In the late autumn, in Liantang Town, Qingpu District, the rolling rice waves in the fields are filled with the joy of harvest, agricultural machinery passes by, and all the golden grains are returned to the warehouse. In large paddy fields, some rice plants are more lush, their grains are fuller, and their ears droop lower than others. “These are all rice irrigated with hydrogen-rich water, with better rice quality and higher yield!” Xu Yeqing, a grower, said excitedly. The reporter learned that this paddy field irrigated by hydrogen-rich water has a total of 145 mu. This year is the second bumper year for Qingpu to try to irrigate rice with hydrogen-rich water. The average yield of rice varieties such as “Husuan 1212” and “Yinxiang 38” has increased by 18.8%, and the results are gratifying.
In recent years, hydrogen biology has attracted much attention at home and abroad. The main research fields of this new discipline include hydrogen microbiology, hydrogen zoology and hydrogen botany, which can be divided into hydrogen medicine and hydrogen agriculture according to practical application. Studies have shown that hydrogen is a new gas signal molecule, which can improve the colony structure of microorganisms in soil, slow down the degradation of organic matter in soil, and thus improve the yield and quality of crops. It has the reputation of “hydrogen fertilizer” in agriculture. Hydrogen is considered as an important plant physiological regulator, and hydrogen agriculture is the application of hydrogen biology in agriculture.
Zhang Yanfeng, Dean of Shanghai Yangtze River Delta Hydrogen Energy Research Institute, introduced that in 2011, Professor Shen Wenbiao of Nanjing Agricultural University took the lead in putting forward the concept of hydrogen agriculture and conducted related theoretical and practical research. Since 2019, Professor Shen Wenbiao’s team and Air Liquide Group of France have jointly established an agricultural project cooperation base in Qingpu District, Shanghai, focusing on the application of hydrogen-rich water in the cultivation of vegetables and fruits. In May last year, the two sides began to irrigate several rice varieties with hydrogen-rich water in paddy fields.
Hydrogen-rich water refers to water containing trace hydrogen molecules. It is a cutting-edge technology to irrigate crops with hydrogen-rich water or treat agricultural and sideline products with hydrogen. At present, a total of 145 acres of rice in Liantang Town, Qingpu District are irrigated with hydrogen-rich water, including 75 acres of “Huruan 1212”, 35 acres of “Yinxiang 38” and 35 acres of “Tai ‘an No.1”. The rice blessed by hydrogen agricultural technology is plague-resistant, has fewer pests and diseases, has low heavy metal content, and has significantly increased its yield. “After years of experiments in greenhouses and rice fields, we found that hydrogen-rich water has obvious effects on improving quality and increasing yield of greenhouse fruits and rice such as strawberries and small tomatoes.” The relevant person in charge of the project said.
The reporter learned that there are nearly 20,000 mu of rice planted in Liantang town at present, of which 12,000 mu of rice has passed the green certification. The varieties are mainly “Qing Xiang Soft Japonica”, “Yinxiang 38” and “Nanjing 46”, and the taste is soft, waxy and fragrant. With the rise of hydrogen agriculture, the relevant departments of Liantang Town are also accelerating the incubation process of related scientific research projects.