe drought that has ravaged some of China's major grain-producing areas is raising concern about the next harvest, says the Ministry of Agriculture.
Friday 11 February 2011 (7 years 6 months 6 days ago)
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A prolonged and severe drought that has ravaged some of China's major grain-producing areas is raising concern about the next harvest, says the Ministry of Agriculture.

By Feb 4, the arid conditions had affected more than 6.4 million hectares of wheat, or about 35 percent of the crop planted in the affected areas.

The ministry said the drought has affected eight major grain-producing provinces and has been building since October.

The eight provinces together produce more than 80 percent of the country's winter wheat, the ministry explained, adding that the situation might worsen as temperatures rise during the crucial spring growing season and significantly damage this summer's harvest.

East China's Shandong province, the nation's second-biggest wheat producer, is suffering its most severe drought for six decades and has only seen 12 millimeters of rain since September, 85 percent less than usual, Xinhua News Agency reported. Even though 4,000 pumping stations are supplying water, the situation in the province is severe.

The severe drought has led speculators to expect higher prices on the wheat futures market amid fears that crops may fail and drive up grain prices, Xinhua reported.

http://english.agri.gov.cn/ga/news/201102/t20110211_2639.htm

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