Melon farmer experts “pair” to make farmland go up the “technical flow”

Watermelon harvest. Courtesy of Nanjing Agricultural University

In the height of summer, it is the peak season for watermelon sales. Melon farmers in Wangcun, Pukou District, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, have achieved a bumper harvest this year, and they are very satisfied with the sales situation.

This is because in November 2021, the Pukou District Government signed a contract with Nanjing Agricultural University to officially build a “National Agricultural Science and Technology Modernization Pioneer County”. Shen Qirong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a professor at the College of Resources and Environmental Protection of Nannong University, was hired as the leader of the expert group for joint construction. The melon farmers have formed pairs with the academician team, and the soil continuous cropping obstacles that have plagued them for many years have been overcome, not only cultivating the melon field, selecting the melon seeds, but also curing the soil-borne diseases, the melon seedlings have a good “temperament”, the root system is strong, the melon fruit taste is good, and the melon field health therapy of “curing the soil before the disease” has gradually been promoted locally.

Find the cause: melon seedlings come back to life

“‘Melon farmers’ often laugh at themselves as ‘nomads.'” Huang Qiwei, the person in charge of the demonstration project of high-quality melon, fruit and vegetable planting technology in Wangcun 10,000 mu and professor of the College of Resources and Environment of Nannong University, introduced that melon crops should not be continuously planted, if 3 stubbles are planted continuously, the pathogenic microorganisms in the soil will multiply in large quantities, and then invade the root system of crops and cause the ground to wilt, so melon farmers can only “shoot a gun to change a place”. “When we come here, the first thing we have to solve is the continuous cropping obstacle of local melons, fruits and vegetables.”

In February 2022, Nanjing Agricultural University carried out technical services for the demonstration project of high-quality melon, fruit and vegetable planting technology in Wangcun, focusing on solving production problems such as continuous cropping of melons, fruits and vegetables, the introduction of new varieties of watermelon, and the green prevention and control of small tomato green blight.

After the Spring Festival, Huang Qiwei came to Hu Shouxing Family Farm to check the growth of watermelon seedlings, which is the core base of the 10,000 mu high-quality melon fruit and vegetable planting technology demonstration project in Wangcun, and the 260 mu base melon field accounts for 100 mu.

Huang Qiwei went to the field to see, the continuous rainy weather led to poor growth of watermelon seedlings, gray mold disease is very serious, the whole nursery greenhouse in sight, can not find a robust melon seedlings.

“The fertilizer is also applied, but it does not grow; The medicine is also beaten, that is, it cannot prevent the disease. “Farmer Hu Shouxing is worried that if the nutrition of seedlings cannot keep up and the disease cannot be prevented and controlled in time, 100,000 seedlings will be replaced, and according to the average price of 1.3 yuan per plant on the market, the farm will face 130,000 yuan of seedling losses.”

After Huang Qiwei returned to school, he consulted with Shen Qirong and immediately set up a working group with Huang Qiwei and Professor Chen Changjun of the College of Plant Protection as the core, leading the team to conduct physical and chemical testing of the soil and plant samples retrieved, isolate pathogenic bacteria and drug resistance screening, and timely give a “prescription list” for the comprehensive configuration of nutrition and biocontrol.

In only one week, the melon seedlings came back to life, the mold spots on the seedlings gradually disappeared, the damaged leaf spots did not expand, and the disease was effectively controlled.

“Melon seedlings come back to life!” Hu Shouxing could hardly believe it.

“Turn waste into treasure”: “health cultivation” rejuvenates the soil

Not only did the root cause of the disease and the right medicine be found on the seedlings that had already been ill, the academician team also brought green, ecological and sustainable soil “health therapy”, Hu Shouxing said, “The melon that has been planted for 11 years, this time it is from the root to refresh the concept.” ”

In recent years, the team of academician Shen Qirong of Nannong University has been committed to turning agricultural wastes such as farmland straw and livestock and poultry manure into treasures for improving soil fertility and regulating soil microflora.

Huang Qiwei introduced that compared with the ordinary substrate used by melon farmers, the seedlings cultivated by the biological matrix of trichoderma produced by fermentation such as straw have significantly increased the root system, significantly enhanced the vitality of the root system, and have good resistance and strong growth momentum after transplanting to the field.

“The key to making crops grow well is to regulate the soil microflora.” Shen Qirong said that the team developed a “health cultivation” model using seedlings and field application of beneficial bacteria: first use the high concentration of trichoderma biological matrix for seedlings, so that trichoderma colonizes a large number of trichoderma in the root surface and rhizosphere of melon seedlings, so that beneficial bacteria and melon seedling roots form a community of destiny, and at the same time, in the field to be transplanted, then apply trichoderma whole element bio-organic fertilizer, cultivate the soil microflora dominated by trichoderma, and achieve the purpose of gradually “revitalizing” the soil and giving the soil its own disease inhibition ability.

On May 22, Shen Qirong came to the melon field, carefully inspected the growth of the melon field, explained and answered questions about the different symptoms of the leaves of the watermelon, and made suggestions for the accurate fertilization of the melon field in the future, which made Hu Shouxing’s confidence and confidence more sufficient.

Shen Qirong (first from the left) inspects the growth of melon fields. Courtesy of Nanjing Agricultural University

Agricultural science and technology should let farmers taste the “sweetness”

“The state has given us research funds, we should always repay the country and farmers, China’s agriculture and farmers are so in urgent need of science and technology, the paper should be written on the land of China, we must continue to write this big paper.” Shen Qirong said.

This two-pronged “health cultivation” has shown good field effects on different cash crops.

According to Huang Qiwei, now, the trichoderma bio-matrix material for 300,000 pepper and tomato seedlings has been prepared, and the whole-element bio-organic fertilizer for pepper and tomato field cultivation has also been put into production.

“Agricultural science and technology should make farmers firmly confident and taste the ‘sweetness’.” Chen Wei, director of the Social Cooperation Department of Nannong University, said that Nanjing Agricultural University will make every effort to build an industrial demonstration base by grasping the introduction of varieties and grasping the demonstration of bases, and at the same time combine local production practices to effectively solve industrial development problems, contribute to the joint construction of the pioneer counties, and show the responsibility of Nannong in comprehensively promoting rural revitalization.

Li Huixing, deputy director of the Pukou District Agriculture and Rural Bureau, said that with the continuous deepening of school-land cooperation, more agricultural experts will gather in Pukou, and practical and effective agricultural scientific research results will land in Pukou, inserting “golden wings” for farmers’ income increase and injecting sustained and powerful scientific and technological momentum into the development of agricultural and rural modernization in Pukou.

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