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Farmer no longer needs magnifying glass for rich harvest

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-08-16 08:34
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Xu Congxiang.[Photo/Xinhua]

Xu Congxiang, 69, a major grain grower in Taihe county, East China's Anhui province, reaped a record harvest this year, with the wheat yield on his demonstration farm exceeding 800 kilograms per mu (0.067 hectares). "In the 1970s, most of China's wheat yield per mu was under 300 kg and many families didn't have enough food and clothing. Now, as cultivation technology continues to improve, our grain output has multiplied," recalls Xu.

A few decades ago, when Xu was under 20 and had just graduated from high school, he returned to his hometown and became a farmer, embarking on his journey of exploring new ways to increase grain yield through science and technology.

Back then, a magnifying glass was Xu's best helper for field observation. Taking a magnifying glass and a notebook, Xu used to set off into the fields at dawn and stayed there until the moon rose.

"At that time, there was no advanced equipment, such as an insect monitor. We could only use a magnifying glass to observe the subtle changes in the crops. Some inconspicuous speckles on the leaves could be the signal of the output reduction," says Xu.

During those years, Xu accumulated many notebooks, which contained detailed information including the time and degree of wind and the growth status of crops.

"Especially in the wheat jointing stage, I will check the satellite cloud picture every day. Only with precise weather information can I get the upper hand in planting," says Xu.

With his rich experience and expertise, Xu summed up the methods in the green and efficient cultivation of wheat and promoted them to the surrounding farmers.

In 2010, Xu took the lead in establishing an agricultural planting cooperative. Of the 82 hectares of his cultivated land, 20 hectares were planned for experimentation and the rest was used for demonstration and promotion.

Under his influence, Xu's offspring followed his footsteps to work in agriculture and achieved further breakthroughs. His son Xu Jian helped him cultivate high-quality grain varieties in the demonstration field. In 2019, Xu Congxiang's grandson, Xu Xudong, also returned to the family's farmland.

Today, magnifying glasses are no longer necessary for Xu Xudong's field research. Instead, advanced equipment, such as automatic spore traps, an agricultural automatic monitoring and control system, and an insect monitoring system, do the job for him.

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