Crop Yield Improvement – Basics, Tips, And Ideas

Crop Yield Improvement

How to Improve Crop Yield

Hello friends, are you worried about getting lower yields with your crop? Well, we are here today with a topic of Crop Yield Improvement. Agriculture is a key activity of human beings since it provides basic needs for humans such as food, clothing, and shelter in India. India is blessed with many seasons and hosts a different variety of crops in this country. This is because different crops need different temperature levels and climatic conditions to complete their life cycle. Also, the quality of crops is dependent on what we call the photoperiod. The crop yield is a measurement of the amount of a crop grown per unit area of land. It has been demonstrated that an increase in crop yields significantly reduces poverty and crop yield is the measure of crop produced per area of land. The seed ratio is another method of calculating yields. In this article we also discuss the below topics about improve crop yield;

  • Strategies to improve the crop yield in India
  • Ways of improving crop yield
  • Best ways to boost your yields
  • How do farmers increase their crop yield
  • Reasons for improving crop yield
  • Strategies to improve agricultural productivity
  • Why is crop yield important
  • How to improve crop quality
  • How do farmers increase their crop yield
  • Importance of crop yield
  • Different ways to increase crop yield

Sample sizes of a harvested crop are mainly measured to determine the estimated crop yield. Crop yield is the measure of seeds or grains which is formed from a given land plot. It is measured in kilograms per hectare or bushels per acre.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Crop Yield Improvement, Basics, Tips, And Ideas

Paddy Yield
Paddy field (image credit: pixabay)

Major Crops Grown In India

Major crops grown in India are Rice, Wheat, Millets, Pulses, Tea, Coffee, Sugarcane, Oil Seeds, Cotton, Vegetable Crops, and Jute, etc. In India, cultivated crops can be divided into different types;

  • Food grains like Rice, Wheat, Maize, Millets, and Pulses,
  • Cash Crops like Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane, Tobacco, and Oilseeds,
  • Plantation Crops such as Tea, Coffee, Coconut and, Rubber and
  • Horticulture crops such as Fruits and Vegetables.

In India, the seasonal crops have been divided into Rabi, Kharif, and Zaid crops.

What Is Crop Yield?

In addition to feeding humans, we also need crops to feed livestock and use for bio-energy. One of the metrics used to find the efficiency of food production is crop yield. Usually, it is used for corn, cereals, grains, or legumes, and it can be expressed in kilograms/hectare or metric tons/hectare. Crop yield is also referred to as ‘agricultural output’.

Crop yield is the measure of seeds which is produced from a given land plot. It is considered to be probably the most important measure of each farmer’s performance, as it embodies the result of all the efforts and then resources invested by agrarians in the development of plants on their fields.

Environmental Factors Affecting Crop Yields

The environmental factors affecting crop yields can be categorized into abiotic and biotic constraints. These environmental factors are more intensified with global warming which leads to climate change. The abiotic constraints include soil properties like soil components, pH, physicochemical and biological properties, and climatic stresses (drought, cold, flood, heat stress, etc.). Biotic factors such as beneficial organisms like pollinators, decomposers and natural enemies, pests (arthropods, pathogens, weeds, pests), and anthropogenic evolution.

Variations in annual rainfall, average temperature level, the global increase of atmospheric CO2, and fluctuations in sea levels are some of the main manifestations of climate change, which negatively impact crop yields. Climate change is the result of global warming. Weather changes present positive and negative effects in the environment with very high expression of negative effects.

Objectives of Crop Yield Improvement

Jowar Crop
Objectives of Crop Yield Improvement (pic source: pixabay)
  • Higher yield – You can achieve a higher crop yield by developing HYV (high yielding variety) crops. This can be done by the hybridization process and cross-breeding.
  • Biotic and Abiotic Resistance – We should develop crops that are resistant to biotic stresses such as insects and diseases and abiotic stresses like heat, salinity, and cold. This can significantly improve crop production in India.
  • Various Desirable Agronomic Traits – Higher production can be achieved by developing varieties of crops that contain the desirable agronomic traits to sustain the several threats during the production.
  • Better Adaptability of Crops – By developing crops with better adaptability to changing nutritional conditions, we can stabilize crop production, leading to higher yields.
  • Easier to Adapt to Changing Climatic Conditions – Producing the varieties that are easier to adapt to the new and changing climatic conditions easily. Also, this is a great method to improve crop yield.

To improve the crop’s yield, one should have a proper understanding of the factors that affect the growth of crops. The crops are grown depending upon the seasons.

  • Kharif crops are grown in the rainy season such as paddy, cotton, and maize, etc.
  • Rabi crops are winter crops such as wheat, gram, and peas, etc.

Three basic approaches are adopted in India to increase crop yield. They are;

  • Crop variety improvement
  • Crop production management
  • Nutrient management

Crop variety improvement

Crop variety improvement is the main step to improve food crop production. It helps in the development of crops with desired traits like high crop yields, disease resistance, and quality product. A variety of crops can be selected by breeding for various characteristics such as disease resistance, response to fertilizers, and high yields.

