Why is crop yield important in agriculture

Sometimes crop yield is referred to as “agricultural output.” In a global economy, crop yield data is vital to measure if crops that are produced can adequately provide enough food for a nation’s food supply, livestock feed, and energy sources.


Why is it important to measure crop yield?

First, as we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of mouths to feed on our planet and there’s a finite amount of land to grow food on. Being able to estimate crop yield allows us to understand food security, the ability to produce enough food to meet human needs in the foreseeable future.

How can we increase the yield of agricultural crops?

Without the ability to farm more acreage yield increases must come from genetic improvement or greater agricultural inputs (fertilizer, water, and pest/weed management).

What is an example of crop yield?

Crop yield can also refer to the actual seed generation from the plant. For example, a grain of wheat yielding three new grains of wheat would have a crop yield of 1:3. Sometimes crop yield is referred to as “agricultural output.”

Why do scientists and policy makers want to improve crop yields?

Yet, the goal of many scientists and policy makers is to improve yields at a rate sufficient to keep food prices low and avoid significant expansion of croplands. The reasons for this goal are many and include improvement in food security, preservation of natural habitats and biodiversity, and protection of the climate system ( 3, 4 ).

What does yield mean in agriculture?

In agriculture, the yield is a measurement of the amount of a crop grown, or product such as wool, meat or milk produced, per unit area of land.

Why is crop production important in agriculture?

Agronomic crops provide the food, feed grain, oil, and fiber for domestic consumption and are a major component of U.S. export trade. Horticultural plants — those grown specifically for human use — offer variety to human diets and enhance the living environment.

What are the benefits of increased crop yields?

This is significant as farmers reported the three benefits they desired most from cover crops were increased soil organic matter, reducing erosion and reducing compaction.

What is crop production and its important?

Crop production is the process of growing crops for domestic and commercial purposes. Some of the crops produced on a large scale include rice, wheat, maize, jute, etc.

What is the purpose of crop production?

In crop production systems, crop production (grain, fruit, forage, biomass) is sustained through photosynthesis and uptake of water, nitrogen, and other essential plant nutrients. In livestock production systems, animals assimilate nitrogen through the consumption of amino acids in grains and forages.

What affects crop yield?

Yield is influenced by climate and temperature, plant and water management, and soil nutrient management factors. Good genetics plus the ability to manipulate and optimize the plant’s environment generally result in the highest yields. Climate and temperature factors are critical to achieving high yields.

How will you improve the crop yield and quality of the crop?

By improving the crop variety through cross-breeding and hybridization, the crop yield can be increased. The crop becomes resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. For short-duration crops, the early maturing varieties can fit the crop into multiple cropping varieties.

What is the benefit of high yield crops quizlet?

The seeds of high-yielding crops were larger, able to photosynthesize more efficiently, and able to grow even in places with limited sunlight. In addition, high-yielding crops meant that large varieties of crops were no longer necessary.

Why is crop yield important?

In a global economy, crop yield data is vital to measure if crops that are produced can adequately provide enough food for a nation’s food supply, livestock feed, and energy sources.

What is crop yield?

Crop yield is a standard measurement of the amount of agricultural production harvested—yield of a crop—per unit of land area. Crop yield is the measure most often used for cereal, grain, or legumes; and typically is measured in bushels, tons, or pounds per acre in the U.S. Sample sizes of a harvested crop are generally measured to determine …

How to calculate crop yield?

To estimate crop yield, producers usually count the amount of a given crop harvested in a sample area. Then the harvested crop is weighed, and the crop yield of the entire field is extrapolated from the sample.

How has crop yield increased over the past decades?

Crop yields and farm efficiency have increased dramatically over the past decades as technology has advanced in farm automation, crop genetics, fertilizers, and pesticides.

When was the absolute low crop yield?

Interestingly, for many products, the absolute low crop yield occurred in the 1930s during the time of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl years, while the absolute high crop yield occurred in the most recent years recorded. 2.

