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Rain-soaked fields raise concerns of poor rice crop

2023-08-07 09:59:14China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

One of the country's most famous rice cultivation areas is threatened with a huge grain loss due to the heavy rain and flooding brought by remnants of Typhoon Doksuri.

More than 40,000 people were relocated, and vast areas of paddy fields remained soaked by water in the city of Wuchang, Heilongjiang province, a major commodity grain base and home of the famous Wuchang rice.

The impact on the crops in Wuchang was not yet known, China News Service reported on Saturday.

From midnight Wednesday to 8 am Friday, Wuchang received the heaviest rainfall in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province, which administers Wuchang, according to Harbin Meteorological Bureau data released on Friday.

Wuchang has the largest area of arable land in Harbin. It is a major center of rice cultivation in China, with a yield of 700,000 metric tons last year, China News Service reported.

Wuchang rice is famous for its unique flavor and texture. It is grown in the fertile black soil of Heilongjiang province. The province's large temperature difference between day and night help produce rice that is high in starch and low in moisture, resulting in a firm, chewy texture.

Farmers are currently concerned about the limited time left to drain the water in the paddy fields.

"This is the time when rice is least tolerant to rain and cannot withstand being soaked in water. A reduction in the rice crop yield is inevitable. We only hope that the rain stops soon, and the floodwaters quickly recede, so we can minimize the damage to the greatest extent," a farmer told China News Service.

"Currently, the local rice is in the heading and flowering stage, and has poor tolerance to water immersion. My paddy field was flooded yesterday afternoon. If the water can recede within two days, the loss is still manageable. But if it's inundated by water for more than three days, there will be no rice harvested in those fields," a local farmer surnamed Wang told Tide News of Zhejiang province about her 20 hectares of paddy fields on Friday.

Regarding the crop damage in Wuchang, a local government official told China News Service that they do not have specific data at the moment and no statistics had been gathered so far. "We are all fighting against the flood in rural areas," the official said.

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