After checking the moisture content of his wheat, Li Wenzhou realised it was time to start harvesting last week’s crop.
Using a pair of combine harvesters, Li can harvest his 40 hectares of winter wheat in Henan province’s Qixian county in less than two days.
“The combines can do everything from cutting and threshing to harvesting, which helps us reduce grain losses,” Li said. “We don’t need to do a number of labour-intensive operations such as moving the crop and threshing the plants to get the grain by chipping off the cut stalks, which can also lead to losses.”
Lee said the average wheat yield per hectare this year is expected to be 9.75 metric tonnes.
The summer winter wheat harvest is the first of China’s annual grain production efforts.
Combine harvesters are widely used across the country to keep grain losses to a minimum.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs recently announced that China has more than 650,000 combine harvesters available for use this year, largely meeting the demand for the required machinery.
The country has harvested nearly 80 per cent of its winter wheat, according to official figures released on Sunday.
Henan province, China’s largest wheat production area, had harvested 5.66 million hectares of wheat as of Wednesday, accounting for 99.5 percent of the province’s total crop area, Henan’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Department said. .
62,000 combine harvesters were working in the province’s fields on Wednesday.
In Shandong province, another wheat-producing region neighbouring Henan, 2.34 million hectares of wheat had been harvested as of Sunday, accounting for 58.4 percent of the province’s total area, according to the Shandong Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. More than 99 per cent of the area that has already been harvested has been harvested using machinery.
“This year, I am using domestically produced combine harvesters and they have cut the crop neatly. Grain losses have been reduced to less than 2 per cent,” said Han Gode, manager of an agricultural cooperative in Zoucheng, Jining City, Shandong Province. “From the region’s 306-hectare wheat field, we can get an additional 25 tonnes more grain than in previous years.”
Drivers are trained a few days before they start harvesting.
“If the crop is relatively dry, the wheels should not turn too fast, otherwise some of the cut crop will fall on the field instead of being delivered to the processing part of the combine,” said Qiu Teng, a driver from Zoucheng.
Agricultural authorities are cooperating with health, transport and meteorological authorities to ensure a smooth harvest.
Emergency harvest teams have been set up for farmers who are unable to carry out their work because of epidemic control measures.
In Henan province, 1,460 fueling stations have special channels to refuel combine harvesters at a 3% discount.