Sci-tech specialists aid farmers plagued by floods in NE China

(Xinhua) 10:27, August 19, 2023

Agricultural technicians check conditions of rice at a rice field affected by floods in Shangzhi City, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Aug. 11, 2023. (Xinhua/Zhang Tao)

BEIJING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Hao Changyou, a rice farmer in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, felt immense gratitude toward the agricultural experts who came to his aid, rescuing his rice plants after recent floods devastated his paddy fields.

"The professional guidance and assistance filled me with confidence in saving my crops," Hao said.

Since the beginning of August, the country's top grain production province has been hit hard by floods caused by typhoons. This has resulted in significant damage to vital crops including rice, soybeans and corn. Even after the floodwaters receded, concerns over crop rescue remained.

Groups of sci-tech workers in agriculture were arranged by local governments and provincial science institutions to guide farmers in affected areas to save crops and reduce losses in a scientific way.

Wuchang City, known as the main production area of high-quality rice in the province, was seriously affected by the disaster. At one point, it saw water exceed flood-limit levels in its large and medium-sized reservoirs.

The Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences (HAAS) sent several teams of agronomists to Wuchang's various towns. After investigating the affected crops, they answered the farmers' questions and explained available remedial measures that could save their rice plants.

This aerial photo taken on Aug. 9, 2023 shows flooded paddy fields in Xingye Village of Anjia Town in Wuchang, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. (Xinhua/Zhang Tao)

At Dongsheng Village, Wuchang, the floodwaters have receded, leaving dry soil on the rice leaves and affecting the growth of rice plants. Song Xiandong, head of the provincial plant protective station, suggested ripening the rice immediately while preventing a rice blast.

In some paddy fields where there has been minimal impact and rice continues to grow well, agricultural experts instructed farmers to use drones to dispense fertilizer. They also gave advice on farmland management in view of the recent heavy rainfall and high humidity.

As of Monday, the HAAS has dispatched more than 120 sci-tech workers to guide post-disaster farm production and assist in crop rescue in different cities.

The provincial department of science and technology has also called on over 3,000 agricultural sci-tech personnel from research institutions and agricultural universities to assist with farm rescue guidance in flooded areas.

Soybean expert Wang Yanping from the HAAS is one of the sci-tech workers who have devoted themselves to farm assistance for days. Since early August, Wang has worked along with his team and traveled between towns of Mudanjiang, another hard-hit city and a soybean producing area in the country.

"Up to now, we have visited more than 10 affected towns, including Ning'an and Hailin, and strived to help farmers reduce their losses and promote soybean harvest," Wang said.

To help restore agricultural production quickly and prevent past-disaster crop diseases and pests, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Heilongjiang Province has set up work guidance teams to hard-hit cities and towns, and mobilized hundreds of agricultural machinery service teams.

A total of more than 800 agricultural machinery teams and about 5,000 pumps have been put into disaster relief as of Aug. 13, with an accumulated farmland drainage area reaching 4.3 million mu (about 286,667 hectares) in the province.

(Web editor: Cai Hairuo, Liang Jun)


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