Identifying sustainable opportunities to close yield gaps in Europe (XC9)

The increasing demand for food requires a sustainable intensification of crop production in low-yielding areas. Actions to improve crop production in these regions call for accurate spatially explicit identification of yield gaps (YGs). The Global Yield Gap Atlas (GYGA) proposes a consistent bottom-up approach to estimate YGs. The first objective of this work package is that by the end of 2015, all major cereal growing regions will be covered, together with local partners. The quantification of YGs can be considered a first step towards decreasing or even closing the YG. The second objective focuses on identification of the underlying factors that contribute to the YGs. The challenge of this XC activity is to identify the relevant drivers within a larger set of biophysical and socio-economic factors. Following the identification of the relevant drivers, the next step towards a sustainable YG reduction requires an assessment of how measures to decrease the YG can be implemented with minimal negative trade-offs for farm income and environment, and in an optimal synergy with climate adaptation measures.

Our work is organised in a matrix, combining three tasks and four geographic regions (Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, Nordics, Western Europe). Tasks 1 and 2 reflect the different steps from identifying to explaining YGs. Task 3, depending on additional funding (currently not there), involves regional cases for sustainable reduction of YGs. 

Tasks

XC9.1 Quantifying yield gaps
XC9.2 Explaining yield gaps
XC9.3 Sustainable options to reduce yield gaps (depending on availability of additional financial sources)

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