By BIOTOL (Project); Open Universiteit (Heerlen, Netherlands); University of Greenwich
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1. Farming Systems 28 2. , 2011; Grassini & Cassman, 2012). 3 Drivers for higher yields and efficiencies Improvement in on-farm crop yield and efficiencies arises from the adoption by producers of (1) genetic (G) technology in the form of newly released maize hybrids and soybean cultivars that have greater genetic yield potential and (2) agronomic (A) technology in the form of crop management practices that enhance the yield of the production environment. e. by reducing the impact of insects or weeds) are considered here as agronomic technologies.
The use of glyphosate-resistant cultivars has not only provided near-total weed control (though glyphosate-resistant weeds are now increasingly appearing), but it has also accelerated producer adoption of reduced- or no-till practices as well as the narrowing of row spacing. G × A INTERACTION Rincker et al. (2014) noted that the estimated rate of genetic improvement was significantly greater when the historic cultivar sets were evaluated in highly productive environments 1. Farming Systems 4 Challenges to higher yields and efficiencies vs less productive environments.
G and A factors are to a large extent interchangeable and, consequently, yield improvement will result from the combination of both. For instance, abiotic-stress tolerance can be improved by genetic means and/or improved site-specific management through selection of the best combination of hybrid, plant density, pest control, and nutrient inputs for management zones within a field. 1. 2 Soybean GENETIC DRIVERS Soybean breeders seek to increase the genetic yield potential by releasing new cultivars that have demonstrably higher yield than currently available cultivars of the same maturity group (MG).