Showing results for: Maize/Corn
This paper used satellites to observe the effect on yield of conservation tillage practices, such as reducing soil disturbance and leaving crop residues in the field, in the United States Corn Belt. The researchers found that long-term conservation tillage (i.e. from 2008 to 2017) was associated with a 3.3% increase in maize yields and a 0.74% yield increase for soybeans.
This paper models the relationship between soil organic matter and yields of maize and wheat, finding that while higher soil organic carbon (a proxy for soil organic matter) levels do generally correspond to higher yields, the yields taper off at around 2% soil organic matter.
As global mean temperature rises due to climate change, the chance of multiple shocks in maize production occurring at the same time rises, due to greater variability in yields. The top four maize-producing countries are United States, China, Brazil, and Argentina. The chance of all four suffering a yield loss of more than 10% in the same year is presently almost zero, but rises to 6% for 2°C of warming and 87% for 4°C of warming. The study does not account for changing variability in temperature (only the increase in mean temperature), nor any gains from breeding heat-tolerant maize varieties.
This paper details the findings of a meta-analysis of published data on the impact of increasing temperatures on the global and regional yield of wheat, rice, maize and soy.
This article examines how big food companies contend with some of the issues involved in efforts to improve the sustainability of their raw material supply chains. It argues that these large companies often operate in long, complex, and traditionally non-transparent supply chains that make it difficult for them to exert real influence over producers. ‘Big food’ is the description given to the world’s largest and most influential companies in the food and beverages markets.
This policy brief by the NGOs IIED and Hivos describes how diversification of agriculture and food systems in Zambia can contribute to improving Zambian food and nutrition security, while also building more resilient food systems. It outlines policy recommendations on how the food and agriculture sector can better serve the country’s population through the development of sustainable diets for all.
This paper takes as its starting point the mainstream projections that in future, global food production will need to increase by another 60–110% by 2050, to keep up with anticipated increases in human population and changes in diet (it should be noted, however, that the need and feasibility of such increases is contested (see), with many arguing that dietary change and waste reduction can reduce the need for production increases (see)).
As the climate changes, and food demand increases, crop varieties suited to these conditions need to be developed. The authors of this paper warn that crops yields around the world could fall within a decade unless action is taken to speed up the introduction of new varieties. They propose three ways to improve matching of maize varieties in Africa to a warmed climate: reduce the BDA (the process of breeding, delivery and adoption), breed under elevated temperatures and act to mitigate climate change.
In this paper, researchers from a range of research institutions investigate the likely ‘transformational adaptations’ that will be necessary over the next century to maintain agricultural yields in sub-Saharan Africa.
Some scientists have suggested that Africa's wet savannahs could be ideal for growing crops needed to meet the growing demand for food and bioenergy. In this paper however, researchers from Princeton University and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) warn that farmland conversion of these savannahs will come at a much higher cost than previously thought.
Yet another paper adding to the growing body of evidence that productionist approaches to addressing food security challenges are unlikely to be sufficient (at least not without unacceptable environmental cost). Shifts towards more plant based diets and measures to address food waste are also needed.
The Bioenergy Strategy commits the UK Government to further work to investigate the merits of temporarily flexing or otherwise relaxing biofuels mandates at times of agricultural price pressures. The current paper presents work by Defra analysts to explore some of the potential implications of this idea.