Journal article Open Access

A Review of Industrial Crop Yield Performances on Unfavorable Soil Types

Reinhardt, Jana; Hilgert, Pia; von Cossel, Moritz

Industrial crop cultivation on marginal agricultural land limits indirect land-use change effects that pose a threat to food security. This review compiles results from 91 published crop-specific field trial datasets spanning 12 relevant industrial crops and discusses their suitability for cultivation on unfavorable soil types (USTs). It was shown that the perennial species Miscanthus(Miscanthus Andersson) and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) performed well on USTs with both high clay and/or high sand contents. Information on stoniness (particles sizes > 2 mm), where mentioned, was limited. It was found to have only a small impact on biological yield potential, though it was not possible to assess the impact on mechanization as would be used at a commercial scale. For soils with extreme clay or sand contents, half of the crops showed moderate suitability. The large yield variations within and between crops revealed large knowledge gaps in the combined effects of crop type and agronomy on USTs. Therefore, more field trials are needed on diverse USTs in different climates with better equipment and more consistent measurements to improve the accuracy of potential yield predictions spatially and temporally. Additionally, larger trials are needed to optimize cultivation and harvesting

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