China leads the world in wheat production. However, concerns have been raised about the possibility of an unusually small winter wheat harvest next month. If the coming harvest is less than ideal, it could drive up food prices even further. Global wheat prices have already climbed by nearly 80 percent since July 2021. (Related: Food scarcity alarm bells ringing in CHINA as farmers face a collapse of fertilizer availability.)
Chinese authorities are also investigating viral videos on Chinese social media platforms showing acres of wheat being cut down before maturation by farmers hoping to get a better price for their crops by selling them for animal feed. Beijing has begun an investigation to check whether any of these early harvests constitute illegal destruction of crops.
These concerns plaguing the coming wheat harvest have all been brought to the attention not only of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) but the whole world as well. Countries that rely on Chinese wheat and those that are unable to purchase wheat from Russia and Ukraine are looking on with interest and dread at the possibility that they will not be able to purchase enough wheat to meet national demands.
In the Pinggu District to the very far east of the Beijing Municipality, villages grow agricultural products like wheat. But many fields in the area are now bald due to damage by the torrential rains last autumn.
The rains flooded many parts of the district and left the soil waterlogged for days, making it difficult for wheat to take root. The wheat crops that were planted, meanwhile, were affected by global supply chain problems that delayed the arrival of fertilizer.
"Right now, it seems that the harvest is definitely affected," said Ren Ruixia, a 45-year-old farmhand. "But it also depends on the weather next month – how much rain we have."
Farmers in villages all over Pinggu gave similar assessments. They are concerned about how well-drained their wheat fields will be and are worried that the recent torrent of rain in China's wheat belt, which has drowned hundreds of people, could leave the soil too waterlogged for wheat sprouts to grow properly.
While Ren and many others like her are in a wait-and-see mode and are hoping for better weather, others around the country are preparing by stockpiling food for the rest of the year.
Cai Wenling, 43, a resident of the southwestern province of Chonqing, has already bought up to four weeks' work of water, milk and meat, so much so that her refrigerator and freezer both are already full. She also has plans to buy over 100 pounds of rice. Her concerns stem from the possibility that the province may be placed under a Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown with the same severity that has left Shanghai's residents reeling.
"For middle-aged people like us, we would be more conservative when we consider things," she said. "We have the confidence, but preparedness averts peril."
Learn more about the state of food production in China and other countries at WorldAgriculture.news.
Watch this episode of "Brighteon Conversations" as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, interviews sustainable living expert Marjory Wildcraft about coming food scarcity and global famine issues.