Crop Biotech Update

Climate, Field Management Keys to Increased Crop Yields

January 26, 2022

Researchers in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) shed light on crop yield improvement.

While plant genetics has been considered the key factor in improving crop yields, the new IANR analysis which studied data for 3,000 irrigated fields in three Nebraska regions over a 15-year period, revealed that climate and field management, rather than genetics, had a far greater influence on increased crop productivity.

IANR researchers found that the 15-year climate trend for the Nebraska cornfields included in the study accounted for 48% of the yield gain, while 39% stemmed from agronomic practices, including increased seeding rates and nutrient inputs and a shift toward corn-soybean rotations rather than continuous corn. Genetic factors accounted for only 13% of yield gains.

For more details, read the article in Nebraska Today.

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