Innovative farming fuels efficiency for 'new farmers' in E China's Jiangxi

(People's Daily Online) 13:10, April 11, 2024

Innovative farm facilities are making farm work more efficient and cost-saving for China's "new farmers,” who are equipped with new ideas, new technologies, and new farming skills.

Drones, factory-based seedling cultivation, and big data-empowered cropland management systems, among other new tools, methods, and means of agricultural production, have infused new prospects into agricultural production activities across the country.

A farmer drives an agricultural machine to transplant rice seedlings in a field in Yangwan village, Cailing township, Duchang county, Jiujiang city, east China's Jiangxi Province. (Photo/Fu Jianbin)

In China's major agricultural province of Jiangxi, "new farmers" have used various modern farm facilities to improve efficiency and reduce costs in the ongoing spring farming.

He Xiaozhong, a major grain grower in Huating village, Longtian township, Yongxin county, Ji'an city of Jiangxi, recently used a drone to sow rice seeds.

After taking off, the drone accurately and evenly dispersed seeds along a pre-set flight path. He monitored the seed level of the drone's seed box through a control panel.

"Previously we had to bend over to sow seeds, but now we can do the job with just a few finger motions," He said.

Drones can disperse seeds more evenly and efficiently, thus effectively saving costs, according to He, who has obtained land use rights for 2,000 mu (133.33 hectares) of land this year.

"It used to take a whole day for more than 10 people to sow rice seeds on 20 mu of land. Now, a drone can handle the work in just an hour. Moreover, it can save 50 yuan ($6.91) per mu," He said.

"Farming isn't just about physical labor, it requires brainwork, too. My latest 'farm work' is figuring out the ideal formula for fertile soil," said Liu Qing, executive of a professional agricultural machinery cooperative in Taihe county, Ji'an city.

Holding up a tray filled with enriched soil for seedlings, Liu explained that the cooperative has made continuous efforts to adjust soil nutrient ratios to ensure fast, neat, uniform and robust seedling growth and reduce production risks.

According to Liu, the cooperative has signed contracts with more than 400 farmer households to take care of rice seedling cultivation and harvesting for them, with relevant services covering over 40,000 mu of paddy fields.

"Big data has become an indispensable new 'means of agricultural production' for us," said Zou Taihui, a major grain grower in Jiangxiang township, Nanchang county, Nanchang city of Jiangxi.

The man has divided his over 10,000 mu of contracted farmland into over 4,000 plots and established a unique file for each plot, which allows him to monitor each plot through a smart farming system empowered by big data.

Thanks to the advanced farmland management system, he can check the condition of each plot on a screen in the control room of the system, where the pH levels, soil moisture content, fertility status and other information of each plot can be clearly displayed.

Unlike the old days when he mainly relied on experience for farming, he now accurately fertilizes each plot based on its condition, and determines the optimal sowing timings according to data on soil temperature, sunlight and other factors, Zou noted.

With the help of modern facilities and agricultural technologies, he only needs over 20 workers to manage his over 10,000 mu of farmland, Zou said.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


Related Stories