Chinese officials say millions of hectares of farmland in at least eight rural provinces are threatened by a lengthy drought.
The Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief says the dry spell that began in November has affected nine million hectares of winter wheat crops, and left nearly four million people without proper drinking water.
Authorities say the worst-affected provinces are Henan and Anhui, where the drought has affected more than 60 percent of the winter wheat crop.
The agency says the drought is one "rarely seen in history."
The drought has even affected Beijing, which has gone without rain for more than 100 days, the longest dry spell in nearly 40 years.
In addition to Henan and Anhui, the other affected provinces include Shanxi, Hebei, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shaanxi and Gansu.