Navigation Links
Improving 'crop per drop' could boost global food security and water sustainability

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (05/29/2013) Improvements in crop water productivity the amount of food produced per unit of water consumed have the potential to improve both food security and water sustainability in many parts of the world, according to a study published online in Environmental Research Letters May 29 by scientists with the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment (IonE) and the Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES) at the University of Bonn, Germany.

Led by IonE postdoctoral research scholar Kate A. Brauman, the research team analyzed crop production, water use and crop water productivity by climatic zone for 16 staple food crops: wheat, maize, rice, barley, rye, millet, sorghum, soybean, sunflower, potato, cassava, sugarcane, sugar beet, oil palm, rapeseed (canola) and groundnut (peanut). Together these crops constitute 56 percent of global crop production by tonnage, 65 percent of crop water consumption, and 68 percent of all cropland by area. The study is the first of its kind to look at water productivity for this many crops at a global scale.

The wide range of variation in crop water productivity in places that have similar climates means that there are lots of opportunities for improving the trade-off between food and water. And the implications of doing so are substantial: The researchers calculated that in drier regions, bringing up the very lowest performers to just the 20th percentile could increase annual production on rain-fed cropland enough to provide food for an estimated 110 million people without increasing water use or using additional cropland. On irrigated cropland, water consumption could be reduced enough to meet the annual domestic water demands of nearly 1.4 billion people while maintaining current production.

"Since crop production consumes more freshwater than any other human activity on the planet, the study has significant implications for addressing the twin challenges of water stress and food insecurity," says Brauman.

For example, if low crop water productivity in precipitation-limited regions were raised to the 20th percentile of water productivity, specific to particular crops and climates, total rain-fed food production in Africa could be increased by more than 10 percent without exploiting additional cropland. Similar improvements in crop water productivity on irrigated cropland could reduce total water consumption some 8󈝻 percent in precipitation-limited regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

Because the study is global in scope, it is able to identify potential locations for interventions, crops to pay attention to, and opportunities for the biggest improvements in crop water management. Specific solutions for improving crop per drop will vary by location and climatic zone over time, however.


Contact: Todd Reubold
University of Minnesota

Related biology news :

1. Improving survival of pig sperm
2. Research improving breast cancer treatment by targeting tumor initiating cells
3. Improving DNA amplification from problematic plants
4. Improving the development of new cancer models using an advanced biomedical imaging method
5. U of Minn. receives $1.8 million grant for improving efficiencies in fuel and plastics production
6. GOCEs second mission improving gravity map
7. Improving water quality can help save coral reefs
8. Waste to watts: Improving microbial fuel cells
9. Validity CTO to Present Natural ID Solutions for Improving Mobile Risk Management and User Experience at NFC Solutions Summit 2012
10. Global Surgical Devices Market Growth Driven by Improving Standards of Living and Longer Life Expectancies, Research Shows
11. Improving equine health: Research studies vaccinations to protect newborn foals
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... WASHINGTON , April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... single-cell precision engineering platform, detected a statistically ... cell product prior to treatment and objective ... highlight the potential to predict whether cancer ... prior to treatment, as well as to ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company that ... North America , today announced a Series B ... of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s ... to transform population health activities through the collection and ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Georgia (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing ... taking the lives of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in ... greenovative startup Treepex - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... Center’s FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the ... for Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... this year’s recipients of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who ... be presented in a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... San Antonio, Texas (PRWEB) , ... ... ... a new study published on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, ... demonstrated equivalence with the gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: