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Saving water, labor and fertilizer costs

Chinese county uses smart-agriculture pointer sprinkling machine for spring irrigation

In February, a 170-meter iron arm was stretched out, the hanging sprinkler turned, and water mist gushed out in the field of Donglangwu Village, Shangtang Town, Qingyun County in Shandong Province.

Grower Yin Diandong was watering his contracted 2,000 mu of wheat in spring.

"This is called a pointer sprinkling machine. As long as you set the water volume and duration, you don't have to worry about anything after turning it on." Yin Diandong says.

Now all the wheat fields he contracted are equipped with pointer sprinkling machines. The sprinkling irrigation system is integrated with water and fertilizer, which can accurately control the irrigation time, fertilizer dosage, and water volume. The benefit to the soil has been significantly improved.

When talking about farmland irrigation, the old-fashioned first reaction is to pump water from the nearby river. Whenever watering the land, farmers need to bring their own tractors, water pumps, water pipe, and other tools.

At irrigation peaks such as during Spring time, growers traditionally would have to wait for the water to come, which is time-consuming and laborious.

"Every time the field is watered, hundreds of meters of water pipe must be pulled from the ditch and brought to the field. People have to guard it all day long and even sleep in the field in order to fight for water", said Yang Chaoshan, a technician from the Agricultural Service Center at Donglangwu.

Qingyun County has made great efforts to renovate the water pumping station. They rebuild abandoned culvert gates, actively promote large-scale pointer sprinkling machines, buried sprinkling irrigation, and other efficient water-saving irrigation equipment, and demonstrate and drive new irrigation technologies.

"In the past, at least two people were needed to irrigate the land, but now a woman with a shovel can easily irrigate dozens of mu of land," Yang Chaoshan says. Compared with traditional flood irrigation, sprinkling irrigation saves more than 50% of water per mu of wheat and about 10 kg of fertilizer. Adding labor costs and electricity costs, it can save at least 100 yuan.

Using large-scale water-saving sprinkling irrigation systems can help remove field ridges and increase land. The field ridge played the role of field boundary, water diversion, and water control in the past. The county advocates the establishment of planting cooperatives to gather scattered land and realize large-scale planting in "contiguous squares." With the concentration of land and the application of large-scale water-saving irrigation facilities, the water diversion and water control functions of field ridges are gradually weakened, and removing ridges, and increasing land has become a new choice for large-scale planting.

"Remove the ridges, and the average income per mu will increase by about 100 yuan." Counting the economics of the field, Yin Diandong has a lot to say. The model of "removing ridges and increasing land" can increase the effective planting area by 10%, increase the yield by an average of about 50 kg per mu, and increase the income by more than 100 yuan.

"Qingyun county will actively explore new types of smart agriculture, let more new technologies, new models, and new concepts enter the fields, enrich the 'rice bags' and enrich the 'vegetable baskets,' and lay a solid foundation for the county's role in producing 'Plenty of Grain,'" said Lu Deshan, deputy secretary of the Qingyun County Party Committee and County Magistrate.

Source: Dazhong Daily 

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