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North Korea Early Season Crops Affected by Dry Weather

21 July 2014

NORTH KOREA - Harvesting of the 2014 early season’s potatoes and minor cereal crops of wheat and barley, is currently underway and will continue until the end of June.

Generally favourable weather conditions during October and mid-March over much of the country supported planting and early development of winter cereals and early season potato crops.

However, a prolonged dry spell during mid-March and late April resulted in severe soil moisture deficits affecting crops at a critical growing stage in the main producing provinces, including South Hwanghae, South Pyongan, North Pyongan and farmed areas of Pyongyang City.

These provinces collectively contribute to the largest share of total national output.

As a result, FAO latest estimate puts the 2014 wheat production at 74 500 tonnes, marginally above last year’s low level and almost 30 percent below the five-year average.

No precise information on the full extent of the damage on the early season crops is yet available, but water deficits are expected to have negatively affected yields of the potato crops the most.

Planting of the 2014 main season rice and maize crops normally starts in April and continues until mid-June.

Rains resumed more normal patterns from the first dekad of May over the main crop-producing areas improving soil moisture and allowing maize and rice transplanting to take place.

However, the delayed sowing and re-planting in parts, due to the insufficient rains in April, will likely negatively affect yields of the 2014 main season crops.

TheCropSite News Desk

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