Crop Yields and Global Food Security: will yield increase continue to feed the world?


Crop Yields and Global Food Security: will yield increase continue to feed the world? by Tony Fischer, Derek Byerlee and Greg Edmeades

Synopsis: This is an invaluable reference book on the opportunities for crop yield increase to feed the world to 2050. Written by three world-renowned agricultural scientists, it is aimed at agricultural scientists and economists, decision-makers in the food production industry, concerned citizens and tertiary students. It includes information on crop area and yield change for wheat, rice, maize, soybean and 20 other important crops; a detailed tour of the key breadbasket regions of the world; a discussion on ways for achieving the target yields without a substantial increase in cultivated lands; and implications of further yield increase for resource use, agricultural sustainability and the environment.

Published: May 2014 | ISBN: 978 1 925133 05 9

Mini-bio: Tony Fischer came from a wheat and sheep farm near Boree Creek in southern New South Wales, Australia, a commercial operation in which he was involved for over 50 years. He completed degrees in Agricultural Science at the University of Melbourne before pursuing a PhD in plant physiology at the University of California, Davis, USA. ACIAR

Mini-bio: Derek Byerlee comes from a sheep and wheat farm near Orroroo, on the dry northern margin of the South Australian Wheat Belt. He completed his BAgSc at the University of Adelaide, his MAgEc at the University of New England, New South Wales, and a PhD in agricultural economics at Oregon State University, USA. ACIAR

Mini-bio: Greg Edmeades was raised on a dairy farm near Cambridge in the North Island of New Zealand, and obtained his first two degrees in agriculture and crop science from Massey University in that country. ACIAR

“This is the most comprehensive account of world agronomy that we have ever had available. At 600 pages it was somewhat daunting to start, but it took no time to be fully absorbed in not only the detail of the information, but the simplicity of the presentation. The book provides substantial chapters on the ‘big 4’ world crops being rice, wheat, maize and soybeans and lesser but informative coverage of other crops. It explores yield performance of individual crops and the trends in potential yield and farm yield. The genetic, physiological, agronomic and socioeconomic factors behind the yield increases are considered and described. The on-farm constraints are evaluated, as are the prospects for closing the gap between potential yield and farm yield. Key issues are then considered including water use efficiency, nutrient use efficiency, sustainability and total factor productivity. Prospects for yield improvements also make for interesting and challenging reading. For a complex topic the book is easy to read and the presentation is outstanding. If only it were available when I was starting my career as an agronomist many years ago I may have made better decisions along the way.” – From 10 Great Books on Agriculture

European Review of Agricultural Economics Book Review
The Journal of Agriculture Science Book Review

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