Smog in major grain-producing areas of China, such as the North China Plain, may lead to a reduction in grain yields, according to a recent academic report. Tie Xuexi, a research fellow with the Institute of Earth Environment under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), published an article in June in Scientific Reports, an online journal published by the Nature Publishing Group, which said that his research team has concluded that smog could seriously affect crops’ growth…Full Article: Sept 2016

Key Point

  • According to the study published by CAS’s Institute of Earth Environment, smog could lead to 2% lower rice yields and 8% lower wheat yields in the North China Plain. The study noted that smog can potentially diminish the amount of sunlight crops receive by up to 49%.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In October 2015, northern China was reportedly hit with heavy smog as a result of straw burning. Northern Chinese farmers generally burn leftover straw, also known as stubble burning, after the autumn harvest. Farmers then plough the land and use the burnt straw as a type of natural fertilizer. China banned stubble burning years ago, but the practice is still widespread.
  • The North China Plain comprises the alluvial flood plain the Yellow River and includes the provinces of Shandong, Henan, Hebei, Anhui, Jiangsu, as well as the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin.

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