BEIJING, Aug 16 (Reuters) – China called on Wednesday
for more measures to protect its crops after warning that the
recent floods in its grain-producing northeast region could
worsen diseases and infestations.
So far, diseases and pest infestations were “relatively
light” with no significant impact on the autumn grain
production, the agricultural ministry said in a statement,
adding that the flooding “may exacerbate the prevalence” of
diseases that affect corn, rice and soybeans.
China was inundated with heavy rain and flooding in northern
and northeastern regions in recent weeks brought by storms from
Typhoons Doksuri and Khanun.
The extreme weather may lead to severe pest infestations
that target cotton, corn and soybean in some areas, the ministry
For example, the northern armyworm has been found in 136,000
mu (9066.7 hectares) in Keyou Middle Banner, Xingan League,
Inner Mongolia, of which an area of 20,000 mu (1333.3 hectares)
was severely affected, it added.
The ministry held a meeting in northeastern Heilongjiang
province on Tuesday to discuss prevention and control of major
autumn grain diseases and pests in the region, known as China’s
“great northern granary”.
The rains have affected 3.87 million mu (258,000 hectares),
almost 2%, of the sown area in Heilongjiang, China’s largest
grain producing province, state broadcaster reported last week.
The ministry has maintained the 2023/24 corn output estimate
unchanged at 282.34 million metric tons, even though it said
some producing areas had been flooded.
On Monday, China’s vice premier Liu Guozhong said damaged
farmland, water conservation and other infrastructure needed to
be quickly repaired to ensure a speedy recovery in grain
production, state media reported.
(Reporting by Liz Lee and Ningwei Qin; editing by Miral Fahmy)