It was a sunny day and farmers were busy reaping wheat in their fields in Liudian township, Queshan county, Zhumadian city, central China's Henan Province.
"We must hurry up and harvest the wheat as fast as we can," said Liu Jianxin, a harvester operator from north China's Hebei Province, adjacent to Henan.
The harvester started to work in the fields at 8 a.m., and it finished reaping the wheat on more than 20 mu (1.33 hectares) of land before noon that day.
In late May, persistent rain hit many regions in northern China, affecting summer grain harvest. To cope with the continuous rainfall, China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) issued an emergency notice requiring relevant provinces to speed up the harvesting and drying of wheat.
As of 5 p.m. on June 1, winter wheat planted on more than 57 million mu of land across China had been reaped, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of all wheat to be harvested this summer.
Hubei Province in central China and Sichuan Province in southwest China are about to enter the ending phase of wheat harvesting, Anhui Province in east China and Henan Province in central China have harvested more than 20 percent of wheat, and Shaanxi Province in northwest China has reaped nearly 10 percent of wheat, according to a department in charge of mechanical harvesting of wheat from MARA.
This year, the total area of winter wheat to be harvested exceeds 330 million mu, which is more than last year.
To ensure a bumper harvest of summer grain, MARA has launched an effort to analyze the current situation of grain production and harvest, and required relevant provinces to inspect grain fields affected by rain and timely drain rainwater from fields.
MARA also required efforts to scientifically schedule harvesters in accordance with the growth stage of wheat, the stage of wheat harvest and the weather, as well as to utilize machines to dry wheat to prevent them from rotting.
On May 30, Henan Province issued 200 million yuan ($28.28 million) in emergency funds to dry wheat affected by rain. A total of 170,000 wheeled harvest machines and 30,000 tracked harvest machines were also deployed.
"The province is going all out to accelerate summer grain harvest, and this round of wheat harvest will be completed by around June 15," said Sun Weifeng, head of Henan’s department of agriculture and rural affairs.
Anhui Province has established 122 harvest service teams, taken measures to speed up wheat harvest, and deployed drying machines to guarantee the smooth harvest of wheat grain. The province plans to deploy about 200,000 harvesters to try to finish reaping wheat in around 10 days.