HANGZHOU, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Zhejiang Province, a major tea production base in east China, has adopted big data to accurately forecast the proper time for harvesting tea leaves to mitigate the impact of labor shortage caused by the epidemic.
The best time for harvesting Xihu Longjing, or the West Lake Dragon Well tea, this year is March 15 to 17, and the Jiukeng tea from Qingyuan County is March 29 to April 1, said Wu Kaihua, leader of a digital agriculture research team from Hangzhou Dianzi University.
Wu said the forecast was based on the historical weather and temperature data, the actual tea harvesting time of previous years and surveys of tea farmers, adding the forecast accuracy is less than three days.
According to Wu, the big data had forecasted that the harvesting time of the Wuniuzao, the earliest tea species usually picked in February, was one week earlier than last year, which was proved to be basically correct.
He said the result would help allocate tea-picking workers to tea farms across the province amid the epidemic.
"The big data will serve as a beneficial supplement to professional expertise," he said.
Wu also said big data had the potential to be further applied to the monitoring of tea tree growth, the alert of agrometeorological disasters and the monitoring of the yield and quality of tea leaves.
The project was co-released by the university and the provincial agricultural technology promotion center.