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China Wheat: Yields Above Average, but Below Expectation

12 July 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

CHINA - Winter wheat accounts for about 93 per cent of China’s total wheat output. The 2012/13 winter wheat harvest began in mid-May and concluded before the end of June.

According to Chinese officials and industry sources, excessive rainfall in April and May had a negative impact on wheat yields in parts of southwest and central China. Wheat scab, aphids, mold, poor grain formation, and lodging were reported in these areas.

In contrast, the weather on the North China Plain (China’s most important wheat-growing region) was abnormally hot and dry in May, when the crop was in the reproductive to grain-fill stage.

Although the majority of the wheat crop on the North China Plain is irrigated, farmers in several provinces reported drought and heat stress resulted in lower-than-expected yields. On the other hand, the predominately-dry weather in June allowed the wheat harvest to proceed smoothly and quickly, thereby reducing drying costs and post-harvest losses.

The spring wheat crop (about seven per cent of total production) is mostly grown in northwest and northeast China. The crop was planted in April and is currently in the filling stage, with harvest taking place in July and August.

The weather has been favorably warm and wet for spring wheat development this year, and yields are expected to be equal to or better than last year.

Further Reading

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