Recent patterns of crop yield growth and stagnation

Deepak K. Ray, Navin Ramankutty, Nathaniel D. Mueller, Paul C. West, Jonathan A. Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 244 Citations

Abstract

In the coming decades, continued population growth, rising meat and dairy consumption and expanding biofuel use will dramatically increase the pressure on global agriculture. Even as we face these future burdens, there have been scattered reports of yield stagnation in the world's major cereal crops, including maize, rice and wheat. Here we study data from ∼2.5 million census observations across the globe extending over the period 1961-2008. We examined the trends in crop yields for four key global crops: maize, rice, wheat and soybeans. Although yields continue to increase in many areas, we find that across 24-39% of maize-, rice-, wheat- and soybean-growing areas, yields either never improve, stagnate or collapse. This result underscores the challenge of meeting increasing global agricultural demands. New investments in underperforming regions, as well as strategies to continue increasing yields in the high-performing areas, are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2296
JournalNature Communications
Volume3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Fingerprint

Oryza sativa
Triticum
Zea mays
Crops
crops
Soybeans
wheat
rice
Erythrasma
soybeans
Biofuels
Population Growth
Censuses
Agriculture
Meat
Cereals
Aminohippuric Acids
Biogenic Amines
Dairies
Meats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

MeSH PubMed subject areas

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Cite this

Ray, D. K., Ramankutty, N., Mueller, N. D., West, P. C., & Foley, J. A. (2012). Recent patterns of crop yield growth and stagnation. Nature Communications, 3, [2296]. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2296

Recent patterns of crop yield growth and stagnation. / Ray, Deepak K.; Ramankutty, Navin; Mueller, Nathaniel D.; West, Paul C.; Foley, Jonathan A.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 3, 2296, 2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ray, DK, Ramankutty, N, Mueller, ND, West, PC & Foley, JA 2012, 'Recent patterns of crop yield growth and stagnation' Nature Communications, vol 3, 2296. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2296
Ray DK, Ramankutty N, Mueller ND, West PC, Foley JA. Recent patterns of crop yield growth and stagnation. Nature Communications. 2012;3. 2296. Available from, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2296

Ray, Deepak K.; Ramankutty, Navin; Mueller, Nathaniel D.; West, Paul C.; Foley, Jonathan A. / Recent patterns of crop yield growth and stagnation.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 3, 2296, 2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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