Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2012
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: As estimated, agricultural productivity needs to be increased by 70 percent or more by 2050 in order to meet the world’s food demand as global population increases. In the last few decades, improving agronomic traits in crops and efficiency in crop system management are two of the key components that have contributed significantly to the increase in agricultural productivity. However, the yields for major crops have nearly plateaued. Moreover, the sustainability of agricultural production in the U.S. and worldwide faces serious threats from degradation of agro-environments as well as extreme weather conditions as global climate change becomes inevitable. Increase in agricultural production under less favorable environments and limited resources such as arable land, soil, and water is a great challenge that lies ahead. Integration of efficient cropping systems that effectively mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on agricultural production with conservation practices that increase soil organic matter and water retention, and reduce soil erosion are essential to meeting such challenges. Utilizing genetic resources to develop crop varieties with improved yield potential, enhanced water/nutrient use efficiency, and better tolerance to environmental stresses such as drought and high temperature is an important part of the solution to ensure future food security and agricultural sustainability.