World Grain - November 2019 - 78

FEATURE: AN OMINOUS LONG-TERM FORECAST FOR WHEAT

decade increased to 2.9 percentage points between
2011 and 2016, which coincided with a global increase
in wheat prices.
Ten wheat-producing regions account for 54% of the
global wheat-growing area, 57% of the global wheat
production and more than 92% of global wheat exports.
The top 10 exporting regions are the European Union,
Russia, Canada, the United States, Ukraine, Australia,
Kazakhstan, Argentina, Turkey and Brazil.
Severe water scarcity by the middle of this century
likely is to occur in an almost continuous belt from the
Iberian Peninsula in the west to Anatolia and Pakistan
LQWKHHDVWDFFRUGLQJWRWKHVWXG\6LJQL¿FDQWLQFUHDVHV
LQVHYHUHZDWHUVFDUFLW\LVOLNHO\WRD൵HFWVRXWKHDVWHUQ
Ukraine, southern regions of Russia, western parts of
the United States and Mexico, southwestern Australia
and South Africa. Wheat-growing areas in South
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The study examined strategies to reduce the impacts
of water shortages.
Shifting the harvest date to earlier or later in the season may reduce yield losses, but it could have a limited
scope on regions that have the highest risk of increas-

78

ing water scarcity within the wheat season.
Using drought- and heat-adapted wheat varieties is
an option. This approach should exploit not only genetic variation that provides productivity gains but also
quality traits. Dwindling water resources in some regions cast doubt on how irrigation, another option, will
increase wheat yield on a global scale without "massive" investment programs.
Managing soil in a way that builds up soil water
for the next crop should be considered. Water may be
conserved by minimizing tillage and reducing non-productive water loss, with evaporation being an example,
from the unshaded soil surface. Covering the soil surface with a mulch of plant residues reduces water loss
caused by evaporation.
The complete study can be found at: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/9/eaau2406.
Jeff Gelski is associate editor of Milling & Baking News, sister
publication of World Grain. He may be reached at jgelski@sosland.com.
We want to hear from you - Send comments and inquiries
to worldgrain@sosland.com. For reprints of WG articles,
e-mail reprints@sosland.com.

November 2019 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com


https://advanc http://es.sciencemag.org/content/5/9/eaau2406 http://www.bbca.com.tr http://www.World-Grain.com

World Grain - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - November 2019

World Grain - November 2019 - 1
World Grain - November 2019 - 1
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