Saturday, August 28, 2010

Floods, drought hurt China's grain crop

Bloomberg: Natural disasters may block any increase in China’s grain production this year as the worst floods in a decade ruin crops. Flooding cut harvests of early rice in the major growing areas of southern China, Xinhua News Agency cited Vice Agriculture Minister Chen Xiaohua as saying yesterday during a government inquiry on grain safety. Crops in low-lying areas of the country’s fertile northeast were also damaged, he said.

China’s corn imports in July surged after traders bought the most overseas grain in more than 10 years to replenish shrinking domestic supplies. Early rice production this year fell 6.1 percent to 31.3 million tons, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website yesterday. The world’s most- populous country grows almost a third of the globe’s rice and cotton, and produces about half its pork.

“This year’s weather will not reduce the output,” Chen Shuwei, a manager at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co. said in a telephone interview. “China will not have a shortage in the next one or two years.”

Low temperatures due to floods delayed the ripening of winter wheat by five to seven days, and spring sowing in the northeast by seven to 10 days, the minister said. Lower rice output won’t stop overall summer grain production from equaling the levels of previous years, making it China’s seventh year of bumper harvests, Xinhua quoted the government’s Chen as saying….

Farmland in Yunnan, shot by BrokenSphere, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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