Expert helps village crops flourish

Expert helps village crops flourish
Du Lizhi (right) helps farmers improve vegetable production in a greenhouse in Gaotang county, Shandong province. Courtesy of CHINA DAILY

From monitoring winter wheat to advising farmers on crop health, Du Lizhi, an agricultural expert from Shandong province's Gaotang county, maintains a bustling routine to ensure the prosperity of her native farmlands.

"The wheat is currently growing well, but some of the faster-growing wheat needs to be suppressed before the deep winter to ensure it can stay well throughout the winter," said Du, 59.

To farmers in Gaotang, Du is indeed an expert. Whether it be wheat, corn, vegetables or fruits, she possesses a deep understanding of crop growth and can solve most related problems.

Inside a workstation showcasing agricultural techniques and various crop samples, Du showed visitors a type of sorghum.

"This grain is suitable for planting in saline-alkali soil in our county," she said.

She also demonstrated the benefits of intercropping corn and peanuts, which can increase yields. Du's expertise was developed over a period of 38 years, during which she worked at the grassroots level to learn and promote agricultural techniques after graduating from an agricultural school in 1985.

"To truly engage in agricultural work, it is essential to be close to farmers and farmland," she said, explaining why she chose to work at her hometown's agricultural technology station.

Her first experimental site was her own cotton field. During a year when the town was plagued by a cotton bollworm outbreak, Du used the knowledge she gained in school to curb the outbreak by trapping the insects and spraying insecticides. As a result, her cotton yield increased, and her neighbors began seeking her advice.

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