【Produced by Shentong Studio】

  Written by: Our reporter Zhang Gailun Planning: Liu Li

  As a successful practice of the "Little Kuailing" legislation, on June 24, the "Black Land Protection Law of the People's Republic of China" was voted and passed by the thirty-fifth meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People's Congress, and will be officially announced on August 1. implement.

  This law, although the incision is small, is of great significance.

  "Protecting the black land is related to national food security, ecological security, and the sustainable development of the Chinese nation." Yue Zhongming, director of the Economic Law Office of the Legislative Affairs Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, emphasized that the formulation of the black land protection law will establish the black land protection system. Upgrading it to a legal system is an important measure to implement the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core.

  This is the first time that my country has legislated on the protection of black land.

my country's black land grain production accounts for about a quarter of the country's grain production. Protecting this "giant panda in arable land" is to protect the rice bowl of the Chinese people.

  While there are laws to follow, there must also be rules to follow in the protection of black land.

Ji Bingxuan, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, pointed out in the group deliberation that scientific research should also be paid attention to in protecting black land.

How to achieve scientific and effective protection is not something that can be solved by a law, but requires scientific and effective means that are in line with reality.

"You can't shout slogans, just do it."

It takes about 400 years to form 1 cm. What is the rare black soil?

  Black soil refers to the land with black or dark black humus topsoil, which is a kind of high-quality land with good character, high fertility and suitable for farming.

  The ideal black soil is "black and shiny" and "oily".

Black, indicating that it has high organic matter content, especially carbon content.

It is in the form of granules or agglomerates.

If you hold a handful of black soil, it will feel soft; if you open your palm, the soil will spread out naturally and will not become a dead lump.

  Black soil is an extremely precious natural resource on earth.

Li Baoguo, dean of the School of Land Science and Technology of China Agricultural University, told the Science and Technology Daily reporter that from the principle of soil science, black soil can only develop under temperate grassland or meadow vegetation.

Black soil is rich in humus, which comes from the degradation or resynthesis of plant residues by microorganisms.

  It takes about 400 years to form a 1 cm layer of black soil.

It is a gift of nature and a gift of time.

  The black soil area accounts for less than 7% of the global land area, and is mainly distributed in four places: the middle and high latitudes of central and southern North America, the Russian-Ukrainian Great Plain, Northeast China and the Pampas Steppe of South America.

  The black soil area in Northeast my country involves Heilongjiang Province, Jilin Province, Liaoning Province and parts of the eastern part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. According to the White Paper on Black Soil in Northeast China (2020) issued by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2021, the total area of ​​black soil in Northeast my country is 1.09 million square kilometers, of which The area of ​​typical black land is 18.5333 million hectares.

  Restricted by climatic conditions, grain can only be grown once a year in northeastern my country, but the grain output of black land accounts for one-fourth of the country's total, and the commodity rate accounts for one-third.

  Li Baoguo said that in recent years, only five provinces and autonomous regions in my country, Henan, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Jilin and Anhui, have been transferred out of grain, and the black soil region in Northeast China has occupied three seats.

  The black land is not only the black land in the northeast, but also the stabilizer and ballast of my country's food security, which is related to whether the Chinese can hold their jobs.

  The history of black soil reclamation in my country is not long. Most of the black soil areas were still grasslands in the early 20th century, and some places have only been reclaimed for decades.

  Once cultivated, the soil will inevitably degrade to varying degrees, and the same is true in other areas.

However, the area where the black land is located has a more fragile ecology.

It has long winters, dry springs, windy days and seasonal rainfall.

  The black land in our country is all hills and hills. Once the vegetation is lost, the land will be bare, and it will be easy to run the soil and run fat.

Before the 1990s, farmers would habitually plan out the remaining straw and stubble in the farmland to use it as heating fuel.

In this way, the surface of the farmland in winter will be exposed.

The wind will carry the soil away.

Even if there is snow cover, the spring snow thaw, freeze-thaw water and rainwater flushing will also wash away the soil.

If there is a lot of rainfall, gullies will also be formed, and the black soil will be divided into pieces.

  The limited black soil layer decreases on average by a few millimeters to about 1 centimeter per year.

  When talking about the current situation of black soil, the interviewed experts frequently mentioned these words: thinning, thinning, and hardening.

  Thinning, the black soil layer of 60 to 70 centimeters before reclamation is now generally within 40 centimeters, and in areas with severe soil erosion, only 20 to 30 centimeters are left, and even the yellow parent material is exposed; "Northeast Black Soil White Paper (2020) pointed out that in the past 60 years, the organic matter content of the black soil cultivation layer has dropped by one-third, and some areas have dropped by 50%. The visible changes are that the black soil is not so dark; Hardening, thickening of plow bottom, porosity decline, a rain, water can not seep down, and even form runoff on the surface.

  Thin, lean, hard black soil, with reduced production potential.

Grain production did not decrease, relying on high-intensity use of land and high-intensity investment in agricultural resources.

