Hi-tech boosts China's autumn agricultural yields

(Xinhua) 14:23, October 20, 2023

JINAN, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Holstein cows with ear tags bearing electronic chips are lining up on the turntable to be identified and milked one by one, while real-time information which helps calculate their yield and milk quality is transmitted to a backstage managing system.

Such a high-tech scene frames the routines of a pasture in Gaoqing County, Zibo City of east China's Shandong Province. The company, Shandong Deyi Dairy Products Co., Ltd., has established a sustainable dairy base which incorporates relevant primary, secondary and tertiary sectors and involves local cooperatives and farmers.

This integrated production and operation model has helped local farmers increase their annual income by more than 40,000 yuan (about 5,570 U.S. dollars) on average, according to Wang Peiliang, chairman and president of the company.

China is witnessing expanding application of science and technology breakthroughs in agriculture, which has also become a major driving force for agricultural and rural economic growth.

It is currently autumn harvest season across the country. In Chaziyuan Village, Tengzhou City of Shandong, local farmers have harvested corn in their fields.

"This year, we've seen a splendid harvest of corn. The highest yield per mu (about 0.067 hectares) last year was around 750 kg on our farm, while the average yield per mu of the patches where we have piloted a dense planting technology exceeded 1,200 kg this year!" exclaimed Sun Haiyang, who is in charge of the corn farm.

At the cucumber cultivation demonstration base in Qudi Sub-district of Jinan, the Shandong provincial capital, several smart greenhouses are sure to draw visitors' attention.

These greenhouses are covered by a mobile 5G network, and tap into big data, the Internet of Things and other agricultural information technologies to realize all-round monitoring of crops and remote control of the equipment inside the greenhouses.

Data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs shows that in the past decade, China has attached great importance to improving its mechanization level in the whole process of grain production.

The comprehensive mechanization rate of its wheat, corn and rice production surpassed 97 percent, 90 percent and 85 percent, respectively, with such agricultural machinery increasingly contributing to its high grain yields, according to official statistics.

"Science and technology have given industry development in rural China wings," said Li Xiangdong, head of Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences. This academy has developed a new cooperation model via which researchers, cooperative members and local farmers can all engage in rural revitalization.

In three demonstration counties applying the new model, namely Zhaoyuan, Feixian and Yuncheng, 590 new varieties, 495 new technologies and 123 sets of new equipment have been promoted on local farms.

These have combined to deliver economic benefits topping 4 billion yuan for the locals and raised the contribution rate of scientific and technological progress to the agriculture sector by about 10 percent on average, Li added.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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