Agronomists And Breeders Should Review Agricultural Science

How can agriculture adapt to changing climates? This is a crucial Agronomists question that more governments are trying to answer. Numerous papers published in well-respected scientific journals often claim to be able to predict crop yields worldwide or provide guidance for farmers on how they can adapt. These papers, however, are often written in an academic bubble which seriously limits their utility.

Nature Climate Change has published the most recent version of this paper. These findings are claimed by the author. It was shown that seasonal climatic forecasts can be used to predict crop failures and help monitor global food production. This will allow for better monitoring of the climate extremes in the future. The path to these findings is not easily understood by anyone who hasn’t been deeply involved in modeling chaotic systems like weather. However, it is open to debate.

The authors of such papers have a habit of not asking potential users of their findings, such as breeders, agronomists, and marketers, to comment on the claims. Reality therapy is not something they seek. This applies to modelling as well as to many papers in experimental plant sciences that are claim to improve food production.

Benefits Of A New Method

What are the benefits of a new method for predicting crop failures. Information about current crop production around the globe is crucial to the large financial industry that relies on grain futures. It is worth its time to have good information. However, does this paper actually improve the information?

To determine this, the authors had to evaluate the effectiveness of their model against current methods of forecasting yield. One cannot determine from the paper whether they have. Is there any improvement? Is this a work in progress? A step towards something more useful? Why is the paper not publish in a better journal?

The paper claims that it will encourage adaptation of food systems to extreme climatic conditions. This paper will encourage adaptation, but who exactly? Agronomists and first-rate breeders are already working hard to solve problems with grain crops that are subject to volatile environments, especially in Australia. What would they do differently if they had read this paper? I’d say no

Wheat breeders in Australia test potential new cultivars in many environments, including Agronomists the wettest and shadiest areas of the wheat belt. They also sample extremes of heat damage and frost damage. Our agronomists continue to make substantial improvements in farming systems, which are significantly increasing yields per unit rainfall.

Similar Agronomists Claims

This paper, and thousands of other papers that make similar claims about being agriculturally useful, has no basis. This is not fraud, but naivety on the part of both the authors and the institutions supporting them. This highlights a serious problem in our system for peer review in agricultural research. This problem can be easily solve. similar claims

It is important to have peer reviews in this field. The missing ingredient is additional review from people further down the value chain in agricultural R&D, the potential customers. Because they understand the limitations and requirements of current practices, and have an understanding of their own domains, they can verify the promises of any piece of work.

It would be a huge benefit to involve them. They would play more than a filter. They could also provide guidance and direction on how to make their domains more efficient, including the best places to find them. Our agronomists now often work with designated farmer groups and their management consults. These collaborations have proven to be extremely productive.

Laboratory scientists can embrace close collaborations Agronomists with other scientists not with farmer associations, which would be too extreme, but with field scientists as well as the agronomists, breeders, and field scientists. They would have a better understanding of the field and could therefore make their research more useful.