Pongsan County in North Hwanghae Province is the place in which its magistrate boasted about stone as it had nothing but stones in an old story.
But now at this stony place its people do triple maize farming as the preceding and alternate crops and a double crop.
“Our county has no sea nor any other special resources. The only way for the county to be self-sufficient is to make the most of the farmland, I think,” said Sin In Suk, chairwoman of the County Cooperative Farm Management Committee.
As it is a county in the midland with more dry fields than paddies, it decided to do double cropping of maize in order to fulfil its grain production plan and improve the farmers’ living by relieving their food shortage.
Last year it chose a workteam to set an example.
First of all, the farmers of the workteam selected the site for rice-seedling bed at a place with good fertility and laid a thick layer of rice chaff and weed for days to thaw the frozen land and covered plastic sheets over it as it thawed. And they selected a high-yielding variety with short growing period and sprouted its seeds in humus-cakes.
When maize leaves grew to 20-25 cm, they applied enough fertilizers, both chemical and organic. As soon as the half-hectare experimental plots were prepared, they transplanted maize humus-cakes to them, covered them with plastic sheets to provide growing temperature and tended the plots with care.
Everyone was surprised to see the maize plants in the experimental plots growing taller than them and producing forearm-long ears when those in other fields grew only knee high.
Double cropping on the half-hectare plots also brought huge profits.
Early sweetcorn harvested in late June was supplied to the schoolchildren of Pongsan School for Orphans, with other crops supplied to farmers and used for purchasing farming materials and refurnishing the workteam.
The later crop maize farming was also successful. As a result, the workteam carried out its national grain procurement plan and distributed large income to farmers while donating over a dozen tons more grain to the country.
As the maize double cropping proved productive, many farmers raised an opinion that if they introduced intercropping, they could harvest over 20 tons of grain per hectare. So triple maize farming as the preceding and later crops and intercrop was generalized to the whole county.
According to Sin In Suk, each county-level institution and farm in the county are very eager to do triple maize farming in a hectare.
Some units reaped a good harvest of maize in first cropping including the county town, Myosong and Songsan cooperative farms, but some others failed, she said, adding the county is determined to do triple maize farming on a large scale next year on the basis of experience it gained this year.