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Tumd Right Banner improves its saline-alkali soil

Updated: 2023-10-10


Saline-tolerant grass is harvested in Tumd Right Banner. [Photo/WeChat account of Baotou Daily]

With the arrival of a harvester at a test field for saline-alkali soil improvements – located in Tumd Right Banner, in the city of Baotou – some 100 mu (6.67 hectares) of saline-tolerant grass was harvested on Sept 20.

Overall, salinized arable land in the banner in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region now covers 859,700 mu – accounting for 48.96 percent of the banner's total cultivated land. Improving saline-alkali land is widely regarded as being the development opportunity and challenge of the banner.

After preliminary investigations, in March the banner introduced a research team led by Professor Wang Qi from China Agricultural University. The team was tasked with jointly studying the improvement of land operated by Tumd Right Banner Agricultural Investment Co.

Wang's team previously conducted a great deal of research on soil improvement in microecological cycles.

The group of researchers initially selected 100 mu of saline-alkali land in the banner – including light, medium and heavy salt soil – as an experimental field at the start of May and for the first time tested the planting of saline-tolerant grass.

The microecological soil remediation agent developed by China Agricultural University was applied to improve the soil during sowing. One week after planting, grass seeds sprouted, the germination rate was reportedly high and the seedlings grew well.

With the coming of the rainy season in summer, the crop grew rapidly. The original white soil gradually faded, the soil quality became soft and measurements indicated that the soil PH value was reduced – with the soil improvements beginning to pay off.

In mid-September, the crop reached the required reaping standard and on Sept 20 it was harvested and crushed to make silage.

The harvest is said to have given the research team and local farmers great confidence and the next cultivation plan and improvement plan are now in the works.