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Breakthroughs in tech lift soybean production

Pub Date:2020-08-25 09:12 Source:China Daily

Nation has reached 'world-class level' in some research areas, scientist reports

Technological breakthroughs have resulted in an increased output of soybeans in China in recent years, and further progress is expected to improve domestic supply, said a top expert.

"National support for agricultural scientific and technological research that covers the whole chain of agricultural production has played a crucial role in ensuring food security, which has withstood tests such as the COVID-19 pandemic," said Han Tianfu, chief scientist for soybeans under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

"In terms of scientific research on soybeans, China has continued to make progress in recent years and has reached world-class level in some research fields."

Last year, Chinese scientists published over 700 soybean research papers in English in various influential international science journals, more than any other country in the world, said Han, also a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

With the adoption of new technologies, per-hectare production of soybeans in China reached more than 1.9 metric tons last year, an increase of 83 percent since 1978, he said. A number of scientific and technological achievements have been made in soybeans in recent years, contributing to increased yields.

In recent years, about 200 new soybean cultivars have been released annually, extending soybean production to most parts of China, Han said. Zhonghuang-13, a superior cultivar bred by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, had been grown in over 7 million hectares of farmland across China by the end of 2018, which helped increase yields by 16 percent in Anhui province.

In Xinxiang, Henan province, soybean yields exceeded 4.6 tons per hectare in a pilot farmland last year, 2.5 times the national average level, due to promotion of new farming technologies that involved innovative no-tillage and stalk-covering methods, Han said.


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