Southwest China begins summer harvest

Southwest China has ushered in its summer crop harvest season with reaping wheat. Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs show that the region has collected 30 percent of its winter wheat harvest.

The region, a major winter wheat growing region with warmer weather, adequate sunshine and sufficient precipitation, has become the first in the country to start summer harvest.

Winter wheat is usually planted in southern China from September to November and harvested in the summer or early autumn of the next year. Compared with spring wheat which is usually sown in northern China in spring and harvested in autumn, winter wheat accounts for about 95 percent of all wheat production in China. Statistics show that this year's winter wheat growing area nationwide is stable at about 54 million hectares.

The southwest wheat area includes the Chongqing Municipality and the Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, and the winter wheat growing area there is about 2.5 million hectares, roughly 4.5 percent of the nation's total.

Different methods have been adopted at local levels to improve crop yields. Mountainous Guizhou, the only province in China without plains making mechanized harvesting a luxury, has been optimizing the growing techniques, such as adjusting wheat's growing density. Sichuan, the largest wheat-producing area in southwest China, has been upgrading agricultural facilities.

The summer harvest season, which also yields other crops such as rice, corn and soybeans, will see about one-fifth of China's annual total crop production and thus is very important in the country's bid to ensure food security. 

(Cover images via VCG)

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