Machines, especially automated ones, are providing unprecedented support to the farmers in the suburbs of Chengdu City.
As the capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, Chengdu lies in a wide basin known for its great soil fertility, providing food for the local people and pandas for centuries.
Late May and early June is the best period for harvesting and planting in the Chengdu Plain, where farmers fight against time to collect their produce and begin a new agricultural cycle.
On Liu Changhong's farm in Shuangliu District, farmers drove three combine harvesters to reap the wheat and put them in trucks.
Farmers harvest wheat with a combine harvester in the suburbs of Chengdu CIty, southwest China's Sichuan Province, May 26, 2022. /CMG
"After processing every 200 mu (about 13.3 hectares) of land, we drive the truck to drying plants," Liu told CMG. "These machines harvest ten times faster than manual work."
This allowed Liu and his fellows to get ahead of schedule by more than 10 days.
The harvest is already done in a pilot area for modern agriculture in Chengdu's Chongzhou area. It's time for tractors to till the land and plant rice seeds.
It's normal to see tractors on the farm. What's new is the automated rice seeding drones.
Automated rice seeding drones work on a farm in the suburbs of Chengdu CIty, southwest China's Sichuan Province, May 26, 2022. /CMG
"One drone can fill 60 mu (about 4 hectares) every day," said Zhang Yonggang, who oversees a machine company. "The drones are more precise than humans when it comes to seeding."
The Internet-of-Things-powered drones can limit the error margin of seeding positions to within two millimeters, which is borderline impossible for a manual laborer.
CMG learned that the city government spent more than 20 million yuan (about $3 million) to buy machines, aiming at the full-chain mechanization of the area's food production.
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