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Journal Article

Sharon Gourdji, Adam Sibley, David Lobell
Environmental Research Letters, 2013
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Journal Article

Eric Lambin
Global Environmental Change, 2013

Previous estimates of the land area available for future cropland expansion relied on global-scale climate, soil and terrain data. They did not include a range of constraints and tradeoffs associated with land conversion. As a result, estimates of the global land reserve have been high. Here we adjust these estimates for the aforementioned constraints and tradeoffs.

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Book

John Briscoe
Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University, 2013

The water and agriculture glass in Africa is half-empty: Africa has failed to develop its massive water resources and failed to achieve agricultural growth. But the glass is half full, too, as Africa is making a start in building its needed infrastructure and in attracting managerial and knowledge assistance which can help start the needed transformation.

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Book

Jikun Huang, Scott Rozelle
Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University, 2013

The lost decades for China in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s look remarkably like the lost decades of Africa in the 1980s and 1990s. Poor land rights, weak incentives, incomplete markets and inappropriate investment portfolios. However, China burst out of its stagnation in the 1980s and has enjoyed three decades of remarkable growth. In this paper we examine the record of the development of China’s food economy and identify the policies that helped generate the growth and transformation of agriculture.

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Journal Article

A.T. Austin, M.M.C. Bustamante, G.B. Nardoto, S.K. Mitre, T. Perez, J.P.H.B. Ometto, N.L. Ascarrunz, M.C. Forti, K. Longo, M.E. Gavito, A. Enrich-Prast, Luiz Martinelli
Science, 2013

Latin America (LA) has many social indicators similar to those of highly developed economies but most frequently falls midway between least developed countries and industrialized regions. To move forward, LA must address uncontrolled urbanization, agricultural production, social inequity, and destruction of natural resources. We discuss these interrelated challenges in terms of human impact on the nitrogen (N) cycle. Human activity has caused unprecedented changes to the global N cycle; in the past century; total global fixation of reactive N (Nr) has at least doubled.

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Journal Article

David Lobell
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 2013

Although weather data are widely acknowledged to contain measurement errors, the implications of these errors for models that relate weather to yields have not been adequately examined. From statistical theory and applications in many other fields, it is clear that measurement error in a single predictor variable can lead to bias in estimating the effects of that variable, as well as any other correlated predictors.

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Journal Article

David Lobell, Graeme L. Hammer, Greg McLean, Carlos Messina, Michael J. Roberts, Wolfram Schlenker
Nature Climate Change, 2013

Statistical studies of rainfed maize yields in the United States and elsewhere have indicated two clear features: a strong negative yield response to accumulation of temperatures above 30°C (or extreme degree days (EDD)), and a relatively weak response to seasonal rainfall. Here we show that the process-based Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) is able to reproduce both of these relationships in the Midwestern United States and provide insight into underlying mechanisms.

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Journal Article

Matei Georgescu, David Lobell, Christopher B. Field, A. Mahalov
Geophysical Research Letters, 2013

Sugarcane area is currently expanding in Brazil, largely in response to domestic and international demand for sugar-based ethanol. To investigate the potential hydroclimatic impacts of future expansion, a regional climate model is used to simulate 5 years of a scenario in which cerrado and cropland areas (~1.1E6 km2) within south-central Brazil are converted to sugarcane. Results indicate a cooling of up to ~1.0°C during the peak of the growing season, mainly as a result of increased albedo of sugarcane relative to the previous landscape.

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Journal Article

David Lobell
Field Crops Research, 2013

Field experiments and simulation models are useful tools for understanding crop yield gaps, but scaling up these approaches to understand entire regions over time has remained a considerable challenge. Satellite data have repeatedly been shown to provide information that, by themselves or in combination with other data and models, can accurately measure crop yields in farmers’ fields. The resulting yield maps provide a unique opportunity to overcome both spatial and temporal scaling challenges and thus improve understanding of crop yield gaps.

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Journal Article

Justin McGrath, David Lobell
Plant, Cell & Environment, 2013

Plants grown in elevated [CO2] have lower protein and mineral concentrations compared with plants grown in ambient [CO2]. Dilution by enhanced production of carbohydrates is a likely cause, but it cannot explain all of the reductions.

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Journal Article

David Lobell, Uris Lantz C Baldos, Thomas Hertel
Environmental Research Letters, 2013

Successful adaptation of agriculture to ongoing climate changes would help to maintain productivity growth and thereby reduce pressure to bring new lands into agriculture. In this paper we investigate the potential co-benefits of adaptation in terms of the avoided emissions from land use change. A model of global agricultural trade and land use, called SIMPLE, is utilized to link adaptation investments, yield growth rates, land conversion rates, and land use emissions.

