context: A new round of La Nina conditions bring back memories of the 2008 winter storms which dealt a catastrophic blow to winter crops. With unusually long rainy days and upcoming cold waves, autumn planting was stressed as the top priority of MARA’s work in coming days as they will have a decisive impact on the summer harvest.

Ag production across China is under extreme weather alerts as cold air coupled with heavy rainfall and snow is forecast to blanket the country from 4 to 7 Nov 2021, according to CMA (China Meteorological Administration). MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs) calls for minimising the impact cold weather has on ag production. It calls for action from related authorities to

  • strengthen monitoring and early warning systems
  • accelerate the autumn harvest and planting
  • protect horticultural production against cold weather, focusing on greenhouse vegetables in the north and open-field vegetables in the south
  • efficiently connect production and market
    • collect and publish timely and comprehensive supply-demand information
    • build stable supply chains between major crop-producing areas and large cities
    • ensure quick and cost-efficient distribution of ag products

La Nina has arrived, very likely to lead to extreme low temperature next January and February, confirms Liu Lihua 刘莉华 MARA Department of Plantation Management deputy director. Consecutive days of rain in the last two months across the north have already resulted in planting delays in some wheat-producing regions, which may be further hit by cold weather. The current wheat planting rate across the country achieved 83 percent as of 3 November, 3.4 percentage points slower than 2020. Given the late planting, stronger field management measures, such as more fertiliser use and enhanced pest and disease control, are needed to ensure the next summer harvest, says Liu.