How much of the past few decades yield increases can we take credit for?

Goldilocks

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Oxfordshire
Just chillaxing on a Sunday evening with a glass of wine and got to thinking that last 3 or 4 decades of yield improvements probably caused as much by increased atmospheric CO2 levels and the borrowing of fertility from the future through the wholesale oxidation of soil organic matter as by our 'amazing farming skills' and plant breeding programmes.
Answers please on a postcard..........
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
Having had a week to think about this and looking at all the responses, I think I put the improvements down to my amazing farming skills.

Next...
 
Having had a week to think about this and looking at all the responses, I think I put the improvements down to my amazing farming skills.

Next...

There could be a lot of truth in that remark. I now keep yield records on a couple of mature olive trees, that have always cropped well for me, and I am happy I am learning how to get better production from them. The same should apply to say cropping the same variety of a crop, but I do believe modern varieties yield better than old ones.
 

PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
How much of the past few decades yield increases can we take credit for?

It's a team effort, lots of little incremental improvements that add up to a lot. Although I will add that apart from increased sunlight that caused 2015's wonders, that yields have plateaued here for a number of years.

I dont think CO2 levels have much to do with it, and I'd argue that organic matter levels are stable here, although we did see the beneficial effects of ploughing out permanent grass for about 20 years.
We are not mining fertility, we are building it where it is deficient while bringing down the excessive areas, no saving to be had, just aiming for uniformity on a ha x ha sampling system.

Apart from that, I take all the credit.
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
sorry, weird post.......must stop drinking wine on Sunday evenings!
Funnily enough they are working on an app that will save you from this kind of nightmare in future. Last time I was allowed into the cellars at TFF Towers there was a team of geeks working on the breathalyser app which soon members will have to breathe into before being allowed to post in the DD section. Conversely, you won't be able to post in the Brexit section if you haven't been drinking.
 

Dockers

Member
Location
Hampshire
Over 3 decades ago (36 years ) we grew our first 4 ton (10tonnes/ha. ) crop. Hobbit. Followed by many years of 4ton crops of Avalon. Not sure my ability as a farmer has improved at all !!
Probably due to direct drilling !!!!!
PS my wine intake has more than trebled !!
 
Funnily enough they are working on an app that will save you from this kind of nightmare in future. Last time I was allowed into the cellars at TFF Towers there was a team of geeks working on the breathalyser app which soon members will have to breathe into before being allowed to post in the DD section. Conversely, you won't be able to post in the Brexit section if you haven't been drinking.
Problem with that is which end do you put the breathalyser? seems many of us breathe and talk out of different ends!
 

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

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Applying principles of regen ag can incur a range of on-farm challenges. Learn how innovative tools & machinery can help with these hurdles.

This event will be held online from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021 so please block it out in your diary.

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