The Paddy Fields Natural Enemies Help the Harvest Year
2020/7/12 12:55:00 本站

Zhu Zengrong, a professor at the College of Agriculture and Biotechnology of Zhejiang University, as a pioneer of the ecological engineering for the conservation of natural enemies in paddy fields, often conducts field surveys and research in the fields.


Counting from undergraduate studies, Zhu Zengrong has been engaged in the ecological research of natural enemies in paddy fields for more than 30 years. In the course of field experiments, he found that some areas never used pesticides, relying only on natural enemies in nature. Pests in paddy fields did not become a disaster for more than a decade. Instead, rice with pesticides was eaten by the pests.


This made him realize that the natural enemies of the rice fields can effectively control the development of the population of herbivorous insects such as rice planthopper, and the unreasonable use of large amounts of insecticides not only caused waste, but also destroyed the ecological service function of natural enemies to control pests, and may stimulate the reproduction of pests. Therefore, he strengthened his determination to promote the conservation of ecological projects of natural enemies in rice fields.


According to Zhu Zengrong's explanation, the protection of rice pests by the ecological project of conservation of natural enemies in rice fields is mainly through the landscape design to plant ecologically functional plants, providing the basic needs of natural enemies of "food, shelter, transportation, reproduction", helping to increase the early natural enemies.


Specifically, it is through the establishment of a series of ecological engineering technologies to restore and reconstruct the functional vegetation of farmland, provide nutrition for natural enemies, replace prey or host, transfer corridors, shelters, and improve the reproductive capacity of natural enemies.


Zhu Zengrong summarized the ecological engineering pest control technology as follows: taking "landscape" as the idea; using appropriate varieties and fertilizers at the right time; focusing on the target organisms; working hard to deal with natural enemies; pesticides are only used for urgent use. In short, it is "ecological engineering, winning in five areas".


However, no study has been smooth. Since the 1990s, Zhu Zengrong and his team's research has changed from previous laboratory research to field experiments, and then encountered a series of research problems: The insect resistance of crops, the disadvantage of chemical inputs to natural enemies and the rampant increase of rice planthoppers, organic fertilizers provide replacement prey for early natural enemies by cultivating predators, etc. In order to solve these problems, Professor Zhu led the team to conduct field verification one by one.


The challenge he remembered the most was someone who once asked: "Because of the good ecological environment, the small village can achieve your ‘spider, small bee, green frog’ prevention and control of pests. Do you dare to try it in the plain?”


As a result, they have been conducting field experiments in the North Zhejiang Plain for many consecutive years since 2013, and the results have been very satisfactory. Not only have they responded positively to the above challenges, but they have also been acknowledged by large and small cooperative farmers, local government departments and peers.


As an “indigenous person” in the mountain village of western Zhejiang Province, Zhu Zengrong has an intimate sense of farmland. “I have not been in the field for a few weeks, I feel uncomfortable.” He smiled.


The field experiment is to deal with the plants and insects in the field. In addition to the regular formal ecological sampling, it is also necessary to investigate what natural enemies of insects and spiders. So far, he has set foot in almost all rice areas in the country. Zhou Wenhu, Yuan Xin, Lv Jin, Qian Ping and other teachers and students in Zhu Zengrong's laboratory worked tirelessly and often braved the hot sun to take samples and investigate in the field. There are more than ten students who live in the base for the entire summer vacation. Every data is exchanged with sweat.


Thanks to the long-term efforts of Zhu Zengrong and his team, the ecological engineering for the conservation of natural enemies in paddy fields project has been widely applied in the rice fields of East China and Northeast China. Everywhere the project is located, new scenes of rice fields can be seen. In addition, the work of the ecological engineering for the conservation of natural enemies in paddy fields project won the top prize of the 2019 national agricultural harvest awards.


(Photo credit: Pixabay)

Original Chinese article:

By / Maggie, Liu Xiling (Volunteer)

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