Citing harsh weather, China officials call for quick grain harvest

07:59, June 12, 2010      

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China's Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) asked authorities in the nation's major wheat-planting areas to work to achieve quick summer grain harvests in spite of the difficulties posed by the extreme weather.

This year's summer harvest has proven more difficult than usual because the ripening of winter wheat has taken place one week later than normal because of the bitterly cold weather last winter, while the consistently heavy rains that recently struck south China have impeded the harvest efforts, the MOA said.

The ministry said local authorities should prioritize the harvest work and complete the harvest as quickly as possible.

Reaping machine should be distributed properly in different locations to raise the harvesting efficiency, it added. Also, local departments should update information such as weather, market demands, prices and transportation to ensure a smooth harvest, the ministry noted.

China's four major grain production areas have shown cautious optimism toward their 2010 summer grain output. Henan, Shandong and Anhui provinces expect output of wheat to be equal or slightly higher than last year, while Hebei province forecasts slightly reduced output, according to information coming from a high level agriculture meeting held earlier in May in Zhengzhou city, the capital of Henan province.

According to the MOA data, China's summer grain output accounts for one quarter of its annual food yield.



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