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Efficiency in sugar beet cultivation related to field history

  • Autor/in: Trimpler, K., N. Stockfisch, B. Märländer
  • Jahr: 2017
  • Zeitschrift: European Journal of Agronomy 91
  • Seite/n: 1-9

Abstract

The concept of sustainable intensification in crop production has become more and more important over the last years. Calls for an efficient production demand an increase in yield without extending the agricultural area or increasing the amount of agricultural inputs. Thus, our study aimed to identify which variables influence the efficiency in crop cultivation in Central Europe and how we can explain the variances between fields. The data base for the present study was a survey among sugar beet farmers in all parts of Germany in the years 2010–2014. In order to structure the fields, variables representing environment, management and farm char- acteristics were extracted. The performed analysis according to components (principal component analysis) did not result in a nationwide structure of the data. Thus, fields were grouped according to similar preconditions such as regions and crop rotations. Sugar yield ranged from 12.5 t ha−1 in 2010 to 15.4 t ha−1 in 2014 on nationwide average. The median value for N fertilization over all fields and years was 137.4 kg ha−1, the median treatment index (TI) reached 3.7, the median field evaluation index (Ackerzahl) was 70 and the median field size 8 ha. We found that over 50% of the variance among the data was explained by environment, management and farm characteristics. The comparison of fields on a regional basis was more sensible than on a nationwide basis as the variance of farms and fields was too broad for a useful clustering. It was concluded that the adaption of the farmer’s management to regional specific conditions is an opportunity to reduce yield gaps and to increase efficiency in terms of a sustainable intensification in sugar beet production.
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