China agriculture hammered by spring extreme weather

Updated: 2010-04-14 21:59
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BEIJING - Extreme weather across China has affected agricultural production in many provinces, with its impact felt differently across the country.

A recent cold snap brought snow to the north part of China while a devastating drought continues to linger in southwest China's Yunnan, Guano, Guizhou and east China's Shandong.

The snowstorm on Monday and Tuesday hitting many parts of Heilongjiang Province, damaged more than 90,000 seedlings in the province. Direct economic losses were estimated at almost 600 million yuan, according to a  provincial government spokesman Wednesday.

A cold snap in north China's Shaanxi Province, the country's biggest apple growing base, would also dent agricultural output.

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The temperature plummeted to minus three degrees centigrade in some parts of Shaanxi on Wednesday, according to Shaanxi Meteorological Station.

"The frost brought by the cold snap will definitely harm my apple output this year," said Han Zhonggui, a villager of Luochuan county, Shaanxi Province.

In east China's Shandong Province, farmland affected by drought had increased from 300,000 Mu (20,000 hectare) on April 8 to 400,000 Mu (about 26,666 hectare) as of Wednesday, according to the provincial government.

The drought in southwest China's Yunnan and Guizhou provinces as well as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also continues.

In most parts of Yunnan Province, temperatures had already risen to over 30 degrees centigrade with no rain forecasted in April, said the provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters Tuesday.

"If the situation continues, the drought will severely affect this year's spring farming," said Liu Guowen, from Haidai town of Yunnan's Xuanwei City.

As of Tuesday, more than 121 million Mu of farmland had been affected by the lingering drought nationwide, according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

"The extreme weather this year will surely affect the spring farming across the country to some extent this year," said Mao Liuxi, an agricultural meteorology expert at the National Meteorological Center.