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Farmers fear fruitless harvest due to prolonged drought Updated: 2015-10-08 14:55:26 KST


It's a typical scene at soybean fields in Korea these days.
With just one month left until farmers are scheduled to harvest this year's soybean crop, the plants are dry and brittle from a prolonged drought that's gripped the country since the summer.
It's the same for these sesame leaf fields, which should be lush and green, but instead look dry and barren.


"We've had droughts from time to time before. But they were never as bad as the one this year."

Things are worse in these cabbage fields, located at the foot of a mountain, where the water supply from nearby rivers and reservoirs has dwindled.


"We can't get water from these mountain valleys, which is why our cabbages are not in good shape."

The Korea Meteorological Administration says that Seoul and the neighboring Gyeonggi-do province saw below-average precipitation levels from January to the end of September, with just 43-percent of the average amount of rainfall.
The total amount of rainfall nationwide during the same period was 63-percent of the average, far short of the drought threshold of 80-percent.
The weather agency also says this year's monsoon season was shorter and drier than normal and the country had no typhoons from July to September.


"With the influence of El Nino, the North Pacific anticyclone was mostly focused in the south, causing water supplies to run short."

(standup)
"With the drought expected to continue, experts are calling on the government to intervene, by creating canals or installing wells and reservoirs, to ensure there is enough water for the nation's agricultural products.
Connie Kim, Arirang News."
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