Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, all departments in all regions have attached great importance to food production since this year. Increased production and bumper summer crop are the results of their efforts, which include the strict fulfillment of shared responsibility for party-government on food security and a continued increase in support for food production. They overcame unfavorable factors such as late sowing of winter wheat, rising prices of agricultural materials and the spread of COVID-19 nationwide. China's total grain production in summer 2022 was 147.39 million tons (294.8 billion jin), an increase of 1.434 million tons (2.87 billion jin) or 1.0% over the previous year. Among them, wheat production was 135.76 million tons (271.5 billion jin), an increase of 1.286 million tons (2.57 billion jin) or 1.0%.
I. Summer Grain Sowing Area Increased Mildly
China's grain sowing area in summer 2022 was 26.53 million hectares (397.95 million mu), an increase of 92,100 hectares (1.382 million mu) or 0.3% over the previous year. The growth was achieved for the second consecutive year. Among them, 22.962 million hectares (344.43 million mu) of wheat were sown, an increase of 50,800 hectares (762,000 mu) or 0.2%.
The answer to why summer grain sowing areas saw a mild increase: First, the responsibility for food production was well-defined. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attached great importance to the supply of food and important agricultural products, so they carried out a strict food security responsibility assessment. In this way, the production responsibilities of local authorities were well-defined. With a shared responsibility of the Party-Government on arable land protection, they stayed above the arable land red line and enhanced control of arable land use. Second, more effective support policies were adopted. The central government made efforts such as raising the minimum purchase price of wheat, providing stable subsidies for farmers to grow grain, increasing incentives for major grain-producing counties, and promoting full coverage of the full cost insurance for the three major grain crops in major grain-producing counties in the main provinces as well as the planting income insurance. Local authorities made coordinated funding arrangements and stepped up support to protect farmers' income from grain planting. Moreover, farmers were more motivated to grow grain because the price of crops such as wheat had increased. Third, the winter wheat sowing area was secured. Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan, Shaanxi and other regions were hit by severe autumn floods but they ensured the essential winter wheat sowing area by adjusting the planting structure and increasing the number of seeds in non-affected areas. The winter wheat sowing area nationwide was 22.32 million hectares (334.81 million mu), a mild decrease of 67,300 hectares (1.01 million mu) or 0.3% from the previous year. Fourth, the spring wheat sowing area was increased. Xinjiang, Gansu, Ningxia and other regions worked aggressively to sow more spring wheat. This resulted in 642,000 hectares (9.62 million mu) of spring wheat sown nationwide, an increase of 118,100 hectares (1.771 million mu) or 22.6% over the previous year. It did compensate for the reduced area of winter wheat due to the disaster.
II. Summer Grain Yield Per Unit Area Increased Mildly
China's grain yield per unit area in summer 2022 was 5,555.6 kg/hectares (370.4 kg/mu), an increase of 34.9 kg/hectares (2.3 kg/mu) or 0.6 % over the previous year. Among them, the unit area yield of wheat was 5,912.3 kg/hectares (394.2 kg/mu), an increase of 43.0 kg/hectares (2.9 kg/mu) or 0.7%.
The answer to why summer grain yield per unit area saw a mild increase: First, the weather conditions were mostly favorable. Although the northern winter wheat area suffered from autumn floods last year, the temperature rebounded fast at the beginning of spring. Disasters such as late spring coldness and spring drought were minor, making it easier for wheat jointing and tillering. Conditions since the beginning of summer, such as sufficient subsoil moisture and large temperature differences between day and night, helped the grain filling. Most of the sowing in the southern production areas was at the right time, so the meteorological conditions during the growth phase were good. In particular, there was sufficient light and temperature since spring to help crop growth and yield. Second, the measures were appropriate and effective. In response to the delayed sowing, local authorities took mitigation measures such as improving the quality of land preparation, increasing the number of seeds sown, and applying additional base fertilizer; In response to the high proportion of weak seedlings, they intensified the "Science and Technology to Strengthen Seedlings" action to make an effective contribution to the amelioration of seedlings; In response to crops susceptible to pests and diseases, they launched coordinated prevention and control with comprehensive spraying of mixed drugs, resulting in a significant reduction in the area of wheat stripe rust and gibberellic disease. In response to the COVID-19 lockdown in some regions, they promptly cleared the ways for farmers in the field, agricultural supplies to the store, and agricultural machinery on the road, thus pushing for an orderly spring management and summer harvest. Third, the production conditions were continuously improved. In recent years, local authorities stepped up their efforts in the construction of high-standard farmland, the renovation of low- and medium-yielding farmland, and the improvement of farmland infrastructure. They also cultivated and spread excellent varieties and built a diversified agricultural society service system to contribute to a steady increase in grain yield per unit area.
It is good news that China's grain production will be bountiful in summer 2022. This fact laid a good foundation for stabilizing grain production throughout the year, providing great support for stable prices, livelihoods, and economy, as well as a resilient approach to the external environment.