On the conservation tillage farmland of Liangzhongqiao Town, Changtu County, Tieling City, multiple no-till seeders of Shengtai Agricultural Machinery Cooperatives is operating back and forth to carry out the no-till maize sowing and fertilization, as Liaoning Daily reports.
The Institute of Applied Ecology (IAE), Chinese Academy of Sciences is the leading Institute that created the set of conservation tillage technical mode and agricultural machinery supporting system that is suitable for Northeast China (by which, seeds can be sown directly without removing straws or ridging).
"Straw mulching, or no-till farming, has four major benefits," said ZHANG Xudong, researcher at IAE. "First, it enhances the drought resistance and water retention of the soil, which is equivalent to an increase of 40 mm to 50 mm of precipitation. It is thus extremely valuable for Liaoning province, where is subjected to spring drought nine out of ten years. Second, it increases soil nutrients. Third, it helps protect the environment and the soil, reduce the floating sand and dust, reduce the water and wind erosion of the soil, and avoid the air pollution caused by burning straw. Fourth, it reduces the use of chemical fertilizers by 20% to 25%, reduces labor force input by 30%, and stably increases crop production by 5% to 10%."
As spring cultivation begins, Liaoning province starts vigorously promoting conservation tillage. According to “Black Land Conservation Tillage Initiative in Northeast China (2020-2025)” that issued recently, the conservation tillage area will 8 million Mu (15 Mu equal one hectare) in Liaoning this year, with a subsidy of 320 million yuan; and Changtu County should reach 1.15 million Mu. In order to better promote the application of this set of farming techniques, IAE scientists drafted a technical specification, established a demonstration network for the promotion of conservation tillage in Liaoning Province, and put forward a “3 in 1” technical paradigm consisting of scientific institutes, agricultural departments and agricultural machinery (or farmer) cooperatives. IAE scientists also participated in the research and development of the no-till seeder and auxiliary equipment.
Conservation tillage is shown to be more suitable for large-scale mechanized operations compared to traditional farming mode. Establishing the cooperative relationship with IAE make Shengtai Cooperative confident to purchase multiple no-till machines. The chairman of the cooperative, SHENG Tieyong, said: "Before the use of conservation tillage techniques, straw treatment is a big problem for us, and we dare not rent too much land. The adoption of new technology not only allows us to rent more land, but also increases crop yield and reduces cost by roughly 100 yuan per Mu."