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Book

Derek Byerlee, Steve Haggblade
Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University, 2013

Rapid population growth, urbanization and rising incomes will present an unprecedented opportunity for growth of commercial agriculture and agribusiness in coming years. The value of food consumed in urban areas is set to expand by four times to 2030, but given evidence of a continuing decline in competitiveness much of this could be sourced from imports even in countries with an apparent comparative advantage in agriculture.

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Book

Kym Anderson
Center on Food Security and the Environment, 2013

For decades, earnings from farming in many developing countries, including in Sub-Saharan Africa, have been depressed by a pro-urban and anti-trade bias in own-country policies, as well as by governments of richer countries favoring their farmers with import barriers and subsidies. Both sets of policies reduced global economic welfare and agricultural trade, and almost certainly added to global inequality and poverty and to food insecurity in many low-income countries.

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Journal Article

G. Maltais-Landry, David Lobell
Agronomy Journal, 2012

Evaluating the contribution of weather and its individual components to recent yield trends can be useful to predict the response of crop production to future climate change, but different modeling approaches can yield diverging results. We used two common approaches to evaluate the effect of weather trends on maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production in 12 U.S. counties, and investigate sources of disparities between the two methods.

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Journal Article

Amy Pickering, Jenna Davis
Environmental Science and Technology, 2012

Currently, more than two-thirds of the population in Africa must leave their home to fetch water for drinking and domestic use. The time burden of water fetching has been suggested to influence the volume of water collected by households as well as time spent on income generating activities and child care. However, little is known about the potential health benefits of reducing water fetching distances.

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Journal Article

Sharon Gourdji, Ky L. Mathews, Matthew Reynolds, Jose Crossa, David Lobell
Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2012

Genetic improvements in heat tolerance of wheat provide a potential adaptation response to long-term warming trends, and may also boost yields in wheat-growing areas already subject to heat stress. Yet there have been few assessments of recent progress in breeding wheat for hot environments.

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Journal Article

David Lobell, J. Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, Adam Sibley, V.S. Sohu
Agricultural Systems, 2012

Wheat is a staple crop throughout much of India, but in many areas it is commonly sown past the optimum window for yields. Recent technologies, such as adoption of no-till practices or earlier maturing cotton and rice varieties, have enabled some farmers to sow wheat earlier, but repeatable and publicly available measurements of sow date trends are lacking. Here we utilize satellite measurements since 2000 to estimate sow dates over a decade throughout wheat growing areas in India.

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Working Paper

Eran Bendavid
Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University, 2012

Eran Bendavid, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University provides commentary on nutrition and food policy expert Per Pinstrup-Andersen's presentation and paper on "Food systems and human health and nutrition". The symposium and paper are part of the Center on Food Security and the Environment's Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium series.

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Journal Article

V. Srinivasan, Eric Lambin, S.M. Gorelick, Barton H. Thompson, Scott Rozelle
Water Resources Research, 2012

Freshwater scarcity has been cited as the major crisis of the 21st century, but it is surprisingly hard to describe the nature of the global water crisis. We conducted a meta- analysis of 22 coupled humanwater system case studies, using qualitative comparison analysis (QCA) to identify water resource system outcomes and the factors that drive them.

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Journal Article

Rachael Garrett, Eric Lambin, Rosamond Naylor
Land Use Policy, 2012

Soybean production has become a significant force for economic development in Brazil. It has also received considerable attention from environmental and social non-governmental organizations as a driver of deforestation and land consolidation. While many researchers have examined the impacts of soybean production on human and environmental landscapes, there has been little investigation into the economic and institutional context of Brazilian soybean production or the relationship between soy yields and planted area.

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Journal Article

Dane Klinger, Rosamond L. Naylor
Annual Reviews Environment and Resources, 2012

Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing animal food production sector and will soon supply more than half of the world’s seafood for human consumption. Continued growth in aquaculture production is likely to come from intensification of fish, shellfish, and algae production. Intensification is often accompanied by a range of resource and environmental problems. We review several potential solutions to these problems, including novel culture systems, alternative feed strategies, and species choices.

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Journal Article

Walter Falcon
Farming Magazine, 2012

The American Midwest is suffering through the driest summer in decades, and Stanford economist Walter Falcon is watching the corn wither in his fields. He writes how the drought is affecting crops, prices and the livelihoods of his fellow farmers in Iowa. 

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Journal Article

Prabhu Pingali
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012

Reprinted with full permission from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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