Planting of ‘sea rice’ in Qingdao successful, despite lower yield than hope for

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/11 20:28:42

The Qingdao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center has begun to harvest alkali-resistant "sea rice" planted at a demonstration base in the Chengyang district of Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, on Wednesday.

Experts calculated that the yield per mu would be 261.39 kilograms of theoretical yield. The result was less than the 669.24 kilograms they were aiming for, but it marks the initial success of sea rice planting at this demonstration base.  The base is used to identify the best ways to farm on saline-alkali land and improve yields.

"Sea rice," which can be grown in saltwater, was developed by Yuan Longping, China's "father of hybrid rice," and he helped establish the Qingdao center. Sea rice is sometimes found in saline-alkaline soil at the junctures where rivers join the sea.

In order to ensure the accuracy of the data, the base chose to manually harvest the sea rice. The experts then took measurements while harvesting, threshing, weighing, removing impurities and measuring moisture in the rice.

The yield per mu was high enough to signal that the salt alkali land in Chengyang district can be transformed into green farmland.

On May 28, the Qingdao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center planted rice seeds across six testing bases, which are located across the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the provinces of Heilongjiang, Shandong, Zhejiang, and Shaanxi, for screening the superior sea rice varieties suitable for the large areas saline-alkali land found in China.

A section of land at each testing base will be used for soil amelioration using a technique created by the Qingdao center. It is expected to transform the saline land into arable land within two to three years.

Yuan said that if 6.7 million hectares of saline land can be used to grow saline-alkali tolerant rice, the country could produce an extra of 30 billion kilograms of rice if production per hectare reaches 4.5 tons.

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