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Young farmers cotton on to high-tech help

Updated: 2023-12-22 09:05 ( CHINA DAILY )
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A cottonpicking machine in action. [Photo provided to China Daily]

On their phones, artificial intelligence would help assess the growth of the seedlings. If they saw that, somewhere, seedlings were missing or weeds had emerged, they would send robots to deal with the issue.

With lessons learned each year, they have further upgraded manuring technology and the automatic irrigation system, and improved the systems providing treatment and prevention of diseases and pests, as well as adding measures to shelter seedlings from strong winds.

The Super Cotton Farm, located in the north of Yuli, where the land is flat without effective large-scale wind-breaking measures, has to deal with strong, damaging winds from the northeast.

Unfamiliar with the environment at first, the duo were frustrated to find that strong winds killed half of the flourishing seedlings in April 2021.

However, with no time for tears, they swiftly replanted with support from XAG and intelligent machines.

To prevent similar problems, they have developed methods to shelter seedlings. In the following two years, they first grew wheat in mid-March before sowing cotton in early April when the wheat plants had grown above 10 centimeters, and had formed "walls" that could shelter the seedlings.

Starting in the summer, cotton plants enter the key growing period that lasts around four months.

"Irrigation and manuring are key to cotton cultivation, especially during this period, which needs the most labor and investment," Ai says.


In the traditional management pattern, cotton farmers would usually need to spend a lot of time and energy looking for more experienced workers to help with irrigation, fertilization, the prevention and treatment of diseases and pests, as well as monitoring the crop's growth.

On the Super Cotton Farm, however, all of that work was completed by robots and AI.

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