Shandong wheat crop beats expectations: local gov

The condition of winter wheat crops in Shandong province in northern China is reported to be better than previously thought as government fundings help shrug off the impact of delayed planting and lower fertilizer usage.

About 84% of the 60 million mu (4 million hectare) planted winter wheat crops in the province have been assessed to be first/second category, the equivalent of good/excellent condition.

The figure was up 32% compared with roughly two months ago and was close to the average level seen in recent years.

More importantly, it beat expectations “notably” according to the Shandong government.

Concerns for winter wheat crop yield in China mounted earlier this year as strong rainfalls last year delayed the planting progress and rising fertilizer costs forced farmers to apply less to their crops.

The government has allocated around 600 million yuan ($90 million) to support wheat crops in the region through measures such as subsidizing farmers for fertilizers and pesticides.

Shandong is a pivotal area on the east side of China’s main wheat growing region that spans from Shaanxi province in the northwest to Hebei, Shandong and Jiangsu provinces on the east coast.

More than 90% of winter wheat crops have blossomed as of last week and the rest of crops are still in the heading stage.