Severe drought, heat wave grip agricultural heartland

Authorities move quickly to tackle challenges, cadres taking action at grassroots level

By Zhu Lixin in Fuyang, Anhui, Zhu Xingxin in Taiyuan,Zhu Xingxin and Qi Xin in Zhengzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-18 07:17
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Guo Qinliang, a farmer in Linquan county, Anhui province, irrigates his newly planted corn on Friday. ZHU LIXIN/CHINA DAILY

As the temperature gauge hit 38 C in Linquan county, Anhui province, on Friday afternoon, farmer Guo Qinliang was more worried about his crops than the scorching heat.

"I don't really fear the heat wave, but I do worry a lot about the continuing drought," said Guo, from Liuda village in Yangqiao township.

Guo, in his 60s, had arrived at his cornfield before 4 am, planning to finish a third round of irrigation as quickly as possible with water from the village's drought relief wells.

Liu Zigui, Party chief of Liuda village, said, "The last time it rained was on May 23."

After the rain, asking migrant workers to return home to harvest the wheat crop was trending on Chinese social media platforms. "At the beginning, we were happy to see it was remaining sunny as it was good for wheat harvesting," Liu said.

Harvesting the village's 4,300 mu (287 hectares) of wheat began on May 27 and was finished in about a week.

However, planting the next crop was a major problem, as the farmers realized the soil was too dry and hard for planting corn, Liu said.

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