source：china daily editor：zhang wenni
wheat farmers inspect produce grown on salt-affected land in kenli district, dongying, in june. [bo huarui/for china daily]
dongying, where the yellow river flows into bohai bay in shandong, boasts a large area of soil with high levels of salinity as a result of coastal erosion and high levels of saltwater saturation.
wang guangmei, head of the yellow river delta field ecosystem scientific observation and research station responsible to the chinese academy of sciences' yantai institute of coastal zone research, noticed cracks on the salt-affected land when he visited the delta four years ago.
"there were salt stains everywhere, and plants were rarely seen," wang said.
to develop the salt-affected soil, the state council approved the establishment of the agricultural high-tech industrial demonstration area of the yellow river delta in dongying in 2015. it is planned to turn the area into a new comprehensive model for the use of saline land, which can contribute to the modernization of agriculture.
the demonstration area covers 350 square kilometers, of which more than 80 percent is salt-affected land, according to the local government.
to improve the soil structure, wang and his colleagues planted grasses to be used as forage.
"by planting the forage grasses, we can cover more areas with them — reducing the accumulation of salt on the surface soil. when these grasses are ripe, we plough them into the soil to enrich its composition by creating more nutrients and increasing its organic matter," wang said.
wang's team has also customized microbial fertilizers for the soil.