Blog entries filtered by: Productivity, Farming
Stem rust is a potentially devastating fungal disease that can kill wheat plants and small grain cereals, but more typically reduces foliage, root growth, and grain yields. The pathogen multiplies rapidly, and its spores can be dispersed by wind over thousands of kilometers.
The June 2012 issue of Insights, IFPRI’s quarterly magazine, talks up HarvestChoice’s increasingly popular online tool: MAPPR. So friendly to use that a writer and a graphics designer combined wits to create the MAPPR-generated visuals for the article.
Risk: we all know what that means, right? But why is it such a critical part of our HarvestChoice portfolio, what does it mean when you look through the lens of farming in Sub-Saharan Africa?
The definition of risk used by the HarvestChoice project does not frame risk as inherently bad. After all, farmers and other individuals often voluntarily subject themselves to risks that can be avoided. That is, some individuals may view risk as undesirable, others may not care, while still others may view it as desirable. Individuals who find risk undesirable are commonly referred to as risk averse. Individuals who do not care are commonly referred to as risk neutral. Individuals who find risk desirable are often referred to as risk preferring, loving, or attracted.
Just wrapped up three days in Nairobi with our colleagues at the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS), pulling together agricultural production and research experts from around East and Central Africa to share our tools and learn how we can make our data products work better for them.
Crop systems models can help researchers estimate the future of food security under climate scenarios. Many crop models are known to exist around the world - for different crops with varying complexities, yet it is not easy to find the right model for the right problem. To better understand the global extent of crop model development and to identify gaps in capabilities, HarvestChoice participated in an initiative to conduct a rapid meta-analysis of crop models using on-line survey to the crop modeling community in the world. Here are the key findings.
Long-term yield trials are great resources for agricultural researches in multiple disciplines, but such dataset have not been readily available in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Hatfield Experimental Farm in Pretoria, South Africa, is an exceptional case that has been providing maize yield and fertilizer trial dataset with 32 treatments since 1939. In collaboration with University of Pretoria, HarvestChoice facilitated the re-discovery of raw yield dataset from the trial to study the measured long-term yield variability.
Conceptually, in its simplest form, one may liken the cultivation of a crop in the field to a mathematical function.
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.