Increasing cropping frequency may boost food supply
Localized studies suggest that farmers around the world already are benefiting from increasing the number of harvests. "Introduction of second crops, generally corn following the primary soybean crop, has increased local incomes across economic sectors," the report noted. Countries in which cropping frequency already is increasing include Brazil, India and China; however, others, including many African nations, have shown a decline in recent years.
More frequent cropping, the authors said, represents a potentially powerful "third way" of increasing food production, in addition to expanding cropland and increasing harvest yields, both of which are widely studied by IonE researchers.
"The challenge for our generation is to meet growing food demands without destroying our environment. Increasing cropland harvest frequency is another piece toward solving the global food security puzzle," Foley said.
The University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment seeks lasting solutions to Earth's biggest challenges through research, partnerships and leadership development. For more information, visit environment.umn.edu.
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