TAIYUAN, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- On the Yellow River tidal flat, 20 combine harvesters shuttled across 10,000 mu (about 666.67 hectares) of maize fields as September draws to a close.
Unlike in the past, harvested corn is now sent to a yellow tower-shaped dryer before being transported to the granary.
The newly purchased dryer has helped reduce losses of harvested corn, said Chen Yifan, the person in charge of the farmlands in Hejin City, north China's Shanxi Province.
He added that due to the introduction of water-saving and drought-resistant varieties and the utilization of water-saving technology to adapt to the tidal flat's sandy soil, corn yield per mu increased by 120 kg this year.
Technology has played an increasingly prominent role in China's agricultural development. Official data show that the country's mechanization rate of crop cultivation and harvest has exceeded 72 percent.
A bumper autumn harvest is already in sight. According to the latest survey by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, this year's autumn grain area is expected to keep increasing, with good growth in most parts of China.
Farmers around the country are utilizing intelligent tractors, smart combines, and drones in the farmlands to effectively reap the crops.
In the villages under the administration of Gaoping City in Shanxi, more than 500 sets of agricultural machinery have been used during this year's autumn sowing, tillage and harvest of 450,000 mu of corn.
"The harvesting efficiency of modern agricultural machinery is more than 20 times that of manual harvesting," said Wang Peiwen, a local farmer.
Technology has given birth to modernized planting methods. In an unmanned farm in Zibo City, Shandong Province, a soil moisture sensor installed 30 cm underground collects information 24 hours a day.
"Plot No.1 is short of water, please water it," the sensor sent an alert to a cloud-based smart platform at the farm, and after automatic assessment, a sprinkler immediately started precise watering at the targeted plot.
Prolonged heat and drought swept many parts of China this summer, and technology has proved to be a powerful tool to ensure stable autumn grain production.
Central China's Hubei Province has reaped benefits from accelerating the popularization of new locally-developed hybrid rice varieties which produce high yields and are resistant to diseases, lodging and high temperature, while in the southwestern province of Guizhou, a combination of drought resistance agents and foliar fertilizer have helped crops endure extreme weather.
Despite the impact of sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks and drought, a variety of technologies have provided a solid foundation for autumn grain harvest along with policy support from the government, said Zhang Zhongdong, director of the corn research institute of Shanxi Agricultural University. ■