Reminders of the crop yield treadmill

Recent journalistic pieces on wheat rust and brown streak (a virus which infects cassava) remind us that agriculture is a constant battle against evolving pests of many kinds. So when we think about declining funding for agricultural research and try to assess induced innovation, we need to keep in mind that a certain level of research and progress will be required to maintain yields at their current level, let alone improve them. We are on a treadmill, not standing still.

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