Why was the USDA important in the 1960s?

was using such methods to assess the agricultural health of China and the Soviet Union. Today, foreign countries frequently publish crop yield statistics on their government websites, similar to what the USDA does in the U.S.

How does climate affect crop yield?

The average crop yield per acre on a given field is very much conditioned by weather factors. With the same quality of soil and the same species of seeds planted, the climate conditions have a predominant influence on the development of plants and, consequently, on yields. It is especially true when considering how climate change affects agriculture in separate regions and on Earth in general. To work efficiently and cooperatively with such an important but uncontrollable factor as weather, farmers have an opportunity to refer to the newest technological solutions that help them obtain accurate weather prediction.

How do agrarians increase crop yields?

Agrarians aiming to increase crop yields must take care of their plants throughout their development and up the end of the growing season. Depending on the problem that may arise, farmers use different substances to diminish the impact of weeds, pests or diseases on crop yield.

Why do agrarians need to sow seeds?

Agricultural productivity depends on the quality of seeds with which farmers sow their fields. Therefore, in order to increase crop yield on their farmlands , agrarians are recommended to sow only certified seeds that have passed all the necessary quality controls.

Why is it important to monitor crop growth?

From the early stage of development through budding and up to harvesting, it is very important to monitor plant health in order to timely detect any problem that can arise on a given farmland (be it related to pest infestations, plant diseases, weeds, etc.) and that can affect the crop yield .

What are the issues of interest to farmers?

Throughout the existence of agriculture, one of the main issues of interest to farmers was the issue of increasing crop yield. What are the best ways to increase crop yi eld per acre? What are the factors that affect crop yi eld most? Recently, in view of the constant growth of the world’s population, this issue is becoming more and more relevant. However, with the emergence of new challenges for agrarians, there are also new ways and technologies appearing that are called to respond to them. This is what this article is about: what growers can do for increasing crop yield on their farmlands and what new technologies can help farmers in this matter.

What is crop monitoring?

Crop Monitoring provides farmers with weather analytics that include current and historical weather data, as well as forecasts up to two weeks ahead. Also, this software allows agrarians to detect the extreme weather states that can affect crop yields:

How does a scout help farmers?

This way, a farmer can create multiple scouting tasks simultaneously, easily managing them and monitoring their completion. Such time-effective and highly accurate field scouting solution assists agrarians in their daily work and can help increase their yields.

What is crop yield?

The definition for ‘ crop yield ‘ given by the FAO is ‘Harvested production per unit of harvested area for crop products. In most of the cases yield data are not recorded but obtained by dividing the production data by the data on area harvested. Data on yields of permanent crops are not as reliable as those for temporary crops either because most of the area information may correspond to planted area, as for grapes, or because of the scarcity and unreliability of the area figures reported by the countries, as for example for cocoa and coffee.’ 4

What are the factors that contribute to the increase in corn yield?

What caused this significant drive in yield improvements? There are a number of factors which are likely to have contributed to sustained yield gains: fertilizer application, irrigation, increased soil tillage, and improved farming practices. However, a key driver in the initial rise in yield is considered to be the adoption of improved corn varieties from plant breeding developments. The initial period of yield gains in the late 1930s-early 1940s coincides with the transition period of farmers from open-pollinated varieties to hybrids. This process of cross-breeding between open-pollinated varieties, combined with improved breed selection practices is thought to define the key turning point in US corn yields. 1

What is yield gap?

Yield gaps are defined as the different between the actual crop yield and the attainable yield.

How much land was used for cereal production in 2014?

However, if global average cereal yields were to have remained at their 1961 levels, we see the amount of additional land (in blue) which we would have had to convert to arable land if we were to achieve the same levels of cereal production. This ‘spared’ land amounts to 1.26 billion hectares in 2014– roughly equal to the area of Mexico and Europe combined.

How much has the average cereal yield increased since 1961?

Most of our improvements in cereal production have arisen from improvements in yield. The average cereal yield has increased by 175 percent since 1961.

