Wuchang is a county-level district of Harbin, capital city of Heilongjiang, the northernmost province of China’s Northeast region. The city is famous for its agricultural product, especially the extremely popular Wuchang rice.
Wuchang is a semi-mountainous city covering a total area of 7,500 square kilometers. Its ground slopes from southeast to northwest.
Though labour use in rice cultivation has been declining, wet rice is still one of the most labour-intensive crops in the world due to its massive requirement of human labor during different growing stages such as land preparation, transplanting seeding, growing and harvesting.
Wuchang is a county-level district of Harbin, Harbin boasts one of the world’s three black lands that are suitable for rice planting. Thanks to the fertile soil, abundant sunshine and rain, Harbin has managed to develop a unique rice brand known to the whole of China and many parts of the world.
The depth of Harbin’s black soil ranges from 40 to 100 centimeters, with rich organic matter resulting from the rotting of a large amount of leaves for thousands of years.
Statistics reveal that the amount of precipitation in Harbin throughout the year ranges from 400 to 900 millimeters. Also, the Songhua River and its tributaries offer pollution-free irrigation water for the rice in the region.
Thanks to the suitable climate, the rice maturity period can reach 135 to 140 days, in addition the significant temperature difference between day and night greatly facilitate the accumulation of nutrients and amylose in the rice.
Wuchang has a very long history of rice cultivation. According to historical records, an emperor of the Qing Dynasty specified the rice grown in Wuchang for imperial use. Therefore, the Wuchang rice is also known as the Wuchang imperial rice.