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“Five-Feature” Demo Field Aids Rapeseed Industry

07 June 2011

CHINA - An on-site meeting in a "five-feature" rape demonstration field in the middle reach of the Yangtze River was held in Jingzhou, Hubei Province, hosted by the Industry Technology System of Rapeseed in China (ITSRC) and organized by the Jingzhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences, writes Yu Bo, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

According to research fellow Wang Hanzhong, ITSRC chief scientist and Director-General of the Oil Crops Research Institute (OCRI) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), the rapeseed industry has a hard time in China.

The time-consuming and traditional hands-on labor involved with operation has high costs yet low profits and has therefore resulted in lower initiative of farmers and reduced growing areas.

Meanwhile, rapeseeds grown in China, with a lower oil content, are less competitive in the international market than those from major exporting countries such as Canada. Impacted by import of oil crops, the self-sufficiency rate of China's vegetable oil has fallen to 35 per cent so far.

In order to improve the international competitiveness of China's rapeseed industry and raise the safety level of national provision of cooking oil, ITSRC has made integrated use of research findings on the following:

  • Varieties
  • Agronomic know-how and mechanized equipment
  • Vigorously carried out trials and demonstrations of mechanized, streamlined, integrated, large-scale and standardized rapeseed production (so called "five-feature" rape production)
  • Speeded up mechanization of rapeseed production
  • Accelerated demonstration and promotion of cultivation technologies in an integrated way
  • Promoted the production of high-yield, stress-tolerant and high-efficacy rape crops
The Jingzhou demonstration field, covering 120 mu (or 8 ha), is planted with "Zhongshuang 11" bred by OCRI. So far, this variety is considered most appropriate for mechanized harvesting, since it is a high-yield variety highly resistant to pod cracking, lodging and sclerotinia disease, and has a high oil content (49.04 per cent) yet low levels of erucic acid and glucosinolates.

The highly efficient culture mode featuring "mechanized sowing and harvesting with appropriate management", and integrated new technologies for increasing density and controlling fertilizers and biocontrol, have helped to realize mechanized operations, streamlined working procedures, integrated technologies, standardized production and large-scale planting.

According to estimates based on samples collected from different parts of the field, this demonstration field produces 214.3 kg per mu (0.06 ha). Thanks to the application of machinery during the whole farming process, 7.4 workers and material costs worth 352 yuan are saved per mu on average, compared with transplanting. And four workers and 80 yuan of material costs saved, in contrast with direct seeding.

If it costs 80 yuan to employ a worker, then 944 yuan and 400 yuan will be saved respectively with the use of machinery, compared with traditional transplanting and direct seeding. Hence, rapeseed production profits and farmers' initiative will be greatly boosted.

TheCropSite News Desk

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