Xinjiang opens cotton-picking season with mass use of machinery

The annual cotton picking season started in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in late September, with the increasing use of machineries. Some places have realized total mechanization in cotton harvest. 

In the Aksu prefecture of southern Xinjiang, small-scale cotton picking has begun, and the mass harvest is expected to start soon, the Global Times learned from local publicity department on Sunday.

Awati county in Aksu is known for its cotton planting. Farmers are poised to collect a total of 1.45 million mu (97,000 hectares) of cotton.

Liu Guiyuan, a villager at Awati’s Sanhe township, hired several workers to check the growth of cotton, after which cotton-picking machinery is able to enter the farmland to commence collection.

Liu planted 900 mu of cotton this year, all which was mechanized. He said that in terms of planting and managing the farms, he uses the BeiDou satellite navigation system for seeding and watering.

Thanks to advanced technologies and scientific management, this year will be another high yield year, Liu said.

A survey conducted by the China Cotton Association in August predicted a harvest of cotton in Xinjiang this year.

It found that although Xinjiang cotton had been exposed a wide range of cold and frost disasters during the sowing stage, which led to a delayed growth period, the weather was stable in July and August. “The temperatures in most cotton areas were relatively high, and the growth of cotton plants was accelerated. It is expected to welcome high yields,” it read.

The 13th Division of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, located in Hami – the “East Gate” of Xinjiang, planted more than 210,000 mu of cotton this year. The cotton harvest is expected to be completed in late October, the China News Service reported on Friday.

In recent years, as the pace of agricultural modernization has accelerated in Xinjiang, cotton cultivation in this division has been fully mechanized.

In 2020, the cotton picking rate of Xinjiang reached 75 percent, according to the China Cotton Association.

Since the 1990s, China’s cotton production area has gradually shifted from the Yellow River Basin to Xinjiang. At present, Xinjiang is the largest cotton producing area in China and as well as one of the most important ones in the world, with cotton production accounting for about 20 percent of the world’s output. 

In 2020, Xinjiang’s cotton output reached 5.16 million tons, accounting for 87.3 percent of the country’s total cotton production, with a growing area of 37.528 million mu.

Niu Haiyan contributed to the story

Sri Lanka China Journalists' Forum was established in May 2001 as the Sri Lanka - China Young Journalists' Forum and was in force as a main association that promotes mutual understanding between Sri Lanka and China.

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