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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (5): 1241-1249    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62748-6
Special Issue: 油料作物合辑Oil Crops
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Optimizing agronomic practices for closing rapeseed yield gaps under intensive cropping systems in China
ZHANG Zhi1, 2, CONG Ri-huan1, REN Tao1, LI Hui1, ZHU Yun1, LU Jian-wei1   
1 College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University/Key Laboratory of Arable Land Conservation (Middle and Lower Reaches of Yangtze River), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Wuhan 430070, P.R.China
2 Key Laboratory of Fertilization from Agricultural Wastes, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs/Institute of Plant Protection and Soil Fertilizer, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan 430064, P.R.China
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A yield gap analysis for rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) is critical to meeting the oil demand by identifying yield potential and yield constraints. In this study, potential yield (Yp), attainable yield (Yatt), and actual yield (Yact) for winter rapeseed were determined in five different zones of China.  A boundary line approach was adopted to calculate Yp, based on a large-scale field experimental database.  A meta-analysis was conducted on the data obtained from 118 published studies to evaluate the effects of agronomic factors on rapeseed yield.  The main results indicated that farmers only achieved 37–56% of the yield potential across the zones.  The low altitude areas (L-URY) and lower reaches (LRY) of the Yangtze River Basin (YRB), China had high yield levels.  The total yield gap was 1 893 kg ha–1, due to the agronomic management factors, environmental factors, and socioeconomic factors.  The meta-analysis showed that weed control and drainage were the best management practices to improve yields (45.6 and 35.3%, respectively), and other practices improved yields by 17.1–21.6%.  Consequently, to narrow the yield gap over the short term, the study could focus on techniques that are easily implemented to farmers.
Keywords:  rapeseed        yield gap        potential yield        boundary line        meta-analysis        Yangtze River Basin  
Received: 14 January 2019   Accepted:
Fund: This research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFD0200900), the earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-12), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (2662017JC010).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence CONG Ri-huan, Tel: +86-27-87288589, E-mail:    
About author:  ZHANG Zhi, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

ZHANG Zhi, CONG Ri-huan, REN Tao, LI Hui, ZHU Yun, LU Jian-wei. 2020. Optimizing agronomic practices for closing rapeseed yield gaps under intensive cropping systems in China. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(5): 1241-1249.

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