China's Wheat Harvest Hit By Hevy Rain, Hail

Heavy rain and hail is hampering Chinese farmers attempts to get the winter wheat harvest in, according to media reports.

Storms have claimed at least 60 lives in different parts of the country since the beginning of this month as the country entered its main flood season which ends in August.

As of Tuesday, 57.3 per cent or nearly 13.3 million hectares, had been harvested, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

"Heavy rains hit central and eastern parts of the country between Sunday and Tuesday and delayed the harvest of wheat," the ministry said on its website Wednesday.

The main winter wheat areas of Henan, Shandong and Hebei Provinces have seen wheat fields flattened by hail "as big as walnuts" leaving farmers and officials attempting to harvest wheat by hand.

In Shandong Province, the second largest wheat growing area, the militia have been firing shells and rockets laden with chemicals into the clouds to make them rain instead of form hail.