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Drought Spreads Through China

Drought has affected winter wheat crops in 17 per cent of China’s wheat-growing areas in the country’s northern bread basket, and dry weather is forecast to extend until spring next year, the government said.

But analysts said it was too early to predict how the overall wheat harvest in May would be affected, since irrigation or a change in weather could influence growing conditions.

Some 3.87 million hectares of planted cropland was hit by a drought because of higher-than-normal temperatures and a shortage of rainfall in areas along the Yellow River and Huaihe River in the central part of the country, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said during the weekend.

That accounts for 17 per cent of China’s total sowed area of winter wheat, which the Agriculture Ministry put at 22.67 million hectares, according to Reuters calculation.

Of the total drought-hit areas, severe drought has affected 418,000 hectares of crops while 20,000 hectares of crops have withered, said the headquarters.



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