Quantifying yield gaps in rainfed cropping systems: A case study of wheat in Australia

Zvi Hochmana, David Gobbett, Dean Holzworth, Tim McClelland, Harm van Rees, Oswald Marinoni, Javier Navarro Garciaa, Heidi Horan - Elsevier - Field Crops Research

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

The yield gap assessment framework proposed in this paper and demonstrated in the Wimmera case study should be applicable to a significant proportion of the world's rainfed crop production regions, so worth a read.

What is the problem?

Reducing the yield gap between what is currently achieved and what is possible will be necessary to increase productivity and output. To do this, research must understand the size of the gap caused by the suboptimal management of pests and diseases, nutrient supply, time of sowing, crop density and variety choice.

What did the research involve?

This research used a new yield gap assessment framework to estimate the yield gap by focusing on a case study of rainfed wheat in the Wimmera. To calculate yield gap, the framework collected data and utilized the following methods:

  • local statistical data
  • historical weather data
  • soil maps
  • simulation
  • GIS map

What were the key findings?

The research found that yield gap is subject to large spatial and temporal variability. This means it is difficult to understand how much of the yield gap was due to management.

Final comment

The research stated that farmers in the Wimmera region can increase the average annual wheat tonnes produced from 1.09M to 1.65M.

2013 - Australia - Zvi Hochmana, David Gobbett, Dean Holzworth, Tim McClelland, Harm van Rees, Oswald Marinoni, Javier Navarro Garciaa, Heidi Horan - Elsevier - Field Crops Research
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