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‘Super cotton field’ has a good harvest with a yield of over 400 kg per mu, making one farmer plants 1,000-mu cotton no longer a dream

Shiliuyun- Xinjiang Daily (Reporter: Du Jianhui) news: On November 10, 2022, 3000 mu of ‘super cotton field’ planted and managed by two post-90s generation young men has a bumper harvest in Yuli County, Bayingolin Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang. The cotton field yields 403.6 kg of cotton per mu, an increase of 149.6 kg over last year. Micronaire of newly-harvested cotton has reached A level with the length of staple reaching about 30mm.

Photo shows Ai Haipeng (L) and Ling lei hold newly-harvested cotton, with the joy of harvest emerging on their faces. (Photo by Wang Zhipeng)

2022 is the second year that Ai Haipeng and Ling Lei, employees of XAG Agricultural Aviation Technology Co., Ltd. in Bayingolin Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture (hereinafter referred to as ‘XAG Technology’), have challenged to plant and manage the ‘super cotton field’. They have carried out more scientific management and improvement in cotton planting, pest control and intelligent fertilization, and the unmanned management rate of the cotton field increased from 60 percent last year to 80 percent.

In April, 2021, by using technical measures such as agricultural unmanned aerial vehicles, agricultural Internet of Things and intelligent agricultural management system, Ai Haipeng and Ling Lei challenged planting the 3,000-mu ‘super cotton field’ by themselves only.

When this was heard by local cotton farmers who have planted cotton for decades, they shook their heads in disapproval, “How could it be possible! 3,000-mu field needs twenty to thirty people to manage, it is out of the question that two young men have no planting experiences can make it.”

The ‘super cotton field’ project integrates agricultural Internet of Things with modernized agricultural machine, agricultural technology and cotton field management, realizing a coordinated process of machine ploughing, machine sowing, intelligent management and machine harvesting.

As wind caused damage to the ‘super cotton field’ in 2021, big innovation has been made on overall windproof measures. It employs the technology of ‘separated sowing of cotton and wheat’ to build a ‘miniature windbreak’, which means that mulching and sowing wheat in the middle of March, then sowing cotton in early April when wheat is more than 10 cm tall and constitutes a windbreak, reducing impacts of strong wind to cotton seedlings.

“In this year, the area that is available for harvesting of the ‘super cotton field’ is 100% while it was more than 50% last year, so that the harvest is stable this year,” said Ai Haipeng.

“Water and fertilizer management is important to cotton planting, which costs the most labor force and money.” Ai Haipeng said. On the question of how to reduce labor and costs while ensuring the healthy growth of cotton, they have made big upgrade this year.

In the ‘super cotton field’, XAG Technology set more than 100 soil humidity sensors that can alarm automatically when soil humidity reaches the lower limit, sending message to the automatic irrigation system through data transmission, then the system will automatically open the electric valve to irrigate timely. When the soil humidity reaches the upper limit, the water supply is automatically shut down.

Photo taken on November 3, 2022 shows Ai Haipeng (L) and Ling Lei check agricultural Internet of Things devices. (Photo by Wang Zhipeng)

With the help of intelligent high-tech, two young men can learn about the cotton field quickly, realizing easy management through their phones or computers without going to the field by themselves.

“Comparing with traditional cotton field, the ‘super cotton filed’ reduces about 400 yuan of costs per mu on labor, water and fertilizer, and pesticides,” said Ai Haipeng happily.

“We have proved that the labor force required for intelligent high-tech digital agriculture can be greatly reduced compared with traditional management methods, making one person plants 1,000-mu cotton field by himself no longer a dream,” said Ai Haipeng.

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