What is the trade-off between land use for agriculture and yields?

This trade-off between land use for agriculture and yields is very clearly exemplified in a comparison between cereal production in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Expansion of cereal production has followed very different paths in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.#N#Land use for cereal production in South Asia has increased by less than 20 percent since 1961, meanwhile cereal yields have more than tripled – which meant that much more food could be produced in South Asia without an equivalent extension of the agricultural land. This is in strong contrast to Sub-Saharan Africa where the area of land used for cereal production has more than doubled since 1961 and yields have only increased by 80 percent.#N#Click to open interactive version

Which countries have seen a much larger increase in cereal yields relative to area used for production?

Most European, American (both North and Latin American), Asian and Pacific countries have seen a much larger increase in cereal yields relative to area used for production. For many, changes in the arable land have been minimal (or have declined). This is an important contrast to Africa where results are more mixed.

Why are agronomists important?

Agronomists and the growers they serve strive to efficiently produce the food, fuel, and fiber used by the world. Most of the time that growers are planting a crop, it’s to produce a yield. Some practices, like using cover crops and mulches, are done for the sole purpose of improving soil health. Those are important techniques that contribute to the long-term gains and sustainability of farming.

What do agronomists do to help with soil erosion?

An agronomist might recommend conservation tillage or cover crops in these situations. Both practices can fill other field needs. They can conserve soil moisture, reducing irrigation concerns. Minimizing surface tillage and keeping the soil covered with a cover crop can also reduce potential soil erosion. Erosion control, in turn, helps prevent the loss of fertilizers and pesticides from the field . This helps protect finite surface water resources.

Why are water sensors important for agriculture?

Water sensors help growers know how much irrigation is needed. All these practices can improve efficiency, minimize costs, and optimize yield.

What are the challenges of growing food?

Growers face the challenges of an increasing demand for food and a decreasing amount of land for production. The growing population needs healthy food to eat. However, expanding cities and towns reduce the amount of land where farmers can economically grow that food.

When is corn harvested in the US?

No-till corn in August with rows of old cover crop stubble from the previous fall. Overwintering cover crops are harvested in May, generating additional feed on local dairy farms. Credit: Samantha Glaze-Corcoran

Why do scientists use equipment in the field?

use equipment in the field to mUsing devices in the field helps scientists take precise measurements on plants in order to identify stress tolerant crops. Credit: H Schneider

Why are average farm yields smaller than yield potential?

Average farm yields in a region or country are inevitably smaller than yield potential, sometimes significantly so, because achieving yield potential requires near perfect management of crop and soil factors that influence plant growth and development throughout the crop growth cycle.

How are future crop yields related to food security?

Future trajectories of food prices, food security, and cropland expansion are closely linked to future average crop yields in the major agricultural regions of the world. Because the maximum possible yields achieved in farmers’ fields might level off or even decline in many regions over the next few decades, reducing the gap between average and potential yields is critical. In most major irrigated wheat, rice, and maize systems, yields appear to be at or near 80% of yield potential, with no evidence for yields having exceeded this threshold to date. A fundamental constraint in these systems appears to be uncertainty in growing season weather; thus tools to address this uncertainty would likely reduce gaps. Otherwise, short-term prospects for yield gains in irrigated agriculture appear grim without increased yield potential. Average yields in rainfed systems are commonly 50% or less of yield potential, suggesting ample room for improvement, though estimation of yield gaps for rainfed regions is subject to more errors than for irrigated regions. Several priorities for future research are identified.

Why do we use yield potential?

We use the term yield potential for irrigated systems because it is assumed that an irrigated crop can be provided with adequate water supply throughout growth. In contrast, we refer to maximum possible yields under rainfed conditions as “water-limited yield potential” because most rainfed crops suffer at least short-term water deficits at some point during the growing season.

How does plant population affect yield?

