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Burning straw creates heavy fog (2)

(China Daily)

08:50, October 11, 2011

Hiring a grating machine would cost more than 450 yuan ($70) a hectare, which is too expensive for many farmers.

"During harvest time there were many people visiting villages in cars with loudspeakers telling us that it was illegal to burn straw," Hong said.

"But they just said violators will be fined 500 yuan and be detained for 15 days. They didn't explain to us why we can't do it."

Lu Bu, a researcher in agricultural resources and regional planning at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said farmers burn straw because recycling agriculture waste requires extra manpower and money.

"It is not cost-effective for individual farming households to recycle their waste," Lu said.

Lu suggested that local governments should offer subsidies to enterprises that produce organic fertilizers to encourage them to collect straw from farmers for batch treatment.

Burning straw also poses dangers to farmers.

A woman in her 60s in Shangshui county choked to death on Sunday after she inhaled too much smoke while burning straw in a field, the local newspaper of Henan Dahe Daily reported.

In Xinyang, the government encouraged the public to report any illegal burning of straw.

Jin Zhu contributed to this story.

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