Autumn harvest to be better than expected
China is expecting another bumper autumn harvest this year, with grain harvesting in full swing across the country, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
Based on the latest survey by the ministry, 33.6 million hectares of autumn grain crops have been harvested nationwide as of Oct 3, equal to 38.6 percent of the projected total and up by 2 percentage points from the same period last year.
Almost 70 percent of the autumn grain harvest has been completed in Southwest China, and in Northeast China more than 20 percent has been finished, the ministry said.
Zhu Juan, an official with the ministry, said major grain producing areas are entering their harvesting seasons and the country is likely to record a bumper autumn harvest.
Autumn grains in Northeast and Northwest China and on the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain in North China are growing very well, and the average per unit yield of corn, rice and soybean has increased, Zhu told the People's Daily.
The ministry has sent expert teams to offer technical guidance to help with harvests and released guidelines for South China to help it combat the impact that drought and high temperatures have had on the growth of rice and corn.
Hong Jiantao, a farmer in the city of Shangqiu, Henan province, said he is confident that his corn and soybeans will have a good harvest this year.
Experts surveyed his fields recently and he is expected to make around 34,500 yuan ($4,800) per hectare, he said.
Technologies have played an increasingly important role in the country's agricultural development.
In Shangshui county, Henan province, while harvesting sesame was carried out manually in the past, this year, combine harvesters helped local farmer Liu Tianhua to reap 9 hectares of sesame in less than a day.
Liu planted a new variety of sesame this year that can be harvested by machine because its stalks are stronger than other varieties. The change will save him more than 50,000 yuan in labor costs, according to China Central Television.
Cao Zhibin, an expert at Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said the rice variety developed by his team is more resilient in high temperatures than most other varieties, and can achieve a 650-kilogram yield per mu despite the prolonged heat and drought this year.