As harvest time approaches, China tells farmers to replant or switch crops

As harvest time approaches, China tells farmers to replant or switch crops
Written by admin

NANCHANG, China, Aug 25 (Reuters) – As China’s record heat wave begins to subside, farmers are assessing the damage caused by a drought to crops and the government is urging them to replant or switch crops wherever they can. possible.

More than 70 days of extreme temperatures and low rainfall have wreaked havoc across the Yangtze basin, which supports more than 450 million people as well as a third of the country’s crops.

Although rain is expected for the next 10 days, farmers near depleted Poyang Lake in central China’s Jiangxi province, normally a flood outlet for the Yangtze, fear the heat has already done too much damage.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

The Agriculture Ministry in an emergency notice on Tuesday called on farmers to harvest and store rice and take measures to strengthen grain growth in the coming weeks. In areas where drought has already caused severe damage, farmers are encouraged to switch to late-autumn crops like sweet potatoes, but that’s no easy task.

“We can’t switch to other crops because there is no land,” said Hu Baolin, a 70-year-old farmer in a town outside Nanchang, the provincial capital of Jiangxi.

He said his plants, including rapeseed oil and sesame, were much underdeveloped compared to normal years, and his grapefruits were only a third of their usual size.

Nearby wells were severely depleted and a flock of geese swarmed around a pond that had completely dried up about 10 days ago. The villagers had also been fighting a nearby forest fire.

“Don’t let people see it and think that I brought you here on purpose. You can go anywhere you want (in this town), it’s the same.”

The Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday that hot weather posed a “serious threat” to autumn grain production and urged local governments to “do everything possible” to find more water. read more

Drones were deployed in southwestern China’s hardest-hit Sichuan province on Thursday to seed clouds and induce rain, while other regions along the Yangtze have been mobilizing firefighters to spray dry crops, the broadcaster said. State CCTV.

Analysts saw rice production as the most vulnerable.

“I think the biggest impact of the heatwave will be on the rice crop – maize is in trouble too, but not as much,” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at agricultural brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.

China, the world’s largest rice consumer and importer, was expected to import a record 6 million tonnes in 2022/23, according to estimates from the US Department of Agriculture.


Chongqing and southwestern Sichuan province are reeling after more than two weeks of temperatures above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), leading to crop damage, wildfires and power rationing. read more

Factories in Chongqing were originally ordered to restrict production from August 1. 17 to August 24 to save energy, but the curbs have now been extended and normal operations will not resume until weather conditions improve and authorities approve the restart. read more

Although national meteorologists lowered their heat alert level from “red” to “orange” from Tuesday, temperatures are still expected to exceed 40C in some places in Chongqing, neighboring Sichuan and other parts of the delta. Yangtze until the weekend.

Low rainfall has also affected the lower reaches of the Yangtze, including Zhejiang and Jiangsu on the east coast.

Water levels in Lake Tai, located between the two provinces, have fallen to their lowest level in 20 years despite the diversion of 500 million cubic meters of the Yangtze River since mid-July, the Ministry of Resources said on Thursday. Water.

China’s Ministry of Water said on August 2. 11 that the drought had already affected nearly 33 million mu (22,000 square kilometers) of arable land and 350,000 head of cattle, but the ultimate impact is likely to be much greater.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

Reporting by Xiaoyu Yin and Thomas Peter in Nanchang and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Additional information from the Beijing newsroom; Written by David Stanway; Edited by Lincoln Feast, Tom Hogue and Elaine Hardcastle

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

About the author


Leave a Comment