On 22 November, DCZ expert Eva Sternfeld had the opportunity to visit the Farmland Irrigation Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in Xinxiang, Henan Province. Institute Director Zhou Guomin introduced the achievements of the institute, which already has a history of more than 60 years.
The visit started with a demonstration of various irrigation technologies that have been developed by the institute over the years, adapting them to the needs of different crops. Digitalization plays an important role here today, such as measuring soil moisture with the help of sensors and controlling irrigation systems via smartphone.
In the afternoon there was the opportunity to exchange ideas with scientists from several research groups at the institute, who presented their research projects on crop – water relationships, studies on the utilization of treated wastewater in agriculture (especially with regard to antibiotics), and precision and efficient water saving technologies.
The exchange was followed by a visit to the large CAAS research station in Xinxiang County. Among other things, experiments are carried out there on soil moisture and effects on plant growth as well as fluctuating groundwater levels. An impressive underground laboratory that collects data that will one day form the basis for a regional irrigation service platform.