Plateauing yield gains signal the end of the agricultural ‘green revolution’ – what are the implications?

Food security and land required for food production largely depend on rate of yield gain of major cereal crops. The new analysis Distinguishing between yield advances and yield plateaus in historical crop production trends finds evidence of yield plateaus or abrupt decreases in rate of yield gain, following five decades of the gains through the rapid adoption of green revolution technologies that were largely one-time innovations. The implications? Future crops yields are likely overestimated, leading to estimates of land requirements for crop production that are too low and diminish capacity for effective strategic planning and research prioritisation to ensure future food security and conservation of natural resources.

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