The Taklimakan Desert contains many legends: the magic of ancient Loulan, explorer Sven Hedin and his camels, and so on.
Today, Agricultural No.2 Division of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps has created a “green” legend by opening up uncultivated land and defending borders.
Zhang Qingjiang, “Growing pears as you wish”
Zhang Qingjiang brought me a plate of pears. “Look at the pears. How cute they are! Look at their size – so even and uniform!”
Zhang is a fruit grower in the Agricultural No.2 Division No.28 Regiment. He proudly told me that the price of his pears is 0.5 yuan higher per kg than others.
The secret of growing excellent fruit lies in the balanced fertilization computer system. Zhang showed me his computer. By clicking the mouse, he received all the fertilizer data from each pear tree in his orchard shown on the screen.
Zhang told me that he installed assessing equipment in every corner of the orchard that will collect information about the content of soil nutrients and the quantity of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that the fruit trees need; and promptly send it to the computer. It can also follow computer commands to fertilize the trees. He showed me the entire process: “Look, the computer told me that several trees in the third line need nitrogen.” Then he typed in the commands. Immediately the pump outside the house began to work. “It is sending fertilizer through the water. The whole process will take 20 minutes.”
“Does fertilization have anything to do with fruit size?” I really do not understand.
“Absolutely! Fruits are just like human beings. They will become overgrown with too much fertilizer; and will become overly thin from malnutrition. The computer-based, balanced fertilization system will follow instructions to fertilize trees. When the fertility of each tree is uniform, the fruit’s size is also well-proportioned.”
Wei Fangxin: I have a secret weapon for “cotton bollworm” control
“Cotton bollworm? Wiped out!” Wei Fangxin signed a contract for 150 mu of cotton fields this year. While talking about cotton bollworm, he told me, “I have a secret weapon!”
Wei’s new secret weapon refers to the electromagnetic automatic measuring instrument that No.29 Regiment has been vigorously promoting. Once installed in field, the equipment can automatically issue warnings once there is any sign of cotton bollworm. Farmers then can take measures to exterminate the bollworms.
After introducing electromagnetic automatic measuring instruments into the field, the No.2 Division did not observe any damage from cotton bollworm in its 410,000 mu of cotton fields.
With no pests, the cotton harvest has been guaranteed. Sampling tests and examinations by experts show that the average yield of the Agricultural No.2 Division reached 155 kilograms per mu. Renowned cotton planting expert and senior agronomist Tian Mingjun gave his evaluation: “The technology of the Agricultural No.2 Division in growing cotton stands at an advanced level.”
Yang Suying, spending 40 days per year taking care of 80 mu of rice fields
Yang Suying looks thin and weak. However, she grew 80 mu of rice this year. “This is nothing, really nothing, because we now use machines for farming.”
Yang Suying explained the current situation: “Even by exerting all one’s strength, one person here could only take care of two mu of land in the past. Now, taking land formation as an example, by using laser formation machines, it only takes me about 30 minutes to finish leveling 10 mu of land. The average height error is less than 2 cm. By using aircrafts to spread seeds, it only takes me more than 10 minutes to finish a hundred mu of land. In the past, I had to spend two or three days watering a dozen mu of land. Now, after installing infrared monitoring equipment at each irrigation gate, which can automatically tell whether the crops need water, I can use my cell phone to switch on the tap through an intelligent remote control system. Field management was the most time-consuming and energy-consuming sector in the past. Now we use a series of aviation operations such as aircraft spraying, aircraft pest control, and aircraft fertilization. I don’t need to stay on-site. Reaping has become even easier. By using powerful reaper machines, I can finish the whole process pretty quickly. Generally speaking, I only need to spend about 40 days in the fields every year.”