Initial challenge to improve crop yields is to find a crop variety that increase crop yield.
In India, there has been a 4x rate rise in food grain production in India from 1960 to 2004, with just 25 percent growth in the cultivable land area. Before learning the details of “how to improve crop yield?”, let’s understand the crop yield meaning. Crop Yield Definition: Crop yield is a measure of the quantity of farm production produced per unit of land area. This was achieved by various practices involved in farming and they are divided into three stages they are:
Initial challenge to improve crop yields is to find a crop variety that increase crop yield. Breeding will be useful to select various strains of crops for features such as disease resistance, fertilizer response, product quality and high yields. Hybridization helps to incorporate desirable characters into crop varieties. Introducing a gene that would provide the required characteristic to increase crop yield. The aim of improving high yielding crop varieties
It is the money or financial conditions that let farmers to take advantage of different farming practices and technologies. There is a correlation between the higher yields and inputs. Production practices can be at various levels. They include production practices at ‘no cost’, production practices ‘low cost’ and production practices at ‘high cost’.
Plants need the nutrients which are necessary for growth and these are supplied by air, water and soil. There are sixteen vital nutrients which are important for plants. Air supplies carbon and oxygen. Hydrogen comes from water. Soil supplies the other thirteen nutrients to plants. Among which, nutrients which are required in larger quantities are called Macro nutrients and nutrients which require in lesser quantity are called Micro nutrients.
These nutrient deficiencies affect plant physiological processes including reproduction, growth, and disease susceptibility. By providing these nutrients in the form of manure and fertilizers, the soil can be cultivated to increase yield.
Most of India’s agriculture is rain – fed, that is, crop productivity in most areas depends on timely monsoons, and sufficient rainfall spreads through most growing season. Poor monsoons thus induce crop failure. Ensuring the crops get water at the right stages during their growing season will increase every crop ‘s expected yields. Consequently, other steps are being used to irrigate more and more fields. Several different types of irrigation systems are adopted to supply water to agricultural land, depending on the type of available water resources. These comprise wells, canals, tanks, and rivers. Rainwater harvesting and maintenance of watersheds are new initiatives to improve the water available for agriculture.
To get maximum benefit, three ways of cropping patterns can be used. They are:
When two or more crops are grown simultaneously on the same land then it is known as mixed cropping. For Example: groundnut + sunflower, wheat + gram or wheat + mustard, When two or more crops simultaneously on the same field in a definite pattern is known as Inter-cropping. For Example: finger millet (bajra) + cowpea (lobia). Crops are selected in such a way that they have specific nutrient needs. This ensures maximum use of the supplied nutrients, and also prevents the spread of pests and diseases to all plants in a field that belong to one crop. The planting of different crops in a preplanned succession on a piece of land is known as crop rotation. The crop rotation is done for different crop types, depending on the period.
A large number of insects, insect pests, and diseases infest the field crops. If weeds and pests are not controlled at the right time then the crops can be damaged so much that most of the crop is lost.
Improvement in crop yield is achieved by various practices involved in farming and they are divided into three stages: Crop variety improvement where right seeds are chosen for planting through breeding, hybridization; Crop production improvement, in this step crop plants are cultivated. It includes nutrient management, irrigation and cropping patterns and last step is Crop protection management where crops are protected from pests, weeds and any other damages.
Crop yield is the quantity of crop produced per area of land. It’s an important metric to understand because it helps us understand food security and also explains why your tomatoes can cost more one year and then less the following year.
The reasons we need to increase crop production include: the world’s population continues to grow, with higher demand for food, livestock (which eat the crops produced), biofuels, fiber, food by-products, and a myriad of other crop-producing things.
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Nutrients Supplied by Air, Water and Soil
Macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulphur
Micronutrients: iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, chlorine