Need for Higher Crop Yield or Crop Yield Improvement

  • With the rising population and livestock, the demand for food and fodder has been increasing.
  • Also, there is a rise in the standard of living and people have become more conscious about their health. Then, this has led to an increase in the demand for good quality products.
  • It becomes necessary to increase the crop variety to produce disease-resistance off-springs of the crops.
  • Also, it helps in providing better varieties based on the quality and quantity of the yield.

Crop Production Management for Crop Yield Improvement

India is an agriculture-based country and around 3/4th of the population in the country is dependent on agriculture. Based on the size of the farms, different farmers have different amounts of money, and technology to develop the crops. Crop management is necessary to feed the large population of India. The increasing risk of diseases, pests, insects, and weeds makes it essential to manage the crop properly to get a good yield and quality of crops. The more the inputs, the higher is the crop yield. There are three types of crop production management. These mainly include ‘no cost’, ‘low cost’ and ‘high cost’ production practices.

Nutrient Management for Crop Yield Improvement

Nutrient management is an important part of improving crop yield. Many macro and micronutrients are very important for the plants to build their structure and maintain their metabolism. Nutrient management is critical to increasing crop yields on agricultural land. Several types of nutrients are required by the plants, which are subdivided into two categories;

Macronutrients – These are the essential elements that are required in large quantities by the plants. Examples include carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen.

Micronutrients – These are essential for the plants in small quantities. Examples include magnesium, iron, boron, and zinc, etc.

Why Crop Yield Improvement is Important in Farming Sector

There are a few important reasons why understanding crop yield is so important. First, there is a lot of feed required and there’s a finite amount of land to grow food on. Being able to estimate crop yield allows us to understand food security, and the ability to produce enough food to meet human needs in the foreseeable future. Second, each crop has an estimate of what its yield will be known as a potential yield. The difference between their output and the potential yield is known as a yield gap.

How much you can produce within a given amount of land is basically how efficient you are as a farmer. You want to ensure that you are maximizing space and the land you have worked to cultivate. Crop yields not only determine efficiency, but you’re bottom-line as well.

Why do farmers care about achieving the yield? Generally, farmers’ incomes are based upon the amount of food they produce. Thus, if a farmer’s crop yield is high, then making more money. A farmer is always balancing the price of growing crops with the expected crop yield so they get much money as possible.

Finally, care about crop yields directly affect how much money we pay for groceries. Also, if a crop has many years of low crop yield, farmers switch to growing something else, causing a long-term decrease in availability and higher prices.

Key Measures for Crop Yield Improvement

In case if you miss this: Hydroponic Beans Farming.

Onion Harvest
High Yield Onions Harvest (pic credit: pixabay)

Soil Testing and It’s Quality for Crop Yield Improvement

The quality of soil that means its fertility is one of the main factors that affect crop yields. Apart from agricultural productivity, the quality of soil influences the cost for a farmer to grow one or another plant, as some of them require certain ratios of specific elements in the soil, like mineral particles, organic matter, water, and air, etc. To attain increased crop yields, farmers require to closely monitor soil conditions on their land plots. One of the best methods to maintain the soil in good health is to practice crop rotation, among others. Alternating plants on a given field prevent soil exhaustion, which will affect better agricultural output and will increase the average crop yield per acre.

Smart water management for Crop Yield Improvement

By using sprinkler irrigation systems you can increase crop yields up to 50%. If the crops get too much water, the roots can rot, and the crops won’t get enough oxygen from the soil. So, the surplus of water on fields can equally affect the overall growth and development of crops directly and also its yield and quality.

Improve Soil and then Increase Crop Yield

Find the cause of decreasing crop yield by soil testing is the first step to finding the source of the issue whether it’s a disease, a lack of nutrients, or unproductive soil. Then the soil can be treated with the suitable organic product needed to solve the problem, without the use of synthetic chemicals which can harm the environment (and provide only a temporary solution). Biotechnology has been shown to increase crop yields. It provides an alternative to chemical pesticides, helping eliminate millions of pounds of pesticide applications worldwide. Other advantages of biotechnology include;

  • Improved plant and beneficial bacteria and fungi growth
  • Improved soil ecology, recovery, friability, and fertility
  • Increased microbial diversification, population, and density
  • Decreased plant stress from environmental conditions
  • Increased disease resistance and suppression

Varieties Selection or Quality of Seeds for Crop Yield Improvement

Improved heat-tolerant varieties allow the plant to maintain crop yields at higher temperatures.  Heat tolerant varieties could increase crop yields from up to 23%. Agricultural productivity mainly depends on the quality of seeds with which farmers sow their fields. By choosing certified seeds cost higher than those that do not have certification, but the result will be worth it because the proper quality of seeds is the main factor that affects crop yield. Planting high-quality seeds are the method to increase crop yield. Farmer can check the quality of seeds and then requesting them to conduct special trials on a given land plot if needed.

Conservation tillage for Crop Yield Improvement

By applying conservation tillage practices, you save time, fuel and increases crop yield. Adverse effects of soil compaction on crop production recognized for many years.

