Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Yields

16 September 2016

The need to make the best use of agricultural land in the face of growing future demand has made sustainable intensification an important area of food systems research. Previous research which focused on this topic, looked at the spatial distribution of the intensity of agricultural production and how this has changed, but according to the authors, did not provide sufficient insight into the drivers of intensification patterns, especially at subnational scales.

24 July 2016

In the paper Organic agriculture in the twenty-first century by Reganold and Wachter (2016), that the FCRN has previously summarised, organic agriculture was found to be more profitable and environmentally beneficial compared with conventional farming as well as more productive and profitable in the long term, especially in developing countries where it provides an “ideal blueprint in addressing climate change”.

8 July 2016

According to the latest joint OECD-FAO report Food Outlook which analyses global food markets, the coming decade will likely see an end to a period of high agricultural prices, although prices are expected to rise for livestock relative to those for crops.

9 June 2016

Taking as their starting point a hypothetical zero-deforestation for agricultural production, where people would refrain from clearing any further forests for agricultural purposes, the researchers behind this study look at both supply side and demand side measures to assess how changes in production and diet can assist in halting deforestation

1 April 2016

More than three-quarters of the world's food crops are at least partly dependent on pollination and in many regions over 40 percent of the bees and the butterflies are threatened with extinction, according to a new report entitled Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production.

1 April 2016

This article in Nature Climate Change titled Cropping frequency and area response to climate variability can exceed yield response, suggests that previous studies may have underestimated the impact of climate change on the world’s food supply.

19 April 2015

This paper argues that high-performance computing and genetic engineering that boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a growing world population by 2050. It points out that we now have unprecedented computational resources that allow us to model every stage of photosynthesis and we can thus determine where the bottlenecks are. Advances in genetic engineering enable us to augment or circumvent steps that impede efficiency.

19 April 2015

This study argues that government biofuel policies rely on reductions in food consumption to generate greenhouse gas savings. It looks at three models used by U.S. and European agencies, and finds that all three estimate that some of the crops diverted from food to biofuels are not replaced by planting crops elsewhere. About 20 to 50 percent of the net calories diverted to make ethanol are not replaced through the planting of additional crops.

26 February 2015

A new paper produced by a global group of agrosystem modellers, argues that if no action is taken to adapt, the future global wheat harvest is likely to be reduced by 6 % per each degree Celsius of local temperature increase. This would correspond to 42 million tonnes of yield reduction worldwide, which equals a quarter of current global wheat trade.

26 November 2014

No-till farming is a core principle of conservation agriculture where the soil is left relatively undisturbed from harvest to planting. This paper argues that no-till farming appears to hold promise for boosting crop yields only in dry regions, not in cool, moist areas of the world such as Northern Europe.

26 November 2014

This paper discusses paths towards a more resilient agriculture and the rationale for doing so. It emphasises the need for interdisciplinary and intersectoral collaborations in this field, moving towards “a diversity of solutions operating across scales.” The authors also critically discuss various production focused routes to food security.

23 October 2014

In this article, part of National Geographic’s’ The Future of Food series, Tim Folger talks about the potential of biotechnology in the next 'green revolution', and its implications for subsistence farmers worldwide. While acknowledging the anxieties against genetically modified crops, he argues that their value in combating common plant diseases is significant for preventing large-scale agricultural losses.

30 July 2014

The authors behind this study say that climate change has substantially increased the prospect that crop production will fail to keep up with rising demand in the next 20 years.