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South China early summer harvest is washing away

Erratic weather is adding to farming challenges across China. Authorities are reporting increasing numbers of weather-related crop failures. But recent years have not matched the losses seen in 2013, when floods, storms, and other water problems wiped out 11 million hectares of crops. With earthquakes and other disasters, 31 million hectares were lost overall.

Guangdong farmers expect a challenge from the early summer “dragon boat rains,” and plan their year around the prime fall and winter growing season. Excessive rain and little sunshine have dominated the weather of Guangdong for weeks. Although the heavily industrialized province is only in 19th place regarding food output, it has many rural communities growing vegetables, fruit and rice, which have been hit hard by the unrelenting rains and floods.

Insurance claims for agricultural losses rose sharply after flash floods swept across large swathes of Guangdong, reaching 328 million yuan (about $49 million) as of June 23. The damage was exacerbated by Typhoon Chaba, which landed in Guangdong on Saturday, flattening crops.


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