Increasing the Yield Plateau in Rice and the Role of Global Climate Change

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To cope with estimated population growth in Asia, attainable rice yield potential must increase in the irrigated lowlands. At odds with this goal is the fact that yield potential of released high yielding rice varieties has remained constant since the release of IR8 in the late 1960s, although yield per day increased as a result of shorter growth duration and host plant resistance was improved. For example, highest rice yields of IR72 (released in 1987) were 6 and 9.5tha<sup>-1</sup>, in the 1991 wet season and the 1992 dry season, respectively, in a tropical environment with good agronomic management. These yields are comparable but no higher, than the highest yields attained by IR8 in the same environment more than 20 years ago. Detailed growth analysis from these recent studies allowed us to improve an eco-physiological model for rice growth. Subsequent simulations demonstrated accurate prediction of wet and dry season rice yield. The model was then used to evaluate the effects of global climate change as expected by the year 2020. Changes in temperature and atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub> had relatively small effects on simulated rice growth and yield compared with (1) the impact of crop management practices in high-yielding environments and (2) genetic improvement that could further increase yield potential. Varieties with a longer grain filling duration will be needed to increase the yield plateau and to reverse negative effects of increased temperature.


  • Journal of Agricultural Meteorology

    Journal of Agricultural Meteorology 48(5), 795-798, 1993

    The Society of Agricultural Meteorology of Japan


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