Blog entries filtered by: Southern Africa, Yield Analysis, Farming
As a quick demonstration to estimate crop yield levels at regional-scale with various management assumptions, this post describes how crop systems models can be used to assess yield gap of rainfed maize due to the limited supply of soil nitrogen. This methodology can help researchers to find what is the most critical factor that limits crop yield productivity in a given environment condition and how to address the constraint.
By modeling the decomposition of soil organic matter dynamics, crop systems models can simulate the effects of soil nutrient depletion under low-input extractive field management practices, as well as soil carbon sequestration under regenerative management practices.
Farming entails a great deal of choices and uncertainties. From season to season, weather varies, price fluctuates, soil degrades, pest damages, and climate changes. Farmers everywhere must cope with these uncertainties. Throughout the history of agriculture, many options have been developed to help manage these risks, increase yields, increase efficiency, and, more recently, promote the sustainability of the overall system.
Water availability is the most critical factor for sustaining crop productivity in rainfed agriculture. Even if a drought-tolerant trait is introduced, water isn't available to crops when there is no water in the soil. Rainfall variability from season to season greatly affects soil water availability to crops, and thus pose crop production risks.