Farmers in Jilin province face short planting season

Due to Covid restrictions, farmers in Jilin continue to face challenges with the ongoing planting campaign. Most farmers report typically starting field work and preparations for spring planting in late March, however this was pushed back to April in most cases, shortening the time available to prepare for spring planting.

Most of Jilin province has seen weather improve in recent days and most of the areas are now planting corn.

Although Jilin has made some accommodations for farmers to return to their farms from cities such as Changchun or Jilin City, some farmers are stuck outside the province and unable to return.

In those cases, they are being encouraged to lease out the land, so it is still planted with crops. However, that may mean a financial hit for those farmers.

Even for farmers within Jilin province, returning to their villages from the cities can be difficult.

In theory, farmers are allowed to return if the area they were living in had no cases for seven consecutive days, and they have completed three PCR tests within that period. They are also required to have a negative PCR test result from within the past 48 hours, and do a rapid antigen test when arriving in their village.

Although this is the formal requirement, many farmers have still reported difficulty returning to their villages due to over-zealous covid enforcement from village officials.

Rice is also a common crop in Jilin and is facing challenges. One farmer in a recent news article said his rice seedlings were delayed which impacted the planting date. Normally, they plant the seedlings on May 10th. This year that planting date may be May 18th or later, which increases risks of frost damage in the autumn affecting yields.

Logistics also remains a challenge with truck driver demanding higher rates for trips in Jilin, a similar pattern to what has been seen in Shanghai. Many truck drivers still report difficulty and are typically sealed into the cab of their truck for the entire length of the trip.