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                        Smart Farming Produces Bumper Harvests for 18 Consecutive Years

                        Source: Science and Technology Daily| 2022-01-06 09:28:52| Author: WANG?Xiaoxia


                        Mobile irrigation machine is working in the wheat field in Hebi City, Henan province. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

                        By WANG Xiaoxia

                            Agriculture is the foundation of the national economy, and grain has a major bearing on national prosperity and people's livelihoods.

                            China's annual grain production has exceeded 650 billion kg for seven consecutive years, with a bumper harvest in 18 consecutive years, according to National Bureau of Statistics. This ongoing growth is driven by China's efforts in pushing forward the digital and intelligent transformation of agriculture.

                            5G + agriculture improves productivity

                            In the past, the whole process of agricultural production was mainly completed by manual labor. But now, agricultural production efficiency has been greatly improved, thanks to the application of the 5G network and big data platform.

                            A smart farm in Hebi City, Henan province has launched a remote diagnosis and treatment service platform for animals and plants, on which conclusions are drawn by comparing the real-time images with those from the pest database, with accuracy up to 86 percent, according to Zhang Shulun, vice president of Nong Xin Tong Group in Hebi.

                            A number of sensors keep collecting parameters such as soil moisture and the number of spores, which is invisible but an important indicator of wheat disease. Once the parameter registers as abnormal, the system will give early warning to diseases and pests, said Zhang.

                            Another 5G digital agriculture plantation, located in Linying County, Henan province, is the largest chili planting base in central China. Multiple types of sensors monitor the conditions of chili, and upload the information to the big data platform through 5G networks. After careful analysis, measures will be carried out accordingly, in terms of seeding, irrigation, fertilizing and pesticide spraying.

                            The pepper seeding machine can sow more than 60 mu (40,000 square meters) of land in a day. Precise irrigation and fertilization can save more than 50 percent of water and reduce the use of fertilizer by 10 to 30 percent. With the disease and pests monitoring and early warning mechanism, the loss caused by disease and pests is reduced by 70 percent, while pesticide use is down by 60 percent, said Han Peifeng, researcher from the county's Agriculture and Rural Bureau.   

                            Remote farm management

                            Remote farming, monitoring and managing of farms remotely is now realized through the application of Internet of Things.

                            Shannong Modern Agricultural Industrial Park is the largest grain cultivation demonstration base in Zhejiang province, with annual output of 10 thousand tons of rice and seven thousand tons of wheat. A digital farmland management system is constructed in the park, consisting of a monitoring system and a remote control system.

                            Real-time data is being updated to the monitoring system. You can see what's going on in the field from the APP on your mobile, said Lu Linhan, a technician at the agricultural park, adding that  measures can then be taken accordingly through the remote control system.

                            In the wheat field, six sets of high-definition infrared machines, an automatic irrigation and drainage pumping station, a micro weather station and 10 solar-powered insect-killing lamps operate simultaneously.

                            If the system picks up that the water level exceeds the threshold, Lu could tap on his phone to activate the automatic drainage system, activating a water pump hundreds of meters away.

                            New business models invigorate grain transaction

                            For the agricultural industry, business operation is equally important to production. The integration of information has accelerated the transaction of agricultural products.

                            Known as China's "grain barn," Heilongjiang province boasts the country's largest plantations of rice, corn and soybeans. In 2021, Hailun city in west-central Heilongjiang produced a bumper harvest of fresh edible corns. The city’s e-commerce service base was particularly busy with packaging corns and selling the products to retailers directly from the farms.

                            A digital platform integrates the city's agricultural business data, in order to provide information services for transaction of agricultural products and transfer of rural land management rights, and to maximize the profit of agricultural production.

                            By November of 2021, the city’s e-commerce turnover of agricultural products reached 608.47 million RMB, up 23.9 percent year-on-year. The online retail sales reached 132.87 million RMB, up 44.1 percent year on year, according to the city government.

                            Big data can help trace the production and circulation of farm produce, while also regulates trade practices. Each bag of rice delivered from the Shannong park is labeled with a QR code. Scanning it, you can trace the specific time of sowing, fertilizing, harvesting and processing, as well as the type of fertilizer used.

                            "The whole life of rice is made into a trajectory chain, ensuring the quality of products and their legal transaction," said Lu from the Shannong park.

                        Editor:湯哲梟

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