Plant population, the term typically used in agronomy for plant density and measured as the number of plants per m2, also affects the yield potential at a given location, because maximum dry matter accumulation rates occur when the spatial density of plants allows rapid leaf canopy development to intercept all incoming solar radiation as early as possible in the growing season. Under irrigated conditions, optimal plant density for grain yield is somewhat smaller than for maximum dry matter accumulation because too much vegetative growth makes the crop more susceptible to late-season diseases and instability, which causes the plants to fall over (called lodging). For rainfed systems where rainfall amounts decrease in the second half of the growing season (typical for most monsoonal climates), optimal plant density for grain yield can be considerably smaller than for maximum dry matter accumulation. In this case, rapid growth during the vegetative phase can use up too much of the stored soil moisture such that the crop runs out of water during the grain filling period. Thus, plant population must be specified to estimate both yield potential and water-limited yield potential at a given site.

What is the section 3 of the yield gap?

Section 3 reviews current evidence on the magnitude of gaps for different crops and regions, and the causes of yield gaps are examined in Section 4. The main conclusions and prospects for global food security through closure of existing yield gaps are presented in Section 5.

Why is there scope for cropland expansion?

There is considerable scope for cropland expansion because many natural ecosystems possess conditions suitable for crops, and indeed, many projections of global food supply indicate a sizable amount of land conversion in Latin America and Africa ( 1, 2 ).

Why are yield contests important?

Sanctioned yield contests provide another direct estimate of yield potential for a given region because farmers are motivated to win for the recognition and rewards that come to the winner (7). Rewards include use of new tractors and other machinery from equipment dealers, free seed from seed companies, and paid speaking engagements sponsored by agricultural input suppliers. Contests such as the annual yield contest sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association include hundreds of such motivated farmers. To avoid cheating, this contest requires independent verification, although there have been disqualifications owing to irregularities. Contest rules also require a minimum field size of about 4 ha to ensure that the results are based on large-scale commercial farming practices that can be replicated elsewhere. When properly conducted, such yield contests provide a robust estimate of the attainable yield potential under production-scale conditions with the expertise of a large number of motivated farmers, each trying to maximize yields. Simulation of contest-winning yields using the actual planting date, plant population, and hybrid used by the winner would help ensure the integrity of such contests, although this additional form of verification is not currently performed.

Why are crops selected?

Crops are selected in such a way that they have specific nutrient needs. This ensures maximum use of the supplied nutrients, and also prevents the spread of pests and diseases to all plants in a field that belong to one crop.

Why are wider adaptability crops important?

Wider adaptability crops are grown because crop production is not altered by different environmental conditions. Desirable agronomic characteristics like can be grown. Desirable characters for fodder crops: Tall and profuse branching. Desired characters for cereals: dwarfness.

What is the aim of introducing a gene that would provide the required characteristic to increase crop yield?

The aim of improving high yielding crop varieties. To get Higher yield by increasing the productivity of the crop per acre. To obtain an Enriched quality of crop products (quality factor may vary from crop to crop).

Why is the duration of the crop from sowing to harvesting shortened?

The duration of the crop from sowing to harvesting is shortened because, the shorter the time, more economical is the variety, which helps farmers to grow multiple rounds of crops in a year and also reduces the cost of crop production. Wider adaptability crops are grown because crop production is not altered by different environmental conditions.

How do pesticides affect crops?

Usage of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) protects crop from diseases caused by pathogens. Weed control methods also include mechanical removal.

How many ways of cropping patterns can be used?

To get maximum benefit, three ways of cropping patterns can be used. They are:

What are the micronutrients that affect plant growth?

Micronutrients: iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, chlorine. These nutrient deficiencies affect plant physiological processes including reproduction, growth, and disease susceptibility. By providing these nutrients in the form of manure and fertilizers, the soil can be cultivated to increase yield.

What are the reasons for crop yield increases?

Crop yield increases are pulled by the team of “horses” of increased resource availability – particularly nitrogen and water – and plant genetic improvement .

