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China: Winter Wheat 'Worst in History'

Heavy rainfall last year delayed planting of about one-third of the normal wheat acreage

The condition of China's winter wheat crop could be the "worst in history," the agriculture minister said on Saturday, raising concerns about grain supplies in the world's biggest wheat consumer, Reuters reports.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Tang Renjian told reports that rare heavy rainfall last year delayed the planting of about one-third of the normal wheat acreage.

A survey of the winter wheat crop taken before the start of winter found the amount of first- and second-grade crop was down by more than 20%.

Tang is confident, however, that China can ensure a bumper harvest of summer grain thanks to strong policy and the improving crop condition for the grain.

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