"We have done experiments on pear trees in Jilin, Northeast China. Without effective field management or fertilizer input, the maximum grain yield is only one-third of what it is now," said Li Baoguo.

  Zhang Bin, a researcher at the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Agricultural Zoning of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, also made an account. In the past, 1 catties of fertilizer on black soil could produce 60 catties of grain, but now it can only produce 21 catties of grain, and it may only be 14 catties of grain in the future.

  If you don't pay attention to black soil protection, the velvety black soil layer may be exhausted in the near future.

Food security will also sound the alarm at that time.

Promoting conservation tillage - when good ideas meet soil experience

  Regarding the use of black land, predecessors have learned lessons.

  Bare, structurally damaged soils have lost their ability to withstand drought and windy weather.

In the 1930s, a "black storm" in the grasslands of the western United States shocked the world.

The wind blew for three days, forming a huge black storm belt, swept away 300 million tons of soil from the ground, and brought catastrophic consequences to American agricultural production and even economic development.

In the 1960s, the newly reclaimed areas of the Soviet Union were also hit by many black storms.

  The academic community has reached a consensus that unreasonable reclamation and cultivation are the main causes of black land degradation.

Conservation tillage is the main technology to promote the sustainable utilization of black soil soil, and it is also one of the leading technologies of sustainable agriculture in developed countries.

According to the "White Paper on Black Land in Northeast China (2020)", conservation tillage technology has been widely used in more than 70 countries including the United States and Canada.

  The core of conservation tillage is "straw mulching, less tillage and no tillage".

It can maintain soil moisture, prevent soil wind erosion and water erosion, and cultivate soil fertility.

  Zou Wenxiu, a researcher at the Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was born in the 1980s and grew up in the northeast countryside.

When she was a child, she didn't know that the fields in the fields were black soil, but only knew that the soil could produce food to feed her family.

After doing soil research, it became clearer that the soil was alive.

It has life, it will be hungry and sick, and it needs to eat well and be full.

Fertilizers applied to crops cannot replenish the carbon in the soil and cannot fully meet the needs of the soil itself.

The straw and root stubble that farmers collect from the fields every year are the nutrients that can make the soil "grow bones and grow meat".

  The "straw mulching" or "returning the straw deep into the field" proposed by the researchers is to return the organic matter to the soil, which is equivalent to "feeding" the soil.

  In Lishu County, Jilin Province, Li Baoguo and researchers spent more than ten years exploring a "pear tree model" with "wide and narrow row planting, full straw coverage, less tillage and no tillage" as the core.

Li Baoguo made an image analogy - this is to cover the black soil with a quilt.

  After 5 years of no-tillage with full straw mulching, soil wind and water erosion can be reduced by more than 90%, and soil organic matter can be increased by about 20%.

The straw mulch is no longer incinerated, and the local ecological environment is also improved.

  Many experts told reporters that there are indeed good demonstration sites for black soil protection, but the area for conservation farming is still too small.

The black soil area in the northeast is too large, and the demonstration sites cannot represent all of them.

  Zhang Bin analyzed and pointed out that researchers have good ideas, but farmers also have their own farming experience and habits.

Take "straw mulching" as an example. Leaving the straw in the fields without harvesting is considered to be a lazy behavior in the Northeast and will be ridiculed by others.

Moreover, the straw is left, how to plant the land in the coming spring, how to sow and fertilize?

"This requires changes in supporting agricultural machinery and corresponding farming methods, involving many links." Zhang Bin said.

  What's more, it's an adventure.

  "What farmers care about most is their income. If they use a new method to reduce food production, how can they do it?"

"The goal of our agricultural researchers is to avoid 'hot' on the top and 'cold' on the farmer, and connect the two ends," said Zhang Bin.

  At the beginning, Zou Wenxiu's team promoted the "Longjiang Model" in Heilongjiang, and the scientific research team promised the crab-eating farmers that if production was reduced, they would pay for the difference.

The new farming mode requires new agricultural machinery. The farmers were murmuring in their hearts and unwilling to spend money.

  If a good technology is not properly promoted and not standardized, the actual effect will be reduced.

The large-scale transfer of land is more conducive to the implementation and practice of new technologies.

Scientific research teams generally choose to cooperate with cooperatives and large farms to make breakthroughs little by little under the existing system.

  Zou Wenxiu's mentor is Han Xiaozeng, a researcher who has studied black soil for more than 40 years.

Along with his tutor, Zou Wenxiu has been on the black soil since the next semester of the third year of undergraduates to the present.

  "To study the black soil, you must endure loneliness and sit on a cold bench." Zou Wenxiu said frankly.

Black soil protection is not about fiddling with bottles and jars in the laboratory, but away from family and friends, and facing a lot of trivial matters in the fields.

Things in the field are not easy to produce results. When the main energy is devoted to technical services, there will be less time to sit in front of the computer and write papers.

"Especially in the process of persuading farmers, making them accept it, and slowly spreading the technology, it is difficult to achieve results on paper." For young people who need scientific research results, this period is particularly difficult.

