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Yuan Longping’s Sea-rice Grows Successfully in Wenzhou
【Fonts: Large Medium Small 【Source: Wenzhou·China 【Date: 2018.10.09】

On September 27th, the sea-rice in the pilot plot of saline-alkali soil in Longgang New Town in Cangnan County was harvested, which marks the successful planting of the sea-rice that has grown for over four months,laying a foundation for popularizing the sea-rice in the new saline-alkali land along the southeastern coast of China.

Longgang New Town, which joined the “Program of Sea-rice Transplanting and Chinese Pioneer” as a representative of new saline-alkali land along the Southeast coast, is the first to harvest sea-rice among the five pilot plots of saline-alkali soil in China.

Sea-rice is shorter than ordinary rice

Sea-rice refers to the saline-alkali resistant and high-quality rice cultivated by Yuan Longping, China’s “father of hybrid rice”. It is a special kind of rice that can survive and grow on saline-alkali land and beach. The sea-rice to be harvested this time, which covers approximately 10 mu or 6,666 square meters, was trial-planted by Charoen Pokphand Group in the pilot plot of saline-alkali soil in Longgang New Town in Cangnan Countyon May 28th this year.

In the golden sea-rice field, experts are seen measuring the height of sea-rice with a ruler and comparing it with ordinary rice. Distinct from the conventional rice harvested normally in November, the sea-rice is shorter with a different production cycle.

The soil for sea-rice is also significantly differentiated from that for conventional rice. Liang Shiguan, Deputy Director of Reclamation Department of Longgang New Town Management Committee, introduces that the pilot plot is a coastal reclamation land. With the pH value of the soil being nearly 8.4 and the total salt content of above12‰, the pilot plot before planting and transformation is salt-affected heavy clay soil.

According to Liang Shiguan, it is far from easy to grow the sea-rice. The process of growing it, which is beset with enormous difficulties, demands labor cost five times that of ordinary rice. The soil salinity pH needs to be tested every day. In scorching weather, the salinity is particularly high as salt stays on the surface of earth due to the circulation of groundwater and the evaporation of sea water. “We replace the water of the pilot plot every 2 to 3 days so as to slowly reduce the alkalinity and salinity of the pilot field. Now the pH value has dropped from 8.2 to about 7, and the salinity from 12‰ to 4‰~8‰.”

The success is hard won

Wan Jili, Technical Director of Qingdao Rice R&D Center extols it as a breakthrough to grow sea-rice here since crops on saline-alkali land are hard to survive and yield.

Since this year, Qingdao Rice R&D Center has cooperated with Charoen Pokphand Group to trial-plant saline-alkali resistant rice, but without any improvement of the land. Director Wan Jili explains that the trial is mainly aimed to investigate the adaptability and yield of this type of sea-rice in saline-alkali soil, the result of which will be used to guide rice planting technology next year. Through the experiment, it can be found that sea-rice in this saline-alkali land grows well with the irrigation of brackish water; the soil salinity in this saline-alkali land also decreases after the planting of rice in one season.

As for the total output of sea-rice harvested, the evaluation and measurement data of sea-water yield from several experts in the pilot plot show that the rice grains, many of which are still green, are not ripe enough. Regarding the impurities and water content of the grains, the expert group unanimously recommend that, for the sake of rigorous analysis, the rice be taken back to Qingdao laboratory to calculate water content and yield.

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