How do pesticides affect crop yield?

Pesticides are used worldwide and increase crop yield on average by 30% as well as improving crop quality. Modern organic (i.e., carbon-containing) pesticides have been used widely since the late 1940s, and so there is over 50 years of experience of their behavior in the environment and their impact upon it.

What is the biologically active herbicide used for annual grass?

One such biologically active herbicide is isoproturon used for annual grass (e.g., barley and wheat) protection.

What is the most intensively cultivated region in China?

The HHH is the most intensively cultivated region in China. The average crop yield increase between 1985 and 2009 was from 1582 to 5860 kg ha −1 for wheat and 4492 to 5610 kg ha −1 for maize. The present crop yields are 1.25 and 1.07 times the national average yield of wheat and maize in China, respectively. Further, HHH has the largest imbalance between the area of arable land for wheat production and the quantity of water resources in China ( Zhang et al., 2000; Xie et al., 2009 ). This imbalance is being exacerbated by the uneven temporal distribution of precipitation and the requirements of water for crop growth. The corresponding mean precipitation during wheat growth is only 88 mm in Subregions I and II and 167 mm in Subregion III. The annual evapotranspiration demand of 900 mm far exceeds the long-term average annual precipitation of 500 mm ( Yang et al., 2002; Foster and Perry, 2010 ). Thus, the deficit of water for irrigation is almost 400 mm for wheat production. The seasonal and interannual deficit of groundwater due to intensive cropping of wheat and maize perturbs the hydrologic balance of water regimes in the HHH. It is the excessive pumping of groundwater for intensive wheat production that causes a rapid decline in groundwater year after year.

How do endophytic bacteria help plants?

Endophytic bacteria are able to increase crop yields, assist in phytoremediation of environmental contaminants, produce novel substances, and enhance soil nitrogen content through diazotrophic activity. All these properties have proved bacterial endophytes as vital players in agroecosystem. Exploitation of endophytic bacteria and their interactions with plants in multiple ways may results into the enhancement of plant health and thus could add to low input or high cost benefit ratio in sustainable agriculture. However, the biotechnological potential of these microbes could be better estimated by analyzing their modes and constraints with host plant interaction. The challenge in such study areas may be managed by keeping microbial communities in favor of plant colonization through beneficial endophytic bacteria as well as simultaneously avoiding harmful endophytes or other associated microbial forms.

How do agricultural practices affect the environment?

Almost all agricultural practices utilize organic or inorganic inputs to increase crop yield but these inputs are not fully utilized by crops. The excess inputs applied, whether fertilizers or pesticides, can have adverse effects on the environment if left untreated. The prevalence of these pollutants in the environment is expected to increase in the future as population growth drives agricultural intensification. A proposed solution to this predicament is the use of bioremediation techniques to treat agricultural wastes at the farm level or in locations of accumulation. In situ bioremediation practices such as hydrologic barriers, buffer zones, and constructed wetlands have the most potential to remediate agricultural wastes at a reasonable cost. Treating farm pollutants efficiently and sustainably will depend on the ability of projects to utilize biological functions to achieve removal goals. This will limit energy and material inputs, reduce waste and disturbance, and create a more resilient long term solution.

Why is the long season hybrid not an advantage?

Yields for the long season hybrid were not different from the midseason suggesting that the longer period of grainfill for the long season hybrid was not an advantage because of decreasing day length and cooler temperatures. There was a slight yield advantage to the wider spacing under water stress.

Why is crop yield important?

First, there is a lot of feed required and there’s a finite amount of land to grow food on.

How to increase crop yields?

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.

How does crop variety improvement help?

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.

Why is fertilizer important for crops?

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.

How can heat tolerant varieties increase crop yields?

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.

Why is it important to plant alternating crops?

Planting an alternating crop helps to diversify the demands on the soil.

How does soil affect crop yield?

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.

What is the challenge of GM crops?

