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Potential for crop production increase in Argentina through closure existing yield gaps

Por: Aramburu Merlos, Fernando.
Colaborador(es): Monzón, Juan Pablo | Mercau, Jorge Luis | Taboada, Miguel Angel | Andrade, Fernando Héctor | Hall, Antonio Juan | Jobbágy, Esteban | Cassman, Kenneth G.
ISSN: 0378--429.Tipo de material: Artículos y capítulos. Recurso electrónico.Tema(s): Soybean | Wheat | Maize | Yield gap | ENSO | Recursos en línea: Haga clic para acceso en línea | LINK AL EDITOR. En: Field Crops Research 184 (2015), p. p.145-154, grafs., mapasResumen: Favorable climate and soils for rainfed crop production, together with a relatively low population density,results in 70-90 per cent of Argentina grain production being exported. No assessment to date has tried toestimate the potential for extra grain production for soybean, wheat and maize, which account for 78 per cent of total harvested area, by yield gap closure on existing cropland area and its impact at a global scale. The objectives of this paper are [i] to estimate how much additional grain could be produced withoutexpanding crop area by closing yield gaps in Argentina, [ii] to investigate how this production and yieldgaps varies across regions and years, and [iii] to analyze how these inter-annual variations are related to El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon [ENSO]. Production increase on existing crop area was assessedfor soybean, wheat and maize by quantifying the yield gap [Yg], that is, the difference between water-limited yield potential [Yw] and actual yield [Ya]. A bottom-up approach was followed to estimate Yw andYg, in which these parameters were first estimated for specific locations in major crop producing areasand subsequently up-scaled to country level based on spatial distribution of crop area and climate zones. Locally-calibrated crop simulation models were used to estimate Yw at each selected location based onlong-term weather data and dominant soil types and management practices. For the analyzed period,the national level Yg represented 41 per cent of Yw for both wheat and maize and 32 per cent of the Yw for soybean. Iffarmers had closed Yg from these levels to 20 per cent of Yw, Argentina could have increased soybean, wheat andmaize production by a respective 7.4, 5.2, and 9.2 Mt, without expanding cropland area. This additional production would have represented an increase of 9 per cent, 4 per cent, and 9 per cent of soybean, wheat, and maize globalexports. This potential grain surplus was, however, highly variable because of the ENSO phenomenon:attainable soybean production was 12 Mt higher in favorable . El Niño years compared with unfavorable. La Niña years. Interestingly, Yg tended to be higher in wet years, suggesting that farmers do not takefull advantage of years with favorable conditions for rainfed crop production. Regional variation in Ygwas found in Argentina highlighting the usefulness of this work as a framework to target research and,ultimately, reduce gaps in areas where current yields are well below their potential.
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Favorable climate and soils for rainfed crop production, together with a relatively low population density,results in 70-90 per cent of Argentina grain production being exported. No assessment to date has tried toestimate the potential for extra grain production for soybean, wheat and maize, which account for 78 per cent of total harvested area, by yield gap closure on existing cropland area and its impact at a global scale. The objectives of this paper are [i] to estimate how much additional grain could be produced withoutexpanding crop area by closing yield gaps in Argentina, [ii] to investigate how this production and yieldgaps varies across regions and years, and [iii] to analyze how these inter-annual variations are related to El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon [ENSO]. Production increase on existing crop area was assessedfor soybean, wheat and maize by quantifying the yield gap [Yg], that is, the difference between water-limited yield potential [Yw] and actual yield [Ya]. A bottom-up approach was followed to estimate Yw andYg, in which these parameters were first estimated for specific locations in major crop producing areasand subsequently up-scaled to country level based on spatial distribution of crop area and climate zones. Locally-calibrated crop simulation models were used to estimate Yw at each selected location based onlong-term weather data and dominant soil types and management practices. For the analyzed period,the national level Yg represented 41 per cent of Yw for both wheat and maize and 32 per cent of the Yw for soybean. Iffarmers had closed Yg from these levels to 20 per cent of Yw, Argentina could have increased soybean, wheat andmaize production by a respective 7.4, 5.2, and 9.2 Mt, without expanding cropland area. This additional production would have represented an increase of 9 per cent, 4 per cent, and 9 per cent of soybean, wheat, and maize globalexports. This potential grain surplus was, however, highly variable because of the ENSO phenomenon:attainable soybean production was 12 Mt higher in favorable . El Niño years compared with unfavorable. La Niña years. Interestingly, Yg tended to be higher in wet years, suggesting that farmers do not takefull advantage of years with favorable conditions for rainfed crop production. Regional variation in Ygwas found in Argentina highlighting the usefulness of this work as a framework to target research and,ultimately, reduce gaps in areas where current yields are well below their potential.

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