The coming North Korean rice harvest is set to be adversely affected by the unseasonal period of heavy rain that has hit many areas of the Korean Peninsula this August.
According to the North Korean state media, parts of North and South Hwanghae, the country’s main rice producing areas, received almost 500mm of rain in the three days between August 17th and 20th, with the greatest rainfall, 499mm, reportedly falling in Pyeongsan County.
The Korea Meteorological Administration, South Korea’s weather agency, recorded some differences, recording instead that between the 18th and 20th the town of Shingye received 446mm of rain. Notably, that means that Shingye has received 572mm since August 1st.
Experts say that such a situation is likely to have a detrimental effect on the autumn harvest.
According to Seoul National University agriculture specialist Professor Lee Byun Woo, “Heavy, focused rains obviously can wash away farmland, but if the crops are under water for a prolonged period then that can bring additional problems. Even if the water is taken off the fields, it still makes the plants weak and will lead to reduced production.”
“It does depend on the water quality involved, but if muddy water swamps a field for just two days, that can kill a large proportion of the rice in that field,” Prof. Lee added.