China Focus: Farmers harness science, technology to improve harvest-Xinhua

China Focus: Farmers harness science, technology to improve harvest

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-06-09 20:13:45

ZHENGZHOU, June 9 (Xinhua) -- These days are the busiest time of the year for Liu Fukang, a 27-year-old farmer in Minquan County, central China's Henan Province.

Within just three days, he harvested more than 1,400 mu (about 93.3 hectares) of wheat with the use of six combine harvesters. After he completes this task, Liu drives a tractor equipped with assisted driving capabilities to sow corn and soybeans.

"During the summer harvest, the processes of both harvesting and sowing becomes a race against time," Liu said, adding that as the workload intensifies, he finds himself working until midnight every day.

Henan Province, often referred to as the "granary in China's central plains," holds significant agricultural importance in China, accounting for around a quarter of the country's total annual wheat output.

After graduating from Zhengzhou University of Industrial Technology in 2015, Liu spent five years working in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan. However, in 2020, at the strong request of his father, he returned to his hometown of Minquan. The two then embarked on a new venture, running an agricultural planting cooperative with more than 93.3 hectares of land.

"Originally, I had reservations about returning home instead of staying in the big city. However, my perspective gradually changed upon witnessing the introduction of advanced and intelligent agricultural equipment," Liu said.

Liu soon took a huge step in upgrading his sowing tractors by installing the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System's intelligent terminal. Since the system has been put in place, Liu has become adept at utilizing its features.

When operating the tractor, Liu only needs to engage the steering wheel during turns and can operate hands-free the rest of the time. This allows him the freedom to turn around and monitor the sowing process behind him. Also, with the tractor maintaining a consistent speed, Liu can simultaneously bury seeds, fertilizer, and drip irrigation belts into the soil.

"By confirming the plot data in the intelligent terminal, the planter is capable of sowing in a straight line with exceptional accuracy. The system ensures that the margin of error per kilometer is reduced to the centimeter level, thus greatly improving the precision and consistency of the sowing process," Liu said.

The application of Beidou intelligent terminals in harvesting and sowing machinery has reached an advanced stage and is undergoing widespread adaptation in various regions in China.

Liu Fukang's 78-year-old grandfather, Liu Yunjiang, could not help but feel a sense of pride as he observed his grandson's modern farming techniques. Reflecting on his own experience, Liu Yunjiang recalled the laborious task of cutting wheat with a sickle when he was the same age as Liu Fukang.

"At that time, despite my best efforts, I could only harvest a small portion of land each day, and the work left me physically exhausted," Liu Yunjiang said.

Now, Liu Fukang's commitment to embracing agricultural science and technology is evident from his collection of over 30 agricultural machineries, ranging from small to large equipment. His utilization of drones for fertilization and pesticide application has increased his efficiency. He can now cover 600 to 1,000 mu of land per day.

"One can remotely control drones in their car, avoiding direct sun exposure. Also, after turning on the switch, the drip irrigation system would irrigate automatically without the need for manual control," Liu Fukang said.

After three years of hands-on experience, Liu Fukang's interest in agricultural science and technology has grown, motivating him to set new goals.

"We have to learn and introduce new technologies, and strive to achieve fully unmanned harvesting and sowing operations one day," Liu Fukang said.