Heilongjiang is a key province. According to National Bureau of Statistics data, Heilongjiang accounted for about 10 percent of China's grain production and area planted in grain during 2013. According to the new report, the province's grain output reached 60 million metric tons and rose 4.2 percent during 2013. The Heilongjiang report says the province's grain output rose a cumulative 73 percent from 2007 to 2013. The report brags that Heilongjiang surpassed Henan in 2011 and is now clearly the leading grain-producing province.
Heilongjiang's area planted in grain rose only 0.4 percent. This slight change hides big increases in rice and corn area offset by declines in area planted to soybeans, wheat, and other grains. Soybean area fell 8.8 percent. Its decline of 234,000 hectares nearly matched the gain in corn area of 257,000 hectares. Rice rose by 106,000 ha.
|Heilongjiang Province Area Planted in Grain|
|Grain||Area, 2013||Change from 2012|
|1000 ha||1000 ha||Percent|
Heilongjiang's 4.3-percent increase in output derives largely from a substitution of high-yielding crops (corn and rice) for low-yielding ones (soybeans and wheat). The Heilongjiang statisticians calculate that the change in cropping patterns contributed about half of the 2.6-mmt increase in provincial grain output. Increased overall area planted contributed another 0.225 mmt. Increases in yields of particular crops contributed 38.5 percent of the increase in Heilongjiang's grain output.
At the national level, the National Bureau of Statistics's chief crop statistician estimated that the shift from low- to high-yield crops contributed 3.96-mmt, or 32 percent, of this year's increase in national grain output. He attributed the increase in grain output first of all to subsidies and price supports that increased farmers' enthusiasm for planting grain. He said northern provinces had abundant rainfall and normal sunlight that boosted yields. Corn yields hit 6 metric tons per hectare for the first time. Measures to mitigate the impact of drought and floods are also credited for the increased grain harvest.