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China Flooding Affects Estimated 2 Million Hectares, USDA Says

Flooding in Northeast China may have affected more than 2 million hectares (4.94 million acres) of crop land, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service wrote, citing local estimates.

The region had “unusually heavy” summer rainfall, with precipitation 40 percent to 50 percent above normal, resulting in widespread flooded and waterlogged farmland, the FAS wrote in an online report dated Aug. 29.

Northeast China is one of the country’s most important farming regions, producing 42 percent of its corn, 45 percent of soybeans and 16 percent of rice in 2011, the service wrote. The four Northeast provinces had an estimated 28.7 million hectares of planted area in 2011, according to the report.

“The impact of flooding on China’s total soybean crop, which is planted intensively in Northeast China, is likely to be proportionally greater than for corn or rice,” the FAS said.

Losses caused by flooding may be offset by higher yields in areas outside the flood-impacted zones, the FAS wrote. The service cited concerns that wetness could cause more-than-usual disease and insect damage, while weather-related harvest delays could lead to losses from early frost.

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