17 Jan 2011 11:43

China's crops face more blight and pests this year - report

Beijing. January 17. INTERFAX-CHINA - Incidents of agricultural blight and crop damage in China this year are expected to surpass last year, state media reported Jan. 17.

According to a Farmers' Daily report, the National Agro-Tech Extension and Service Center, a Beijing-based research institute, issued the forecast based on weather conditions expected this coming summer and the present health of key crops.

Sheath blight is expected to affect many rice plantations while locusts and cotton bollworm will be prevalent in north China and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the report said.

Pests and blight cost China between 35 million and 50 million tons of grain each year, said Xu Hongzhi, an analyst with industry consultancy Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co., Ltd (BOABC).

Pesticide sales in 2011 will be higher than last year's total of RMB 70 billion ($10.62 billion), Xu added.

-Li Xin