China / Society

Bumper harvest expected; autumn crops may face climate challenges

By Xu Wei (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-16 07:43

Amid intervals of kung fu and meditation, monks from the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng are busy this month harvesting wheat, one of the bumper crops seen across China this summer.

China is predicting another increase in the yield of summer crops as the harvest is more than 80 percent complete nationwide, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday.

"It seems a bumper harvest is a certainty. The wheat output is expected to hit a record high based on a survey of the Ministry of Agriculture and statistics from local governments," Han Changfu, minister of agriculture, told China Central Television.

Henan province, where the temple is located, is one of the country's major summer crop cultivating provinces, Dahe Daily reported on Sunday.

An increase in cultivated land and yields, plus sweeping rainfalls across most parts of the country in April, have contributed to the boost in summer crops this year, especially winter wheat, which is seen as essential to the country's grain security, the ministry said.

A stable agricultural policy and more investments in science and technology also contributed to the increase in yields, Han said.

The country's current policy of providing a minimum purchase price for wheat has motivated farmers, and guidance on pesticides has reduced losses.

The total summer-crop farmland reached 21.67 million hectares this year, an increase of 66,667 hectares from last year, according to the ministry.

In Shaanxi province, the yield of summer crops could increase by 10 percent over last year thanks to favorable weather conditions and the application of agricultural technology, local media reported.

In China, the harvest of wheat and early-season rice began at the end of May and will continue until early July.

China's yield of summer crops grew 3.6 percent to 136.6 million tons in 2014, nearly a quarter of which came from Henan province, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The ministry said it will turn its attention next to the harvest of autumn crops, which could be challenged by a number of factors, including El Nino, a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific.

The China Meteorological Administration said it is expecting a moderate El Nino to affect the country this year, which could cause heavy rainfall in the south and droughts in the north.

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