China's summer grain output hit a record high in the first half of this year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on July 20.
Zeng Yande, chief of the ministry's development and planning department, said that measured by area, yield, and total output, the summer grain harvest was good this year.
"The area under cultivation increased by 265,500 hectares, reversing the downturn over the past five years," Zeng said.
The yield per hectare was 5.52 metric tons, an increase for the third consecutive year, and total output was 146 million tons, an increase of 2.97 million tons over last year.
Meanwhile, grain quality continued to improve. High-quality wheat accounted for 37.3 percent of the total area, a year-on-year increase of 1.5 percentage points, Zeng said.
"The wheat machinery yield rate exceeded 98 percent, and the loss rate in major production areas dropped by over 1 percentage point," he added.
Nearly 70 percent of the early rice harvest has been completed. Meanwhile, the area cultivated for autumn grains is experiencing normal growth, laying a solid foundation for a bumper fall harvest too.
Liu Lihua, deputy director of the ministry's crop production department, said that autumn grains will account for 75 percent of this year's total output.
July to September is a crucial period for autumn grains, when droughts, floods and typhoons frequently batter the country.
"At present, it is the busy season for early rice harvests and late rice planting in southern China," Liu said. "We have arranged for agricultural machinery in double-cropping rice-producing areas to speed up the early rice harvest and ensure grains return to the granary."
The ministry made targeted emergency plans for the prevention of agricultural disasters in a conference with other ministries, including those in charge of responding to emergencies and water resources.
"Our focus is to prevent summer drought in Northeast China, local floods in the Yellow and Huaihe river regions, and the effect of heat and typhoons in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River," Liu said, adding that disease and insects must also be taken into account.
Responding to market concerns over poor quality wheat due to rainy weather, Liu said that the area moderately affected by head blight accounted for only 0.3 percent of the total wheat producing area, and didn't extend to the major production areas.
"Disease has had a limited effect on the country's overall wheat quality," Liu said.