Managing faba bean to reduce the yield gap: A synthesis from the Legume Gap project

CA Watson*, Kifle Belachew, Annika Soederholm-Emas, CFE Topp, Frederick L. Stoddard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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The potential of legumes to simultaneously contribute to several production,
environmental, and nutritional objectives, is well known by science and policy.
Legumes contribute to increased European protein self-sufficiency, diversification of cropping systems and farm businesses, reduction in fertilizer and pesticide use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, enhancement of sustainable diets, and prevention of land degradation and biodiversity loss. Despite the widely recognized benefits of legumes, the European hectarage declined steadily since 1960 and is now growing only slowly. Grain legume yields are characterized by significantly higher variability than winter cereals. There is also evidence of a trend towards declining yields.
The LegumeGap project identifies, quantifies, and proposes approaches for closing several types of “gaps” in legume production. There are widely recognized differences (“yield gaps”) between potential, exploitable, and achieved grain yields and protein yields, where potential yield is that reached in non-limiting conditions, exploitable yield that reached with selected realistic limitations such as rainfall, and achieved yield is that harvested by regional farmers with generally used practices (van Ittersum et al. 2013). Grain legumes, like other crops, are subject to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses that contribute to the yield gap. In this paper we address the impact of management on alleviating these stresses, focusing particularly on the important practices of irrigation, inoculation and tillage.
The Legume Gap project is supported by the SusCrop- ERA-NET Cofund on
Sustainable Crop Production.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPrint publication - 3 Sept 2021
EventLegume Science and Practice 2 -
Duration: 1 Sept 20213 Sept 2021


ConferenceLegume Science and Practice 2


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