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Snowfall without rain harms Chinese wheat crops

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chinese wheat crops are suffering from lack of rain.
Chinese wheat crops are suffering from lack of rain.

Drought conditions in the five Chinese provinces that produce about two-thirds of the nation's wheat are helping the grain sustain its highest prices in 24 months, Bloomberg reports.

Despite snowfall, a dire lack of rainfall has damaged crops in the globe's biggest consumer of the grain. Since the crop is dependent on heavy rain while turning green, harm to the crop will persist, according to statement by a top official with the State Food Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. Rising temperatures as winter turns to spring are also threatening the grains.

"China still faces an arduous task of fighting drought," according to the statement. "Enhanced efforts of irrigation, recent rain and snowfalls helped prevent the drought spreading in some winter-wheat growing areas."

China's south and east are forecast to see a mixture of snow and rain though other areas only have seen snow since February 9.

As a strategy of compensating damages to wheat inflicted by lack of rain, China is set to devote almost 13 billion yuan (approximately $2 billion), which also aims to increase production of grain.

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