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Agricultural machinery autopilots save 50% of the human labor:XAG

The early morning sun's rays add a golden hue to the verdant rice paddies. A unique space capsule-shaped building rises conspicuously over the lush landscape. Standing at the periphery of the rice paddies, its vibrant red hue contrasts with the surrounding green, appearing as if it had emerged from a futuristic realm.

This is the SuperX Farm of XAG, a leading figure in Guangdong agricultural technology. Nestled in Liantang Village, Huangpu District, Guangzhou City, it spans 20 hectares, aiming to explore a template for fully unmanned rice planting for Guangdong Province and even South China.

"The future agriculture we envision is not in a concrete building or a straw hut. It should be where, upon opening the door to your office, you're greeted by various agricultural technological equipment. A single smartphone can resolve most issues on the farm," shared Tuo Hongyan, staff member of XAG.

"The role of agricultural technology is to simplify complex tasks."

In recent years, the application of new technologies and equipment has brought about industrial upgrading and product iteration in Guangdong's agricultural field, cultivating new agricultural productive forces through scientific and technological innovation.

Notably, according to the provincial department of agriculture and rural affairs, Guangdong anticipates deploying approximately 586,000 units of diverse agricultural machinery and equipment during the current spring plowing season. Among these, the unmanned devices supplied by XAG have played a pivotal role in tasks including seeding, pesticide spraying, fertilization, and farmland inspection.

Ms Tuo said, "Our latest model drone this year has a maximum payload of 70 kilograms and a top flight speed of 13.8 meters per second. In the seeding process, its efficiency is over 20 times that of manual labor. Additionally, it can complete the dispersal of a 50-kilogram bag of fertilizer in just 20 seconds."

"Also, our drones also can be used for transportation and warehousing," Ms Tuo added. "During farming seasons or in areas with inconvenient terrain, drones can be used for transporting agricultural supplies and fruits, addressing the inconvenience of traditional transportation methods."

Apart from drones, the base has also undergone intelligent upgrades to traditional rice transplanters. Equipped with agricultural machinery autopilots, these transplanters can automatically plan the operation paths and perform precise transplanting tasks, and what farmers need to do is setting the working area and parameters. "In terms of manpower, it saves about 50% of the human labor demand."

Furthermore, the base emphasizes digital management. By collecting high-precision maps through remote sensing drones, farmers can visually understand the condition of the fields, providing strong support for precise operations.

"With digitization and data collection, farmers can make real-time decisions based on soil temperature, weather humidity, and other data. This greatly lowers the threshold of experience required for farming and can attract young people without experience to return to the fields."

Technological innovation in adapting to global market demands

When discussing the current advantages of their products in the global market, Ms Tuo believes that "technological innovation and leadership are the core." Taking drone technology as an example, XAG has applied patented technology in the spraying nozzles of its drones - the intelligent centrifugal atomization technology. This technology can adjust the droplet size of the liquid, with a range of 60-400 micrometers, effectively avoiding the issue of nozzle blockage during the spraying process.

So far, XAG has exported its products to 57 countries and regions worldwide, including corn planting in Romania, citrus planting in Japan, and greenhouse cultivation in Australia. "The aging of the global population, especially in rural areas, as well as rising production and management costs, are issues faced by every country. Our products happen to provide solutions to these problems."

Ms Tuo cites Vietnam as an example. As the second largest rice exporter in the world, agricultural production there is primarily based on smallholder farming. Over 65% of these smallholders operate on farms of about 4.6 hectares or less. XAG's drones and other equipment have helped address their issues of manpower shortages, especially difficulties in finding and hiring workers during farming seasons.

"In grape vineyards in Japan, some farmers also purchase our agricultural unmanned vehicles for management. Since grapes grow downwards, our agricultural unmanned vehicles effectively meet the spraying needs," Ms Tuo furthered. "Our aspiration is for these technological advancements to revolutionize traditional agriculture, introducing disruptive and unique innovations that will reshape the industry.” 

Reporter | Abby

Video | Wiingheng

Poster | Mia

Editor | Xie Miaofeng, Nan, Ou Xiaoming, James

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