The Yield Transformation in Cereal Production

The need for food creates a relationship of fundamental importance between people and the environment. If we do not understand this relationship, we remain unaware of the critical dynamics that exist among human populations, culture, and nature. At the foundation of the relationship are the major cereal grains, especially wheat, rice, and maize, and the yields obtainable from them.

Yields of cereal crops went up dramatically during the past 100 years, and especially since 1950. This book is an effort to understand the yield transformation in the basic cereal crops and thus gain insights into the relationship between people and nature. Its starting point was to explore the scientific changes underlying the green revolution, a public relations term referring to the changes after 1960 in the wheat and rice yields obtainable by farmers in less industrialized countries. Use of the word "revolution" suggested that a fundamentally new relationship existed between people and their major food plants. "Green" implied a benign technology and emphasized the positive nature of the relationship.

The term green revolution is widely recognized among agricultural experts and development workers. An immense literature analyzes its scientific and technical components, the economic policies needed to promote it and accommodate its impacts, and its consequences. Despite many studies on the subject, relatively little has been written about why and how the science underlying the green revolution came to be. This book is an inquiry into the origins and unfolding of the scientific work upon which the green revolution was based.

Growing Soilless

Growing Soilless

This is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to growing organic, healthy vegetable, herbs and house plants without soil. Clearly illustrated with black and white line drawings, the book covers every aspect of home hydroponic gardening.

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