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Limited affects from COVID-19 on winter crop greening-up and land preparation for early rice


March 30, 2020

CropWatch team of the Chinese Academy of Sciences uses multi-source remote sensing data including Sentinel-2 and Landsat 8, together with the field survey data collected using GVG App (Freely available at Google Play or iOS APP Store). Analyses based on Big Earth Data revrealed favorable crop condition of winter crops after dormancy and advanced progress of land preparation for early rice in Southern China. Yield is expected to be above that of 2019 for the summer harvest.

 

1.      Overall growth conditions of winter wheat are better than the same period last year

Over the major winter wheat-producing areas, 36% of the cultivated area presented above 2019 crop condition, mostly distributed in the Provinces of Hebei, northwest Shandong, central and northeast Jiangsu, and Shaanxi. Only 2% of the cultivated area in the area showed inferior condition compared to 2019, scatterly distributed in different provinces.

Figure 1. Crop growth condition in the major winter wheat-producing areas (March 1st to 10th)

 

As for each province, winter crops in Hebei, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Shandong, Jiangsu, Henan and Anhui provinces performed well, with 75%, 62%, 54%, 43%, 35%, 23% and 21% of cultivated area presented above 2019’s condition, respectively. Less than 3% of the area under cultivation showed crop condition below 2019 for all provinces except for Hubei. It is noteworthy that crop condition was lower than 2019 at Jingzhou and Puyang municipal region in Hubei Province, accounting for 8% of the province's winter crop cultivation area. Overall, the outbreak of COVID-19 in China has limited impacts in the growth of winter crops.

 

Figure 2. Statistical proportion of winter crops condition compared to 2019 for each province

Besides, the February CropWatch Bulletin (cloud.cropwatch.com.cn/report/show?id=141) has reported that the cultivated area during winter cropping season at Hunaghuaihai Region in 2020 was significantly above the previous five years average. If no severe disasters occur for the next two months and proper farm management are to be carried out, there will be another bumper harvest of winter crops in 2020.

 

2.      Land preparation for early rice starts earlier than last year

Guangdong Province, located in the southern part of China as one of the major early rice producing area, is one of the first provinces to carry out early rice cultivation every year. Remote sensing observations revealed that the land preparation for early rice sowing and transplanting starts earlier than last year. By March 10th, land preparation activities accounted for 14% of the total paddy fields area, which is 3% advance compared with same period in 2019. Zhuhai, Dongguan, and Zhongshan Municiple regions presented more than 8% in advance of rice field preparation compared to last year.