China cold April hits rice
Updated: 2006-05-12 20:36
China's early rice crop in major central growing areas was hit by
lower-than-usual temperatures in April and heavy rains early this month may
further damage the crop, industry officials said on Friday.
However, in north Henan province, the country's largest wheat growing area,
wheat production is likely to hit record levels due to good weather and a bigger
planting area, said the Xinhua news agency and Henan agriculture officials.
Initial data from the official China National Grain and Oils Information
Centre (CNGOIC) showed the early rice crop is likely to fall 0.6 percent this
year from 2005's 31.79 million tonnes.
China's southern provinces grow rice in three seasons. Early rice, harvested
in June, accounts for about 20 percent of the country's total output.
"Low temperatures seriously damaged the paddy last month," said one
agriculture official in the country's largest rice growing province of Hunan,
adding that floods triggered by days of heavy rain also damaged the crop.
Xinhua said flooding triggered landslides, killing 10 people in the major
rice growing areas of Hunan, Jiangxi, Hubei and the southern province of
Guangdong, and damaging 1.97 million hectares of crops.
Henan province grew 1 percent more winter wheat, which will be harvested
China is likely to harvest 94 million tonnes of winter wheat this year, up 3
percent on 2005, according to the CNGOIC. Winter wheat accounts for more than 90
percent of the country's total wheat output.