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Agriculture, rural areas, and farmers are the keys to rural revitalization. With the rapid development of mechanization, digitalization, and intelligence, and the in-depth application of new-generation information technology and biotechnology, China's agriculture is transforming from traditional agriculture to modern agriculture. As a leader in equipment manufacturing, Zoomlion has laid out for intelligent agricultural machinery and smart agriculture from a forward-looking perspective, providing traditional agriculture with the “wings” of the Internet and gradually turning agricultural production from “cultivating by relying on the forces of nature” to “cultivating by fully utilizing the forces of nature”.
In China, food security is “A Top Priority of the Country”, and food crop production based on the application of technology is a strategic measure to ensure food security. Mechanization is the core “technology” and an important symbol of agricultural modernization. Agricultural machinery has replaced manpower and animal power, and changed the backward agricultural production of “working hard in the farmland with the face towards the soil and the back towards the sky”. For this reason, the “Eight-character Constitution of Agriculture” emphasizes the reform of tools, and the No.1 documents of the Central Party Committee have proposed to promote agricultural mechanization for years.
Zoomlion has involved itself in the tide of agricultural mechanization: in 2013, it adjusted agricultural machinery into one of the company’s major businesses, and in 2014, it fully entered the field of agricultural machinery. After 10 years of hard work, Zoomlion has formed four product families, namely, dry field operation machinery for the north, paddy field operation machinery for the south, cash crop machinery, and post-harvest processing machinery. The domestic market shares of wheat machines, dryers, rotary tillers, bundling machines, and seedling throwing machines have stayed in the forefront of the industry.
△ Zoomlion’s unmanned intelligent agricultural machinery
In recent years, the AI technology is becoming more and more mature, but there are no mature AI applications in the field of agricultural machinery and equipment in the world. In 2018, Zoomlion started its pace of empowering agricultural machinery with AI, becoming the first manufacturer of AI agricultural equipment in China, and successively launched the world-first products including AI wheat and rice harvesters and plant protection drones, providing stable mechanized support for China’s grain production.
△ Zoomlion AI harvester harvesting wheat
The high-end high-powered tractor is the crown jewel of the global tractor industry, but European and American brands have firmly dominated the domestic market, let alone the global market. Zoomlion, relying on its deep technology accumulation and integrating global R&D resources, innovatively created the PL2304 power shift tractor through years of efforts, filling the market gap of domestic agricultural machinery in this field in one fell swoop. In addition, the products were exported overseas markets such as the CIS, which is the first time for a Chinese brand.
It is not the only “first creation” of Zoomlion Agricultural Machinery. In August, 2021, Zoomlion Agricultural Machinery won the bid for the long-term procurement qualification of agricultural machinery of the United Nations Office for Project Services, becoming the first Chinese agricultural machinery manufacturer to obtain this qualification.
Harvest of “Smart” Agriculture
If intelligent agricultural machinery has promoted the great growth in agricultural productivity, technologies such as the Internet of Things and big data have profoundly changed the traditional agricultural mode. The traditional agriculture, mainly depending on the forces of nature, is greatly influenced by environmental factors, and the spread of planting technologies, which mainly depends on verbal and personal instructions and practice accumulation, leads to high production cost and low efficiency. From skill-based farming to “smart” farming, “sweat agriculture” has been upgraded to “modern agriculture”, and smart agriculture has become the product of the times.
Zoomlion is once again pioneering in the forefront.
“With this APP, even beginners can become good at farming.” At Zoomlion Yuanjiang Smart Agriculture Demonstration Base, just by tapping on an APP called “Zoomlion Smart Agriculture Cloud” on their mobile phones, the farmers can get all required information such as plot situation, farming plan, weather forecast, disease warning, yield forecast, and purchase of agricultural materials at a glance. Last year, the late rice yield of Zoomlion Yuanjiang Smart Agriculture Demonstration Base was about 540 kilograms of dry grain per mu, 7% to 11% more than that in surrounding farmlands, with the fertilizer consumption reduced by 13%.
△ Zoomlion Smart Agriculture
This is a vivid portrayal of modern information technology helping farmers to increase their income, and a microcosm of the development of Zoomlion’s smart agriculture. In recent years, based on intelligent products, with the technical support of the Internet of Things, big data, artificial intelligence, 5G, etc., Zoomlion has integrated agricultural machinery and agronomy, and has been developing smart agriculture such as digital planting. Through the five-in-one (space, sky, ground, people, and agricultural machinery) data collection, Zoomlion carries out model analysis with the “Big Data Platform of Zoomlion Smart Agriculture Cloud” to realize information perception, intelligent decision-making, and precise operation during the whole process of agricultural production.
Today, a picture of smart agriculture “fully utilizing the forces of nature” is slowly unfolded: in Anhui, Zoomlion E’qiao Smart Farm has gathered 40 agricultural business entities in different districts and counties of Wuhu to build a smart planting circle of Wuhu rice with an area of about 20,000 mu; In Hunan, Zoomlion Yuanjiang Smart Agriculture Demonstration Base, the first smart agriculture demonstration base in the province, has settled in Caowei Town, Yuanjiang City; The West Dongting Zoomlion Smart Agriculture Demonstration Base has been unveiled. Now the brand of Zoomlion Digital Rice has been built.
△ Hunan West Dongting Zoomlion Smart Agriculture Demonstration Base
Up to now, Zoomlion Smart Agriculture has been rated as “Excellent Project of New Technologies, New Products, and New Models of Digital Agriculture in Rural Areas in 2021” and “Demonstration Base of Agricultural and Rural Informatization”. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs praised it for its outstanding “innovation effect, concept and vision, R&D integration, operation mechanism, and promotion prospect”, and called it a pioneer that leads the development of agricultural modernization with digitalization.
Reorganize the fields to weave splendid scenery, and moisten fertile soil to benefit people’s livelihood. In the future, Zoomlion will continue to upgrade agricultural machinery and equipment, promote the rapid development of smart agriculture, and effectively integrate agricultural machinery, agronomy and rural credit, so as to help secure “China’s rice bowl” and ensure more effective rural revitalization.