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The yield gap of global grain production: A spatial analysis

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  • Neumann, Kathleen
  • Verburg, Peter H.
  • Stehfest, Elke
  • Müller, Christoph

Abstract

Global grain production has increased dramatically during the past 50Â years, mainly as a consequence of intensified land management and introduction of new technologies. For the future, a strong increase in grain demand is expected, which may be fulfilled by further agricultural intensification rather than expansion of agricultural area. Little is known, however, about the global potential for intensification and its constraints. In the presented study, we analyze to what extent the available spatially explicit global biophysical and land management-related data are able to explain the yield gap of global grain production. We combined an econometric approach with spatial analysis to explore the maximum attainable yield, yield gap, and efficiencies of wheat, maize, and rice production. Results show that the actual grain yield in some regions is already approximating its maximum possible yields while other regions show large yield gaps and therefore tentative larger potential for intensification. Differences in grain production efficiencies are significantly correlated with irrigation, accessibility, market influence, agricultural labor, and slope. Results of regional analysis show, however, that the individual contribution of these factors to explaining production efficiencies strongly varies between world-regions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

Volume (Year): 103 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (June)
Pages: 316-326

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Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:103:y:2010:i:5:p:316-326

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agsy

Related research

Keywords: Grain production Yield gap Land management Intensification Inefficiency Frontier analysis;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Okwo, Adaora & Thomas, Valerie M., 2014. "Biomass feedstock contracts: Role of land quality and yield variability in near term feasibility," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 67-80.
  2. Jalloh, Abdulai & Faye, Mbene Dieye & Roy-Macauley, Harold & Sereme, Paco & Zougmore, Robert & Thomas, Timothy S. & Nelson, Gerald C., 2013. "Overview," IFPRI book chapters, in: Jalloh, Abdulai & Nelson, Gerald C. & Thomas, Timothy S. & Zougmore, Robert & Roy-Macauley, Harold (ed.), West African agriculture and climate change: A comprehensive analysis, chapter 1, pages 1-36 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    • Hachigonta, Sepo & Nelson, Gerald C. & Thomas, Timothy S. & Sibanda, Lindiwe M., 2013. "Overview," IFPRI book chapters, in: Hachigonta, Sepo & Nelson, Gerald C. & Thomas, Timothy S. & Sibanda, Lindiwe Majele (ed.), Southern African agriculture and climate change: A comprehensive analysis, chapter 1, pages 1-24 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Hertel, Thomas W., 2011. "The Global Supply and Demand for Agricultural Land in 2050: A Perfect Storm in the Making?," 2011 Conference (55th), February 8-11, 2011, Melbourne, Australia 100557, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  4. Nelson, Gerald C. & Palazzo, Amanda & Mason-DCroz, Daniel & Robertson, Richard D. & Thomas, Timothy S., 2013. "Methodology," IFPRI book chapters, in: Jalloh, Abdulai & Nelson, Gerald C. & Thomas, Timothy S. & Zougmore, Robert & Roy-Macauley, Harold (ed.), West African agriculture and climate change: A comprehensive analysis, chapter 2, pages 37-52 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    • Nelson, Gerald C. & Palazzo, Amanda & Mason-D’Croz, Daniel & Robertson, Richard & Thomas, Timothy S., 2013. "Methodology," IFPRI book chapters, in: Hachigonta, Sepo & Nelson, Gerald C. & Thomas, Timothy S. & Sibanda, Lindiwe Majele (ed.), Southern African agriculture and climate change: A comprehensive analysis, chapter 2, pages 25-40 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Folberth, Christian & Yang, Hong & Gaiser, Thomas & Abbaspour, Karim C. & Schulin, Rainer, 2013. "Modeling maize yield responses to improvement in nutrient, water and cultivar inputs in sub-Saharan Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 22-34.

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