China continues to experience extreme weather. On August 18th, authorities issued a national yellow alert with temperatures in dozens of cities expected to surpass 40℃, or 104℉.
Many southern provinces experience abnormal droughts in midsummer, severely affecting their crops. Farmers said that there would be a production fall in the autumn harvest this year, causing an increase in the price of vegetables and other agricultural products.
The middle-year rice crop in southern China has entered a period of ear-drawing and blooming. Summer corn has entered the period of male-drawing and silk-spitting. According to the China Meteorological Administration, the current period is critical for forming autumn grain crop yields in the south. It is also the most sensitive period to temperature and moisture. High temperatures and drought will bring severe challenges to autumn grain production.
Villagers in Xinjian 新建 District, Nanchang 南昌 City, told The Epoch Times reporters on the 19th that all the local farmland has dried up. The field’s rice includes early, medium, and late rice. Late rice will have to wait for six weeks before harvesting. This year, farmers are helpless and will reduce grain production.
A villager in Weizhuang Village, Zhumadian 驻马店 City, Henan河南 Province, said that the drought has caused agricultural land to crack. This seriously affected corn and peanut crops; they wilted and sunburned to death.
Grain production will be reduced this year, but it is still hard to say how much production there will be.
Villagers in a small county town in Nanchang 南昌 City, Jiangxi 江西 Province, told Epoch Times on the 18th that the overheating weather caused the earth in some rice fields to crack, and the crops were stunted. Peanuts are greatly affected by the weather. Compared to previous years, this year’s peanut crop is much smaller, and there are a lot of empty shells. The losses might be out of control for the large planting households.
China’s third-largest freshwater lake drought
Mainland media reported that the Suzhou Taihu Ecological Island (Xishan Island), located in Jinting 金庭 Town, Suzhou 苏州 City, suffered a severe drought. As a result, the water level of Taihu Lake hit the lowest level for the same period in the past 20 years. Consequently, many ponds and rivers have dried up, and tea and fruit trees on the mountains have withered.
A tea garden owner in Jinting Town told the reporter on the 19th that continuous high temperatures up to 40℃ have killed kumquats and mountain tea trees. As for the crops at the foot of the mountain, irrigation efforts failed because farmers did not have enough water to pump or enough irrigation equipment, and the plants were slowly dying. In addition, fruits and vegetables have also been reduced, causing a price rise.
Mainland media quoted a Wuhan agricultural citizen that the extreme heat in July had a more significant impact on leafy vegetables in the local suburbs. In severe high-temperature weather, leafy vegetables are not heat-resistant and can only grow at night, and the yield is seriously insufficient. In addition, the high temperature also caused inconvenience to the production, transportation, and sales of vegetables. As a result, vegetable prices continued to rise in July. For example, the average cost of local Chinese cabbage at the beginning of the month was 2 cents/kg, in the middle of the month, is 3 cents/kg, and the average price at the end of the month was just under 3 cents/kg.
According to monitoring by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the average wholesale price of vegetables in July was 3 cents/kg, an increase of 19.9% sequentially and 21.3% year-on-year. According to CPI data released by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, the price of fresh vegetables rose by 12.9% year-on-year in July.