Latest methods play vital role in spring farmwork

By ZHAO RUIXUE in Jinan, TAN YINGZI and DENG RUI in Chongqing| (China Daily)| Updated : 2022-03-30

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Xue Lina (center), who runs an agricultural cooperative in Mazhuang town, Tai'an, Shandong, inspects wheat crops. [Provided to China Daily]

Work made easier

Agricultural cooperatives and owners of large farms are using machines and smart equipment throughout the entire wheat production process, which has made farmwork more efficient, Wang said.

"For example, plowing machines can penetrate deep into the soil, which is good for root development," Wang added.

The cooperative run by Xue in Mazhuang has 18 workers, who operate on 87 hectares of arable land used to grow wheat and corn.

"About 98 percent of the work related to wheat production, from plowing to harvesting, is done by machines," said Xue, adding that such automation has increased yield substantially.

More than 22 million machines such as tractors, plows and seed sowers, will be used for farmwork this spring, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

In Chongqing, a new type of printer for use specifically by farmers is making planting rice much easier. Instead of using ink, the device spills out rice seeds and groups them into 65-centimeter-wide straw pulp paper backing sheets, which are then laid out in rice paddies ready for the seeds to sprout.

Liang Jinlong, an agronomist at Sinochem Agriculture Holdings, said farmers no longer need to sow seeds manually, but can simply lay these evenly printed seed paper sheets in paddies and cover them with plastic film. Under normal conditions, the seeds sprout and grow, while the straw pulp paper decomposes naturally.

The germination rate is 97 percent, Liang said.

Depending on the user's skill, these machines can print sufficient seed paper to cover 0.13 to 0.20 hectares of land per minute-enough to meet the needs of an entire village. The cost to farmers is about 180 yuan ($28) per hectare.

Yang Xiwen, Party secretary of Xinjian village, Wujian county of Chongqing's Yongchuan district, said, "Compared to manual sowing, seed-printing technology is more precise, saving over 30 percent of seeds and lowering the cost of sowing from 450 yuan per hectare."

The printers ensure a more even distribution of seeds than achieved manually, and prevent overseeding or areas of land that are missed by manual sowing. They also increase the quality and yield of rice, Yang said.

Yu Shenyun, 70, a farmer in Xinjian, said: "Manual seeding is very tiring. It takes more than a day to sow 1 mu (0.07 hectares) of land manually, but with the help of such machinery, this work becomes much easier and can be done in half a day."

In addition to Chongqing, the printers are being used elsewhere, including Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan and Sichuan provinces.

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