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December 7, 2016

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Sauna treatment and worms work wonders

JIADING District, which supplies many of the city’s agricultural products, has launched a pilot operation to restore farmlands contaminated by harmful materials, officials said yesterday.

Under the pilot, farmers place membranes on soil while irrigating the land and letting it “take a sauna” for 10 days before planting vegetables.

The method is reported to have boosted production of green vegetables by 30 percent. The soil was also easier to plow, saving 90 percent of labor costs, said an official with the district agricultural committee.

“The harmful phosphor and potassium will accumulate in soil after repeated planting, while some lands are contaminated by heavy metals, so the committee developed the method to restore the soil,” the official said.

Previously, a piece of land could no longer produce after being planted for three continuous years, so farmers asked experts with the committee to treat the “sick” land, said Cao Jiuqing, one of the owners of Luwang vegetable and fruit farm in the district.

In another improvement, earthworms were put into the earth, helping to offset heavy metals and harmful materials. The excrement of the earthworms also made an ideal fertilizer for the soil.

Microorganisms were also sprinkled onto poor farmland to reproduce in the soil under controlled temperatures to improve the land quality.

The innovative methods had helped to reduce plant disease and insect pests, Cao said.

The experts had also developed a “fire therapy” whereby soil was treated, a resolution that produced radishes 10 centimeters higher than usual, Cao added.

Following the trial operation, the innovative methods will be promoted across the district.


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