Farmers load the harvested rice at Gangkou township in Yueyang county, Central China's Hunan province, July 11, 2020. (Photo/Xinhua)
Rising corn prices spur production, while cut in subsidies hits soybeans
China's grain output hit a record high 683 million metric tons this year, up 2 percent year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics announced on Monday.
Wang Minghua, deputy director of the bureau's rural department, said the nation's grain output has exceeded 650 million tons for seven consecutive years.
The country has implemented strict tillage protection policies and resolutely prohibited non-agricultural use of farmland, he said.
"We have supported the reclamation of uncultivated land, developed vacant farmland in winter, and encouraged farmers to keep growing grain," Wang said.
As a result, the sown area this year reached 118 million hectares, up 0.7 percent from last year. The area sown with maize and wheat increased, while that of rice fell slightly.
Rising corn prices saw the area planted with that crop increase by 5 percent year-on-year－the most for any crop－to 43.3 million hectares.
The planting area of beans fell 12.7 percent, mainly due to a reduction in subsidies for growing soybeans, while the area planted with potatoes increased.
Extreme weather conditions in some regions this year, such as floods in Henan province and droughts in northwestern China, affected autumn grain production.
However, weather conditions in major growing areas were generally conducive to the growth of crops. An expansion of the area sown with high-yield corn also contributed to the increase in total grain yield.
A sample survey showed the nation's grain yield this year was 5.8 tons a hectare, up 1.2 percent year-on-year. Wheat and rice yields increased, while that of corn decreased slightly due to the impact of floods in areas including Henan.
The output of rice, wheat and corn all increased this year, with corn leading the way－up 4.6 percent year-on-year to 273 million tons－the bureau said.
The output of beans was down 14.1 percent, with soybean output falling 16.4 percent.
The northeastern provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region contributed 70.3 percent to the total output increase, with Heilongjiang province ranking first in the country in both total output and sown area.
Grain production in Henan fell by 2.8 million tons.
This year's grain harvest has ensured national food security and laid a solid foundation for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), Wang said.