Farm Table says:
What is the problem?
• Food production is being exposed to increased climatic and market volatility.
• The trend in sorghum yield in Australia has been consistent and positive over the last 30 years,
• globally trends for other cereals like wheat, maize, and rice have slowed.
What did the research involve?
This study examines sorghum and wheat yield trends over the previous three to four decades in Australia after realistically accounting for the effects of year-to-year climate variability. We quantified the yield trends within three distinct types of crop stress environments.
What were the key findings?
Overall trends in sorghum yields were 2.1% per year (44 kg/ha/year), which was nearly double that found for wheat (1.2% per year; 21 kg/ha/year).
However, in dry environments, relative yield trends for sorghum were 3.6 times those for wheat, whereas in wet environments trends were similar. Likely technology and environmental factors underpinning these trends are discussed.