Country Profiles – China

China has taken part in the agri benchmark Network since 2007. This partnership was intensified constantly. As a result, Xiangdong Hu (Beijing University of Agriculture) stayed as a visiting researcher at the Thünen Institute (Braunschweig, Germany) in 2010/2011 and participated actively in the agri benchmark Network research and activities.

Below, you find some basic information on Chinese agriculture. Detailed information on CN5XI, the first Chinese typical farm within the agri benchmark Network located in Xinzhou district, Hubei province, is provided as download. In the near future, a second typical farm in Henan province focusing on wheat shall be established.

Arable Farming in China

Annual precipitation in China

China can roughly be divided into four different agro-climatic zones.

  • The desert areas in the West, mountain ranges including Tibet and Inner Mongolia: This is a vast area and since precipitation is below 200 mm and average temperatures range between -4 and 12°C it is dominated by grassland and used for animal husbandry. Covering such a huge area, China’s overall land use consists of 42 % grassland (see figure below).
  • The North Eastern region close to Beijing is rather flat and its climatic conditions (rainfall: 600-1,000 mm; average temperature: 2-14°C) favour wheat, corn, and soybean production.
  • The subtropical regions of the South are characterized by more than 1,000 mm and annual average temperatures above 14°C. Here, rice, tea plantations and most of the forests can be found.
  • Further to the South East and towards the coast, precipitation may reach up to 2,000 mm and temperatures average 18-24°C. Under such tropical conditions two to even three harvests can be realized and also sugar cane is planted on a small area.

Regions of agricultural production

Main regions of agricultural production in China

In general, China can use only 14 % of its territory for agricultural production. Including fruit and tea plantations this amounted to nearly 135 Mio. ha in 2009. Since partially double cropping is practiced, in 2009 about 172 Mio. ha could be harvested. Almost a quarter of China’s territory is lost to roads, settlements, industrial areas and deserts.

Rice, wheat and corn are the three most important crops covering up to 55 % of the sown area. Over the years, rice and wheat acreages have slightly reduced since yields grew and competition for land tightened. Since 1990, corn acreage increased by 45 %, which is used predominantly as animal feed. Non-GMO-soybeans are grown both for food and feed. Tubers combine potatoes and cassava and production has been rather stable over time. Sugar beets can be found in the northern regions but are of minor importance. During the analyzed period vegetable acreage tripled. Also fruit orchards for apples, pears and citrus grew. Other crops include among others tobacco, fibre plants and further cereals.

Land Use in China

Land use in China, 2009
Land use in China 2009
Agricultural land use in China, 2009
Agricultural land use in China 2009

For Download

6 Files
Arable farming in China (PDF: 2.304 KB)Download
This pdf-document provides basic data on Chinese agriculture as given on the website. In addition you find information on the relevance of rapeseed, rice, wheat and corn production in Chinese agricultural production.
china part 3 (PDF: 183 KB)Download

Partner China

photo - xiangdong hu


Xiandong Hu

Beijing University of Agriculture

Beijing, China

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