Monitoring Crops Growth

From the early stage of crop development through budding and up to harvesting, it is important to monitor plant health to timely detect any problem that can arise on given farmland and that can affect the yield of crops. Regular satellite monitoring of land plots allows farmers to follow the growth status of plants and by using remote sensing carry out crop yield estimation.

Even though satellites do not measure the stages of plant development directly, but with spectral indices. Crop monitoring provides data on daily temperatures and calculates their total sum. Based on this data, the software is capable of detecting growth stages for several types of plants and represents their correlations with other data so that the farmers could make well-weighted decisions.

Practice Seasonal Soil Rotation for Crop Yield Improvement

When you are planting season-by-season, it is very important to understand how planting recurring crops can affect your overall crop yield. Planting an alternating crop helps to diversify the demands on the soil.

How Do Fertilizers Increase Crop Yield?

Crop yield mainly depends on fertilizer applications. Also, micronutrients are important when it comes to crop yield, in fact during harvest season nutrients deplete because plants are using their nutrients to push out more fruit. Therefore, it is important to keep all nutrients high and balanced before harvest season so your crops don’t lack production.

Nitrogen is the key element required for good plant growth and efficient use of nitrogen can increase crop yields by 22%. Running a plant tissue analysis can help you find which nutrients you are deficient in, which can help you evaluate which nutrients you need so you can maximize yield. Another method to help increase crop yield is increasing the rate of photosynthesis and increasing the rate of photosynthesis can easily increase crop yield by 10%.

Tips and Ideas and Basics for Crop Yield Improvement

Farming dependent on a symbiotic relationship with the earth. And, farming is also high-tech. Generally, new apps and software help today’s farmers track, analyze, and assess their fields for the best crop yield. Here are some of the tips that farmers increase their crop yield.

Take Time to Learn the Land

  • The successful crop yield depends on an understanding of the soil. Analysis and insights gleaned over the years will help you plan field rotation and fertilizing needs.
  • Nutrients, sunlight, and growing degree days (GDD) all play an important role as you schedule the care of crops. During the growing season, planting, irrigation, and fertilizer or pesticide application will rely on soil conditions.
  • In each stage of the development of plants, you will need to pay attention to the soil conditions. Soil testing gives you actionable insights into the best practices for crops.
  • By doing research, you must avoid the risk of wasting precious time. Farmers enjoy a higher crop yield and more profit when they know their land intimately.

Work With the Weather

Much of farming is out of your control. Extreme weather, the daily average temperature level, and the life cycle of plants and insects are not under your authority. The weather instead of guessing what will come next is powerful for agribusiness. And technology is the most straightforward method to get there.

Accurate and timely weather data will help you make decisions regarding;

  • Planting
  • Irrigation
  • Fertilizing

Plant High-Quality Seed

In India, farming is not a low-cost business, so it makes sense that owners and farm managers are looking to limit their expenditures. But when hoping to increase crop yield, avoid the mistake of cutting costs on seeds. Low-quality seeds are giving you an unfortunate result. It is better to streamline farming operations in other ways rather than choosing inferior seeds. 

By choosing high-quality seeds are the basis for increasing crop yields. Whether you are looking into increasing yields or maximizing overall agricultural productivity, and then you need to consider the quality of seeds.

Plant Early, Plant Effectively

Choosing the right time to plant is the most important part of planting. The best strategy to use to increase yields is your soil is ready, start planting. Early planting can result in increased crop yields.

Select the right time to plant; this is a critical process of planting. If soil is ready, do the planting. Several tests can be performed to test how ready your soil is. Take the advantage of early favorable conditions and increase your yields.

Test Your Soil

Testing the soil must always be on top of your list. Examine all the properties like potassium, phosphorus, and fertilization levels.

Practice Seasonal Soil Rotation

When you are planting season-by-season, it is very important to understand how planting recurring crops can affect your overall yield. If you don’t have access to either, you can need to consider planting alternative crops in alternating years. Planting an alternating crop mainly helps to diversify the demands on your soil. Try and alternate crops in different seasons, or also you practice mixed farming. This helps in diversifying the soil demands and the results of such practice will be increased yields year on year.

Know the Yield Potential

It is not enough to plant seeds and hope for the best, you should understand your field’s growth potential. Understanding the crop types you are using is key when assessing yield potential.

Ensure Proper Water Drainage

Water management is necessary to crop survival and maximizing your yield potential. It’s important to ensure your crop is getting enough water, but also they aren’t being over-watered. Developing a drainage system in crops can help prevent waterlogging and salinization in soil. Develop water drainage to avoid waterlogging and balance soil pH level, which will ensure proper growth.

Utilize Fertilizers

Cultivating your soil with fertilizers is an important part of maintaining optimal soil conditions for crops on farmland. Fertilizing crops at the time of seeding can help provide the seeds with essential nutrients like potassium, phosphorous, and calcium.

Weed Early and Often

Weeds are also compromised your farmland. Weeds always need to be dealt with as early and as possible. Scouting fields allows you to spot them early before the problem can get out of hand.

All these tips will provide a strong start in agriculture; enable you to begin putting them into practice, and start maximizing yield on your farm.


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