ZHENGZHOU, Dec. 8 -- A two-month drought is plaguing China's major wheat production areas, according to local agricultural and drought relief authorities.
The four drought-hit provinces of Henan, Anhui, Shandong and Hebei produce more than half of the country's summer grain, 90 percent of which is wheat, and account for 22 percent of China's arable land.
Since October, lack of rain and high temperatures has restricted wheat growth in the provinces.
In Henan, China's biggest grain-producing province, the dry weather has affected some 730,000 hectares of wheat crops, accounting for 10 percent of the province's total arable land, said Yang Biantong, spokesman of the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.
In neighboring Anhui province, more than 667,000 hectares of wheat crops were affected, according to the provincial agricultural work committee.
"Some 400,000 hectares of drought-hit wheat crops were in urgent need of water. The dry weather will have a significant impact on wheat output," said a spokesman of the committee.
In Shandong, neighboring Henan and Anhui, the drought had dried out more than 1.4 million hectares of wheat crops, or 40 percent of the province's wheat growing area, said the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.
Yang Chengfang, deputy head of the provincial meteorological observatory, said in the past two months, Shandong received an average rainfall of 7 millimeters, a 86 percent decrease year-on-year.
In Hebei province, 547,000 hectares of wheat crops were hit by the drought, said Guo Yingchun, an expert of the provincial meteorological observatory.
The meteorological authorities in Anhui and Shandong said although they forecasted a cold front this week, no significant rainfall was likely.