Factors that influence crop yield
There are a variety of factors associated with crop yield and the risks involved with farming. The four most important factors that influence crop yield are soil fertility, availability of water, climate, and diseases or pests. These factors can pose a significant risk to farms when they are not monitored and managed correctly. While Omnia Fertilizer specialises in Nutriology® (The science of growing) in order to increase crop yield and to decrease risk, it is still important to understand exactly what influences crop yield and the risks involved.
- There are 18 nutrients that are essential for proper crop development. Each is equally important to the plant, although they are required in vastly different amounts. These differences have led to the grouping of these essential elements into macro and micro nutrients. The function of nutrients in plants is complex and includes process like root, shoot, leaf and fruit development, production of proteins, hormones and chlorophyll, photosynthesis, etc. Soil is a major source of these nutrients to plants and soil fertility (or nutrient content) can therefore have a profound impact on crop production. The absence of any one of these nutrients has the potential to decrease crop yield by negatively affecting the associated growth factor.
- While it may seem obvious, the availability of water has a direct impact on crop yield and profitability can therefore vary widely due to the highly variable nature of precipitation, both in timing and amount. Too little precipitation can cause crops to wither and die, whereas excessive rainfall (especially when it follows irrigation) will also have adverse effects on crop growth. When crops are over-irrigated, water, energy, labour, and fertiliser are wasted and crop production can decrease.
- Perhaps one of the most overlooked (but nonetheless important) factors that influences crop production is climate. Climatic conditions extend beyond just “wet” and “dry”. While annual precipitation is an important aspect of climate, there are other aspects to consider as well, such as humidity, temperature, wind, increased prevalence of pests during certain climate conditions, and weather patterns. South Africa’s climate varies from region to region and each is associated with certain plants or crops. Planting crops outside the specific climatic region that they are adapted to will negatively impact crop yield. Erratic weather patterns also pose an immense risk to crops, as they can cause extensive damage to crops and may create highly favourable conditions for certain pests and weeds to thrive.
- One final factor that influences crop yield is the presence of pests and diseases. They come in a plethora of shapes and sizes and may cause damage in a number of ways. Besides the direct damaging effect on crops, certain pests (like plant parasitic nematodes) can also cause harm in other ways, such as damaging plant roots (therefore altering the water and nutrient uptake capability of the plant. This can also cause plants to be more susceptible to other diseases.
Omnia Fertilizer provides a wide range of customised solutions that can assist farmers to effectively lower the risks associated with crop production. Our dedicated team of agronomists is instrumental in this process, as they apply the latest technology and scientific knowledge to determine the most efficient solutions that should be implemented.
Farmers who are concerned about potential risks to their farm, or who want to know more about Omnia Fertilizer, should contact us on: 011 709 8888.