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China to Protect Grain Harvest by Generating Rain with Chemicals

Chinese authorities are taking steps to ensure the autumn grain harvest


China says it will try to protect its grain harvest from record-setting drought by using chemicals to generate rain, reports The Associated Press.

The hottest, driest summer since the government began recording rainfall and temperature 61 years ago has wilted crops and left reservoirs at half their normal water level.

Authorities will take emergency steps to "ensure the autumn grain harvest," which is 75% of China's annual total, Agriculture Minister Tang Renjian told the Global Times on Friday.

Authorities will "try to increase rain" by seeding clouds with chemicals and spraying crops with a "water retaining agent" to limit evaporation, Tang's ministry said on its website. It gave no details of where that would be done.

A smaller Chinese grain harvest would have a potential global impact. It would boost demand for imports, adding to upward pressure on inflation in the United States and Europe that is running at multi-decade highs.

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