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Province reaps rewards of modernization

By ZHOU HUIYING in Harbin China Daily Global Updated: 2022-08-24
Farmers transplant rice seedlings in Fujin, Heilongjiang province, in May, during the optimum planting period. WANG JIANWEI/XINHUA

In recent years, Qixing Farm has increased investment in science and technology, changing from traditional to modern agriculture, and now to intelligent agriculture.

Around 2000, Zhang was the first on the farm to switch the power source for the irrigation pump from diesel to electric power, which brought economic gains and lower labor costs.

He also pioneered the testing of new species, pesticides and technologies on his farm.

Five years ago, Zhang registered a trademark for his rice, which helped improve his family's annual income. Before he registered, he could only sell his rice to other merchants, who in turn packaged the rice with their own trademarks. Now, with his trademark, he can sell his rice after packaging it and get a higher price.

Li Dongguang, general manager of Qixing Co, said: "We have 48,300 agricultural machines, and the agricultural mechanization rate has reached 99 percent. So rice production has been fully mechanized."

"More than 40 percent of our arable land has been covered by the application of new practical technologies, such as using satellite navigation to assist rice transplanting," he said. "We also built a fully functional intelligent control platform for rice production to promote the whole process of intelligent rice planting."

A 5G, unmanned experimental rice field project began operation in the spring at Qixing Farm. A variety of new and advanced technologies are being tested on the 5.3-hectare field, including the use of automated tractors and rice planters, remote video monitoring and control, and real-time display of the data and movement of agricultural machinery.

The measures are expected to save 25 percent on the cost of labor and agricultural materials.

With a pristine ecology and one of the world's largest black soil zones, Heilongjiang leads the country in the amount of land devoted to planting rice, corn and soybeans, and also has the nation's highest annual yield.

In 2021, Heilongjiang saw its 18th consecutive bumper year, with a grain harvest of more than 78.6 million metric tons-3.26 million tons more than the previous year.

It also ranked first in the country in annual grain output for the 12th consecutive year.

"In 2022, the province has guaranteed a sown area of over 14.53 million hectares, and annual output is expected to reach over 75 million tons," said Wang Zhaoxian, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

"Over 4.57 million hectares has been used to plant soybeans, some 667,000 hectares more than last year. Total grain yield is expected to reach 8.5 million tons, an increase of 1.3 million tons from last year," Wang said.

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