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Spring farming, rural vitalization spurred on by safe, stable energy supplies

By LI JIAYING | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-09 10:45
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Power grid technicians guide a grower on safe electricity use in Sishui county, Jining, Shandong province, in March. [Photo/China Daily]

With the arrival of spring, gradually rising temperatures usher in the crucial planting and irrigation season. To ensure timely irrigation for a wide range of crops, multiple regions have recently carried out special efforts to ensure sufficient power supplies to help back smooth agricultural development.

In preparation for spring farming, Dongtun village in Anyang, Henan province, has implemented refined measures and optimized services since early March. A team of power supply service personnel was organized to venture into wheat fields and ensure sufficient electricity resources for spring planting and irrigation. They meticulously inspected the operation of transformers, switches and various equipment while providing enhanced guidance on safe electricity use for households, said State Grid Anyang Power Supply Co.

As agricultural production enters a busy season, all regions and departments should carry out field management and preparatory work for spring plowing, increase policy support efforts, strengthen technical guidance services and secure the sown acreage of grains, ensuring sufficient supplies of agricultural materials and focusing on agricultural disaster prevention and mitigation, said a national conference on spring agricultural production in Xinxiang, Henan, in March.

Efforts should be made to actively secure a bumper harvest throughout the year, providing strong support for high-quality economic and social development, it said.

In this regard, Anyang has also ramped up efforts to raise awareness among farmers about the importance of safety during the spring planting and irrigation period through methods such as household visits, distributing safety guidelines for electricity use and online explanations of safety tips.

Moreover, preparations for emergency repairs and materials were made in advance, adhering to the principle of "restore power first, then repair", to effectively ensure electricity supplies, said State Grid Anyang.

"These efforts aim to provide strong support for spring planting and irrigation, laying a solid electricity foundation for increased agricultural production and income for farmers in Anyang throughout the year," it added.

Currently, most of the winter wheat in northern regions has resumed growth, while winter wheat in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River has entered the sprouting stage. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said that as of early March, the proportion of winter wheat in the first and second categories that had resumed growth reached 88.2 percent, 0.7 percentage point higher than the same period last year, and 1.8 percentage points higher than the five-year average.

In Sishui county, Jining, Shandong province, more than 350,000 mu (23,333 hectares) of wheat has begun to turn green, marking the onset of the intensive spring farming and irrigation cycle.

Among these fields, Nanchen village in Sishui boasts a cultivated area of 1,035 mu, mainly growing local specialties like golden pears and wheat.

"At this critical stage of growth for our pear orchards, timely irrigation is crucial for us," said Xu Qingde, a pear grower in Nanchen. Adjacent to Xu's pear orchard is a plot of land of over 10 square meters occupied by irrigation and distribution equipment, which provides water for the orchard in a highly efficient way and significantly saves irrigation-related labor for villagers.

The local power supply station is responsible for over 160 transformer stations, serving 62 villages in the entire town. Every year prior to spring farming and irrigation work, service staffers from the power company visit the pear orchards, inquiring about their electricity needs and inspecting the power lines and transformer stations, Xu said.

To ensure uninterrupted power supplies during the spring irrigation period, Sishui has conducted load forecasting for transformer stations and lines related to agricultural irrigation based on spring electricity usage situations, said State Grid Sishui County Power Supply Co.

"We have also identified and eliminated potential safety hazards in irrigation equipment, ensuring the healthy and stable operation of power facilities for agricultural irrigation," it said.

In line with the planting characteristics of the southern mountainous areas, the company has implemented grid-based management, conducting comprehensive inspections of irrigation projects as well as vegetable and fruit planting bases. Checks for safety hazards in irrigation lines, drainage equipment and leakage protection devices have also been carried out in a timely fashion, according to the power supplier.

"The power company also promotes knowledge of safe electricity usage during spring farming and irrigation, as well as relevant preferential electricity pricing policies to farmers. This has helped us resolve electricity issues during the irrigation season, supporting farmers in increasing production and income," Xu added.

It's the same situation in Fujian province. Inside the seedling greenhouse of Fuzhou Changyu Agricultural Development Co Ltd, rows of watermelon, cantaloupe and bitter melon seedlings are neatly arranged, exuding a vibrant green hue. Beside the seedbeds, workers are engaged in cutting and grafting the seedlings.

Located in Danyang, Lianjiang county, Fuzhou of Fujian, Changyu was established in 2013 by the husband-and-wife team of Zhang Kaikuang and Zheng Xiuyu. The intelligent seedling greenhouse spans an area of 12,000 sq m and specializes in cultivating grafted seedlings of various melons and vegetables, providing over 23 million seedlings to the market each year.

"Maintaining appropriate temperatures and humidity is crucial during the seedling cultivation process. Our greenhouse is equipped with electric temperature control devices, automatic irrigation systems, as well as fully automated seeding and grafting facilities, and a healing chamber for grafted seedlings, which demand high reliability in power supply," said Zheng, who is also the company's manager.

Therefore, the local power supplier visited the agricultural base in March to assist in inspecting the operation of electrical equipment, ensuring reliable power supplies during the spring farming season. Technicians conducted free inspections of the electrical wiring for seeding, spraying and other equipment, while also promoting knowledge of safe electricity use during spring farming and irrigation tasks.

"The high humidity level inside the greenhouse makes electrical safety extremely important. It's essential to use wires with good insulation properties to prevent shorts," said an employee from State Grid Fuzhou Power Supply Co, adding that they have informed users that they can call the service team for any electrical issues.

In April, various regions in Fuzhou are gearing up for the upcoming spring farming season. To ensure safe and reliable power supplies during this critical period, State Grid Fuzhou Power Supply Co said it will continue its field power supply maintenance work, conduct thorough line inspections and assist farmers in resolving any electrical issues promptly, in an effort to contribute to the thriving development of rural vitalization.

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