To meet the challenge of improving yields requires a constant commitment to generating a steady supply of improved cultivars and lines for all major crops. Conventional breeding cannot keep pace with what is required; to meet the targets biotechnology and the production of genetically-modified (GM) crops is filling the gap. However, there are still concerns as to the safety of GM crops for human consumption and the environment. In this review I explore the need for GM crops, the way they are produced, and their impact and safety.

Why are people against GMOs?

The reasons for this opposition are complex and multifaceted, but from what is articulated and communicated by those who oppose GMOs, they are based on the perception that such crops pose an unacceptable risk to both human health and the environment. Such sentiment exists even though there have been no adverse health or environmental affects from the almost four billion acres of GMO crops grown since their introduction in 1996. Several National Research Council committees and European Commissions (as well as joint commissions) have concluded that with the extensive scientific inquiry into the safety issues surrounding the adoption of GM crops, genetic engineering using biotechnology is no different from conventional breeding in terms of unintended consequences to the environment or animal and human health. 33 The European Commission funded more 50 research programs from 2001–2010 to address concerns regarding the use of GM crops to reach this same determination. 34 Nicolia et al. 24 constructed a database of 1,783 scientific original research papers, reviews, relevant opinion articles, and reports published between 2002 and October of 2010 on GMO safety issues, and reviewed the contents to generate a comprehensive overview of the accumulated knowledge. The overall conclusion of this mammoth undertaking was that “the scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of GM crops.

Is GM crop production good?

GM crop production is a vital tool in the “agricultural toolbox” and along with advances in the development of the new genomics based genetic technologies that improve conventional crop production it may be realistic to expect to meet the aforementioned lofty goals. Organic crop production technologies, although generally delivering lower yields than conventional crops, 32 have an important role in yield improvement and stability efforts in areas where these technologies are optimal. To abandon any one of these efforts would be unwise and potentially catastrophic, especially without sound scientific reason, as agricultural production systems are complex and changing, more so now than ever before, as global climate change alters the “farming landscape.”

Is it safe to use GM crops?

This allowed government agencies worldwide to conclude that Bt GM crops are as safe for both human and animal consumption as well as the environment as conventional/organic crops that have been sprayed with the CRY protein or bacterial preparations. 33 In fact, because the Bt GM crop only delivers the CRY toxin to those insects that eat the crop, whether directly or in crop residue, it was considered less likely to cause environmental issues than spraying or dusting plants with the toxin or bacterial preparations. Nevertheless, as with herbicide-tolerant GM crops, concerns remain and for Bt GM crops these relate to the development of Bt-resistant insects, transgene transfer (gene flow) to wild relatives or non-GMO crops close by and environmental/ecological concerns that relate to biodiversity.

What Is Crop Yield?

Crop yield is a standard measurement of the amount of agricultural productionharvested—yield of a crop—per unit of land area. Crop yield is the measure most often used for cereal, grain, or legumes; and typically is measured in bushels, tons, or pounds per acre in the U.S. Sample sizes of a harvested crop ar…

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How Crop Yield Works

  • To estimate crop yield, producers usually count the amount of a given crop harvested in a sample area. Then the harvested crop is weighed, and the crop yield of the entire field is extrapolated from the sample. For example, if a wheat producer counted 30 heads per foot squared, and each head contained 24 seeds, assuming a 1,000-kernel weight of 35 grams the crop yield estimate u…

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Crop Yield Statistics

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) produces charts and maps displaying crop yields, crop weather, and crop acreage animations to help U.S. farmers maximize agricultural product output. ​The USDA supplies many different statistics about crop yields for various agricultural products. For example, it publishes a monthly report of field crop yields for dozens of different products in…

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Special Considerations​

  • Crop yield data is important not only in the U.S. but abroad as well. Declassified CIA documentsshow the U.S. government has used satellite reconnaissance imagery to estimate the crop yields of foreign countries. This was particularly important in the 1960s during the height of the Cold War when the U.S. was using such methods to assess the agricultural health of China a…

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