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Exploitable/attainable yield gap

An exploitable/attainable yield gap is the difference between actual yield and 80% of modeled potential yield (although, this level depends on price ratios).

Best farmers’ yields have been shown to be near this exploitable yield level.

Potential yields estimated by crop growth simulation models are not considered to be economically viable because:

The response of yields to more production inputs decrease as maximum yields are approached.
- Yields above 80% have lower nutrient-use efficiencies.
- Yields at 70–80% are associated with the highest profits. 
It is impossible for a large population of farmers to achieve perfection in crop and soil management. 

Different production levels as determined by growth-defining, -limiting, and -reducing factors. Modified from Van Ittersum et al (2013).


Different production levels as determined by growth-defining, -limiting, and -reducing factors. Modified from Van Ittersum et al (2013).

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