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November 17, 2020

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Barnful of modern farming

An open-day event was held recently in a Sinograin barn in Wujing Town to show the public how new technologies are making food safer.

At the facility, built in 1965, residents were invited to a screening showing various facets of Sinograin’s operations.

“Our camera can see 23 times clearer than a common one,” said Shi Qiang, director of the barn management department. “We can spot and respond to insect infestation in crops in a timely fashion.”

In the barn, participants saw grain piles as high as 6 meters.

“The overall structure is just a storage site for rice,” Shi explained.

Rice storage is more than what meets the eye. The temperature and oxygen in the storage area are strictly controlled. The temperature is kept below 10 degrees Celsius. In summer, air-conditioning is used.

Staff at the barn extracted rice samples for visitors to touch. “It is quite cold, different from room temperature,” one visitor said. “It feels like maybe 4 or 5 degrees.”

Unhusked rice, corn and soybeans are also stored in barns with controlled temperatures. Nitrogen is piped in to keep the grains fresh.

“The nitrogen helps kill insects and repress grain deterioration,” Shi said.

The visitors were also shown the examination stages before harvested grains are stored. They have to pass color, smell and heavy-metal residue tests.

At the end of the tour, visitors were treated to a meal prepared from last year’s rice crop.

“It tasted as fresh as new rice,” said one visitor. “I couldn’t tell the difference.”


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