La necessitat de producció d'aliments doble global per 2050 és àmpliament acceptat per la majoria dels analistes polítics de menjar, as is the concept of doing it mostly through ‘sustainable intensification’ on current cropland. A recent analysis from the University of Minnesota and McGill University in Montreal, Tancament rendiment buits a través de la gestió d'aigua i nutrients Publicat a Natura, s'aplica tècniques actuals i agrícoles de tecnologia i gestió a 'baix rendiment paisatges' per augmentar els rendiments, mentre també disminuir els impactes ambientals dels sistemes agrícoles.

L'anàlisi té un doblegat ambiental perquè la iniciativa d'autor, Nathaniel D. Mueller, is with the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. He has a fellowship from the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences. His co-authors at the University of Minnesota are also from the Institute on the Environment. The McGill University co-author is in the Department of Geography and Global Environmental and Climate Change Center.

Els investigadors van analitzar 17 principals cultius que conformen 76 percent of harvested global cropland. They found that increasing yields to 100 per cent dels rendiments assolible vols augmentar la producció per 45-70 per cent per a la majoria dels cultius analitzat, amb increment de producció de blat de moro 64 per cent, blat 71 per cent i arròs 47 per cent. Attainable yields were “determined by identifying high-yielding areas within zones of similar climate.” Environmental impacts could be reduced by eliminating nutrient overuse and still increase by 30 per cent de la producció de blat de moro, wheat and rice. Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa have great opportunities even if yields were only increased to 50 percent of attainable yields. East and South Asia also have intensification opportunities based on the amount of land and variability of yields.

Yield gaps result from shortfalls in the crop growth environment that are not resolved by current agricultural management practices. The authors focused specifically on irrigation and fertilizer and found that these two factors plus climate account for 60-80 percent of the global-yield variability for most crops. Crop-specific irrigation data were used, com foren cultius tarifes d'aplicació específica-fertilitzants de nitrogen, phosphate and potash. Irrigation areas are heavily concentrated in East Asia, Parts dels EUA i Àsia del Sud, and high fertilizer application rates were found in developed countries and a few rapidly developing ones. Eastern Europe was shown to be nutrient deficit for wheat, i l'Europa Oriental i l'Àfrica occidental eren deficients nutrients per al blat de moro.

Una combinació de limitacions d'aigua i els nutrients s'han trobat a l'Àfrica Oriental i occidental de l'Índia per a blat de moro, l'u. Grans planes i Conca del Mediterrani per al blat, and Southeast Asia for rice. Per exemple, al tancament de l'Àfrica subsahariana 50 per cent de la bretxa de rendiment de blat de moro es pot aconseguir mitjançant l'addició de fertilitzants, però clausura 75 percent of the yield gap requires fertilizer application and irrigation over most of the region. The model used in the analysis managed the combination of fertilizer and irrigation.

The researchers suggested that fertilizer nutrient use can be reduced in regions where the data indicate there is overuse. Their estimates indicate that applications on corn, blat i arròs podria ser disminuït per 28 per cent de nitrogen, 11 milions de tones mètriques (. MMT), i 38 per cent de fosfat, 5 . MMT. China was noted as a country with particularly dramatic overuse of nutrients. Achieving 75 per cent dels rendiments assolible mentre eliminant l'ús excessiu de fertilitzants s'estima que resulti en una xarxa 9 percentatge d'augment en l'ús de nitrogen, una xarxa 34 per cent, augmentar en ús de potassa i una xarxa 2 percentatge reducció en ús del fosfat.

The researchers recognized that other agronomic practices can lessen the environmental impact of changes in irrigation and fertilizer use. They include precision agriculture techniques, conreu de conservació, híbrids d'alt rendiment, increased plant populations and multifunctional landscape management. These are basic tools for higher crop yields used in North American, Amèrica del Sud, Western Europe and Australia. They mentioned the benefits of organic fertilizers, but noted they are omitted from the analysis due to data limitations. Later in the analysis they emphasize again the importance of management practices “including crop rotation patterns, aportacions de nutrients orgànics, micronutrients, qualitat de llavors millorades, conservation tillage and pest management.” More inputs are of no value if the planting seeds do not have the genetic capability of achieving higher yields or the plants succumb to insect pressures.

One limitation this approach to analysis is it does not account for new technology that may become part of standard agronomic practices in a few years. The yield data are centered on the 2000 any de collita; molt ha canviat en les pràctiques de producció en els darrers 12 anys. New practices may result in better yields than now expected.

The researchers also recognized how issues of fresh water availability conflict with the greater use of irrigation. That has become a major issue near rapidly growing urban populations and industrial areas.

Els agricultors utilitzen terra, l'aigua, air and technology to produce food. Over recent decades the developed countries of the world have become proficient enough at food production and output of other products that can be traded for food that consideration can now be given to devoting potential farmland to other uses. That has caused a shift in interest groups when food production issues are addressed.

Researchers with an interest in the trade-offs for land used for food versus land for environmental uses now have a seat at the food policy table. Their most logical allies are farmers and ranchers with modern technology that will increase output per unit of inputs to meet the food needs of the world population in 2050 sense que requereixen l'ús de tota la terra que podria potencialment conrear aliments

L'anàlisi de la presumpció que gran part dels aliments addicional necessària per tenir una població mundial ben alimentat en suports 2050 can be met from existing cropland. The challenge still remains on how to transfer the technology from the areas where it is currently used to those areas with ‘underperforming landscapes’.

Ross Korves és un analista de política econòmica de veritat sobre comerç i tecnologia