Use of agro-climatic zones to upscale simulated crop yield potential

J. van Wart, L.G.J. van Bussel, J. Wolf, R. Licker, P. Grassini, A. Nelson, H.L. Boogaard, J. Gerber, N.D. Mueller, L.F.G. Claessens, M.K. van Ittersum, K.G. Cassman

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117 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Yield gap analysis, which evaluates magnitude and variability of difference between crop yield potential (Yp) or water limited yield potential (Yw) and actual farm yields, provides a measure of untapped food production capacity. Reliable location-specific estimates of yield gaps, either derived from research plots or simulation models, are available only for a limited number of locations and crops due to cost and time required for field studies or for obtaining data on long-term weather, crop rotations and management practices, and soil properties. Given these constraints, we compare global agro-climatic zonation schemes for suitability to up-scale location-specific estimates of Yp and Yw, which are the basis for estimating yield gaps at regional, national, and global scales. Six global climate zonation schemes were evaluated for climatic homogeneity within delineated climate zones (CZs) and coverage of crop area. An efficient CZ scheme should strike an effective balance between zone size and number of zones required to cover a large portion of harvested area of major food crops. Climate heterogeneity was very large in CZ schemes with less than 100 zones. Of the other four schemes, the Global Yield Gap Atlas Extrapolation Domain (GYGA-ED) approach, based on a matrix of three categorical variables (growing degree days, aridity index, temperature seasonality) to delineate CZs for harvested area of all major food crops, achieved reasonable balance between number of CZs to cover 80% of global crop area and climate homogeneity within zones. While CZ schemes derived from two climate-related categorical variables require a similar number of zones to cover 80% of crop area, within-zone heterogeneity is substantially greater than for the GYGA-ED for most weather variables that are sensitive drivers of crop production. Some CZ schemes are crop-specific, which limits utility for up-scaling location-specific evaluation of yield gaps in regions with crop rotations rather than single crop species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-55
JournalField Crops Research
Volume143
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

agroclimatology
crop yield
climate
crop
crops
food crops
weather
crop rotation
climatic zone
atlas
homogeneity
zonation
dry environmental conditions
crop management
heat sums
food production
crop production
simulation models
soil properties

Keywords

  • global land areas
  • climate-change
  • agroecological zones
  • management
  • impacts
  • classification
  • agriculture
  • patterns
  • system
  • world

Cite this

van Wart, J., van Bussel, L. G. J., Wolf, J., Licker, R., Grassini, P., Nelson, A., ... Cassman, K. G. (2013). Use of agro-climatic zones to upscale simulated crop yield potential. Field Crops Research, 143, 44-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2012.11.023
van Wart, J. ; van Bussel, L.G.J. ; Wolf, J. ; Licker, R. ; Grassini, P. ; Nelson, A. ; Boogaard, H.L. ; Gerber, J. ; Mueller, N.D. ; Claessens, L.F.G. ; van Ittersum, M.K. ; Cassman, K.G. / Use of agro-climatic zones to upscale simulated crop yield potential. In: Field Crops Research. 2013 ; Vol. 143. pp. 44-55.
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Use of agro-climatic zones to upscale simulated crop yield potential. / van Wart, J.; van Bussel, L.G.J.; Wolf, J.; Licker, R.; Grassini, P.; Nelson, A.; Boogaard, H.L.; Gerber, J.; Mueller, N.D.; Claessens, L.F.G.; van Ittersum, M.K.; Cassman, K.G.

In: Field Crops Research, Vol. 143, 2013, p. 44-55.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Use of agro-climatic zones to upscale simulated crop yield potential

AU - van Wart, J.

AU - van Bussel, L.G.J.

AU - Wolf, J.

AU - Licker, R.

AU - Grassini, P.

AU - Nelson, A.

AU - Boogaard, H.L.

AU - Gerber, J.

AU - Mueller, N.D.

AU - Claessens, L.F.G.

AU - van Ittersum, M.K.

AU - Cassman, K.G.

PY - 2013

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AB - Yield gap analysis, which evaluates magnitude and variability of difference between crop yield potential (Yp) or water limited yield potential (Yw) and actual farm yields, provides a measure of untapped food production capacity. Reliable location-specific estimates of yield gaps, either derived from research plots or simulation models, are available only for a limited number of locations and crops due to cost and time required for field studies or for obtaining data on long-term weather, crop rotations and management practices, and soil properties. Given these constraints, we compare global agro-climatic zonation schemes for suitability to up-scale location-specific estimates of Yp and Yw, which are the basis for estimating yield gaps at regional, national, and global scales. Six global climate zonation schemes were evaluated for climatic homogeneity within delineated climate zones (CZs) and coverage of crop area. An efficient CZ scheme should strike an effective balance between zone size and number of zones required to cover a large portion of harvested area of major food crops. Climate heterogeneity was very large in CZ schemes with less than 100 zones. Of the other four schemes, the Global Yield Gap Atlas Extrapolation Domain (GYGA-ED) approach, based on a matrix of three categorical variables (growing degree days, aridity index, temperature seasonality) to delineate CZs for harvested area of all major food crops, achieved reasonable balance between number of CZs to cover 80% of global crop area and climate homogeneity within zones. While CZ schemes derived from two climate-related categorical variables require a similar number of zones to cover 80% of crop area, within-zone heterogeneity is substantially greater than for the GYGA-ED for most weather variables that are sensitive drivers of crop production. Some CZ schemes are crop-specific, which limits utility for up-scaling location-specific evaluation of yield gaps in regions with crop rotations rather than single crop species.

KW - global land areas

KW - climate-change

KW - agroecological zones

KW - management

KW - impacts

KW - classification

KW - agriculture

KW - patterns

KW - system

KW - world

U2 - 10.1016/j.fcr.2012.11.023

DO - 10.1016/j.fcr.2012.11.023

M3 - Article

VL - 143

SP - 44

EP - 55

JO - Field Crops Research

JF - Field Crops Research

SN - 0378-4290

ER -