Latest Research News on crop production : Dec 2021

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Latest Research News on crop production : Dec 2021

December 15, 2021 BIOLOGY 0

Breeding Technologies to Increase Crop Production in a Changing World

To feed the several billion people living on this planet, the production of high-quality food must increase with reduced inputs, but this accomplishment will be particularly challenging in the face of global environmental change. Plant breeders need to focus on traits with the greatest potential to increase yield. Hence, new technologies must be developed to accelerate breeding through improving genotyping and phenotyping methods and by increasing the available genetic diversity in breeding germplasm. The most gain will come from delivering these technologies in developing countries, but the technologies will have to be economically accessible and readily disseminated. Crop improvement through breeding brings immense value relative to investment and offers an effective approach to improving food security. [1]

Contribution of agrometeorology to the simulation of crop production and its applications

Weather has a significant impact on crop growth and development. This paper presents an overview of crop modeling and applications of crop models, and the significance of weather related to these applications. To account for the impact of weather and climate variability on crop production, agrometeorological variables are one of the key inputs required for the operation of crop simulation models. These include maximum and minimum air temperature, total solar radiation, and total rainfall. Most models use daily data as input, because variables at a smaller time scale are usually unavailable for most locations. It is important to define standard file formats for weather and other input data; this will expand the applicability of weather data by different models. Issues related to missing variables and data, as well as locations for which no data are available, need to be addressed for model applications, as it can affect the accuracy of the simulations. Weather generators can be used to stochastically generate daily data when data are missing or long-term historical data are unavailable. However, the use of observed weather data for model input will provide more precise crop yield simulations, especially for tropical regions. Many of the crop models have been applied towards strategic and tactical management decision making as well as yield forecasting. The predicted variability of crop yield and related variables as well as natural resource use is mainly due to the short- and long-term variation of weather and climate conditions. The results produced by the models can be used to make appropriate management decisions and to provide farmers and others with alternative options for their farming system. The crop models have been used extensively to study the impact of climate change on agricultural production and food security. Recently, they have also been applied towards the impact of climate variability and the effect of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on agricultural production and food security. It is expected that, with the increased availability of computers, the use of crop models by farmers and consultants as well as policy and decision makers will increase. Weather data in the form of historical data or observations made during the current growing season, and short-, medium-, and long-term weather forecasts will play a critical role in these applications. [2]

Climate and the efficiency of crop production in Britain

The efficiency of crop production is defined in thermodynamic terms as the ratio of energy output (carbohydrate) to energy input (solar radiation). Temperature and water supply are the main climatic constraints on efficiency. Over most of Britain, the radiation and thermal climates are uniform and rainfall is the main discriminant of yield between regions. Total production of dry matter by barley, potatoes, sugar beet, and apples is strongly correlated with intercepted radiation and these crops form carbohydrate at about 1.4 g per MJ solar energy, equivalent to 2.4% efficiency. Crop growth in Britain may therefore be analysed in terms of (a) the amount of light intercepted during the growing season and (b) the efficiency with which intercepted light is used. The amount intercepted depends on the seasonal distribution of leaf area which, in turn, depends on temperature and soil water supply. These variables are discussed in terms of the rate and duration of development phases. A factorial analysis of efficiency shows that the major arable crops in Britain intercept only about 40 % of annual solar radiation and their efficiency for supplying energy through economic yield is only about 0.3%. Some of the factors responsible for this figure are well understood and some are immutable. More work is needed to identify the factors responsible for the large differences between average commercial and record yields. [3]

Cost-Price Squeeze in Export Oriented Crop Production: Welfare Implication for Commercialized Smallholder Tea Producers in Kenya

Tea production, a leading export crop in Kenya and produced largely by smallholders was analyzed to determine how the input and output prices adjust to both inflation and exchange rates. It was hypothesized that prices received and prices paid by farmers are not cointegrated and that a cost-price squeeze could not be rejected in the long-run. Based on cointegration analysis results, we could not reject the null hypothesis of no cointegration between prices paid and prices received in the long run. Macroeconomic variables impacts unevenly on the tea sector with probable negative effects on the welfare of smallholders. The livelihood of export oriented cash crop producers in less developed countries, therefore, becomes integrally vulnerable to market forces. Price volatility coupled with constant market shocks could impact negatively on the general livelihoods of the smallholder export farmers particularly food access at the household level.[4]

Application of Different Reclamation Methods on Salt Affected Soils for Crop Production

Effects of salic conditions on soil properties under a given land use type and the methods for reclamation has not received the desired research attention in Nigeria. Understanding of how soil properties and crop yield respond to the influence of salic conditions is needed for employment of location-specific management strategies for the economic agricultural production. This study was conducted on salt affected soils during 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 crop years to investigate the soil physico-chemical properties and their effects on two maize cultivar growth and yield. Three approaches were employed to reclaim the salt affected soils in order to increase their efficiency and reduce the time of reclamation. Soils were sampled at two depth intervals: surface (0-15 cm depth) and subsurface (15-30 cm) for physical and chemical analysis. The experimental design was randomized complete block design (RCBD). The treatments were arranged in RCBD and replicated thrice. The treatment applications were 100% gypsum (CaS04) Gypsum requirement (GR); 25 Mg ha-1gypsum + farm yard manure (FYM) and chiseling. Leaching with irrigation water was done over a period of 2-4 hours per week. During the two cropping seasons, rice and millet crops were grown. Data collected were analysed statistically following ANOVA technique and treatment differences were evaluated using LSD test. Pre-cultivation soil analysis revealed a mean soil bulk density value of 2.37 g cm-3 and a value of 17.46 for total porosity. Soil pH showed alkalinity (>Pp7 pH 7.5) with high values of exchangeable bases and base saturation. Post-cultivation results show that highest yields of rice and millet were obtained from application of 100% gypsum. Yields obtained from gypsum + FYM treatments were, however, statistically similar. Yields from control treatment were consistently low. First millet post-harvest (2011/2012 crop year) soil test showed a reduction in electrical conductivity (ECe) value in all treatment plots except in control. The values of soil pH and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) reduced after second millet harvest in 2012/2013 cropping season. The study found that soil chemical properties in control treatment did not improve, while combined use of gypsum + FYM + Chiseling appeared most effective in improving the soil conditions for land use sustainability.[5]


[1] Tester, M. and Langridge, P., 2010. Breeding technologies to increase crop production in a changing world. Science, 327(5967), pp.818-822.

[2] Hoogenboom, G., 2000. Contribution of agrometeorology to the simulation of crop production and its applications. Agricultural and forest meteorology, 103(1-2), pp.137-157.

[3] Monteith, J.L., 1977. Climate and the efficiency of crop production in Britain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences, 281(980), pp.277-294.

[4] Kiplimo, B.L., Inyanje, L., Ngeno, V., Kipkurgat, T. and Lopokoiyit, M.C., 2015. Cost-Price Squeeze in Export Oriented Crop Production: Welfare Implication for Commercialized Smallholder Tea Producers in Kenya. Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, pp.374-381.

[5] Ezeaku, P.I., Ene, J. and Shehu, J.A., 2015. Application of different reclamation methods on salt affected soils for crop production. Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, pp.1-11.


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