Crop yields plateau as demand for food soars, study says

Publication: NBC News   Date: December 17, 2013   View Article

On about one-third of the world’s agricultural lands, farmers have maxed out the amount of rice, wheat and corn they can grow, according to a new study. The finding suggests a limit to the benefits of the so-called green revolution and portends hard work ahead to feed ever more, and more affluent, people.

A side effect of the plateauing — and in some instances, declining — crop yields is that more land will be required to meet food demand, as can be seen in the 8 percent expansion of agriculture area since 2002, much of it into rain forests, wetlands and grasslands, the study found.

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