Renewable Farming

South China Morning Post: Locust invasion intensifies, could impact corn supply

A few Chinese press reports are cautiously mentioning threats to the 2020 grain harvest, including floods and a worsening invasion by locusts in southwest China. We’ve mentioned the locust swarms earlier. Apparently the affected area has widened as harvest starts to approach. 

August 29, 2020: Here’s a snippet about the locust attack from an article on today’s South China Morning Post website:

“The latest infestation comes amid heightened concern about food security in China following heavy flooding along the Yangtze and an outbreak of African swine fever. These have been fueled by anecdotal reports of grain shortages and calls by President Xi Jinping to cut back on food waste.

“The latest figures from the Chinese Agricultural Outlook Committee indicate that demand for corn is likely to exceed supply by more than 16 million tonnes in the 12 months to September 2021.”

The article mentioned that southwest China’s corn harvest is one of the most threatened crops in that area.  Much of Yunnan Province is rolling land or mountainous.  The photo below, from the provincial government and published in the South China Morning Post, shows corn leaves stripped down to the center rib.

A hillside plot of corn hit by locusts in Yunnan Province, China