Related topics: plants · carbon dioxide · climate change

EPA approves use of bee-killing pesticide

Just days after another federal agency suspended its periodical study of honey bee populations, the EPA greenlighted the wider use of a pesticide that environmental activists warn could further decimate the pollinators.

Researchers develop 'vaccine' against attacks on machine learning

Researchers from CSIRO's Data61, the data and digital specialist arm of Australia's national science agency, have developed a world-first set of techniques to effectively 'vaccinate' algorithms against adversarial attacks, ...

Research uncovers elusive process essential to plant greening

Despite how essential plants are for life on Earth, little is known about how parts of plant cells orchestrate growth and greening. By creating mutant plants, UC Riverside researchers have uncovered a cellular communication ...

Lettuce have it: Machine learning for cr-optimization

At Earlham Institute (EI), artificial intelligence based techniques such as machine learning is moving from being merely an exciting premise to having real-life applications, where it's needed most: improving efficiency and ...

Heat, not drought, will drive lower crop yields, researchers say

Climate change-induced heat stress will play a larger role than drought stress in reducing the yields of several major U.S. crops later this century, according to Cornell University researchers who weighed in on a high-stakes ...

Empowering African farmers with data

With a couple billion more people estimated to join the global population in the next few decades, world food production could use an upgrade. Africa has a key role to play: Agriculture is Africa's biggest industry, but much ...

How potatoes could become sun worshippers

If there's one thing potato plants don't like, it's heat. If the temperature is too high, potato plants form significantly lower numbers of tubers, or sometimes none at all. Biochemists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität ...

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Crop yield

In agriculture, crop yield (also known as "agricultural output") is not only a measure of the yield of cereal per unit area of land under cultivation, it is also the seed generation of the plant itself, i.e. one grain of wheat produces a stalk yielding three grain, or 1:3. The figure, 1:3 is considered by agronomists as the minimum required to substain human life: one of the three seeds must be set aside for the next planting season, the remaining two either consumed by the grower, or one for human consumption and the other for livestock feed.

Historically speaking, a major increase in crop yield took place in the early eighteenth century with the end of the ancient, wasteful cycle of the three course system of crop rotation whereby a third of the land laid fallow every year -- and hence taken out of human food, and animal feed, production. It was to be replaced by the four-course system of crop rotation, devised in England in 1730 by Viscount Charles Townshend or "Turnip" Townshend during the British Agricultural Revolution as he was called by his early, but quickly converted, detractors. Both simple and obvious in hindsight, the new procedure was nothing short of revolutionary. In the first year wheat or oats were planted; in the second year barley or oats; in the third year clover, rye, rutabaga and/or kale was planted; in the fourth year turnips were planted but not harvested. Instead, sheep were driven on to the turnip fields to eat the crop, trample the leavings under their feet into the soil, and by doing all this, the sheep also fertilized the land with their droppings. In the fifth year (or first year of the new rotation), the cycle began once more with a planting of wheat or oats, in an average, a thirty percent increased yield.

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