  The same goes for Zou Wenxiu.

When evaluating professional titles and titles, she is not the one with the advantage.

"But I can regulate myself." At this point, she laughed.

Make fun of yourself.

Zou Wenxiu knew that she had at least made "a little contribution" to the protection of black land and published some "useful" articles.

  The results of these researchers are not in journals with high impact factors, but at least in the black soil of ordinary people.

Intensive introduction of a series of policies to start the battle to defend the black land

  "Outline of Northeast Black Land Protection Plan (2017-2030)", "Northeast Black Land Conservation Farming Action Plan (2020-2025)", "National Black Land Protection Project Implementation Plan (2021-2025)"... In recent years, The state has intensively issued a series of policies on the protection of black land.

  Tian Chunjie, a researcher at the Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the implementation of the conservation tillage model requires measures tailored to local conditions according to different regional characteristics.

The black land in Northeast China shoulders the heavy responsibility of maintaining national food security. Grain production must be kept stable and increased, which means that it is not suitable to copy foreign fallow measures and directly let the land rest for a while.

"Our country's agricultural researchers have a special mission. While reducing the soil load, we must keep the same or higher output as before, and implement the highest directive of 'making good use and raising' of black soil."

  Tian Chunjie also told reporters that researchers should not only solve the current problem of black land degradation, but also take a long-term perspective to focus on the health and conservation of black land.

"The health of black soil is an important research content for the future. Based on the screening and evaluation of comprehensive indicators such as soil physics, chemistry and biology, a set of indicators that can effectively guide the healthy development of black soil should be established. Standard farmland construction provides support." Tian Chunjie said.

To protect the black land, it is also necessary to jump out of the black land and comprehensively consider it from the perspective of a higher ecosystem to build a comprehensive ecological system integrating mountains, rivers, forests, fields, lakes and grass.

"As researchers, we have to do national affairs, shoulder national responsibilities, take national needs as the core, and do our job in a down-to-earth way."

  Starting from April 16, Zhang Bin and a team of more than 30 people spent nearly 30 days at the Yanjiagang Farm and Hongxing Farm in Heilongjiang of the Beidahuang Group.

They caught up with this year's spring ploughing under the epidemic and carried out experiments.

  This time, the team wants to innovate the basic theory, key technologies, intelligent equipment, new products and promotion models of black soil healthy grain increase, and jointly build the long-term experimental network of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences-Beidahuang Group, so as to effectively implement the national black soil protection project. Implementation provides stronger scientific and technological support.

  There are still many basic and specific questions that need to be answered: Will switching from conventional tillage to conservation tillage reduce yields, and by how much?

How long might this transition period be?

What problems will occur in the transformation process, and how can we improve?

"We have arranged a full set of technical evaluation tests in the experimental field to explore how to realize the transformation of the two modes." Zhang Bin said.

  Today, black soil conservation research is hot.

"Hot" is a good thing, indicating that all sectors of society are paying attention.

However, Zhang Bin also reminded that researchers should still respect the laws of science, seek truth from facts, and cannot engage in "sports-style" protection.

"We must love and revere the black land. We must understand the arduousness and long-term nature of this work, and we must have a team rooted in the black land for a long time."

  The scientific and technological achievements of black soil protection are relatively less accumulated, and the climate types, soil types and planting methods of black soil are more complex and diverse.

Zhang Bin believes that the current communication between research institutions is still insufficient, and the consensus on some issues needs to be strengthened in the scientific and technological research of black soil.

Moreover, the state and local governments still lack a design that combines the lack of verification and supervision on the progress of the implementation of black soil protection projects.

How to evaluate the implementation effect of conservation tillage technology and how to supervise its implementation progress requires corresponding specific measures.

"The protection of black land must not be false, nor tolerate fraud." Zhang Bin emphasized.

  "I believe that the technology and concept of conservation farming will be promoted." Despite the difficulties, Li Baoguo is also very sure.

He suggested that the implementation of relevant policies should help frontline farmers to master and utilize new technologies.

Scientific research personnel should do a good job of scientific and technological support, and government departments at all levels should also help farmers and care about the needs of farmers and cooperatives.

The protection of black soil is a systematic project involving multiple departments and multiple stakeholders.

"We must have a scientific attitude and practice, not afraid of controversy, but we must reach unity in philosophy."

  Not long ago, he posted a video on the circle of friends, showing the comparison between the exposed topsoil plots and the conservation tillage straw-covered plots under the northeast windy weather in spring.

The two plots are adjacent, the former is sandy and soil is flying, while the latter's soil is firmly protected by straw.

  He added the expressions "tears" and "come on" to the video.

"Tears" is because the black soil in some areas is still being lost, and the soil that has been swept away will not come back; "Come on" because changes are taking place.

  The biggest crisis is not realizing the crisis.

Now, the battle to defend the black land has begun.

  (Our reporters Yang Lun and Ma Aiping also contributed to this article)