Increasing Crop Yield
Some ways you can increase the yield of crop plants include:
- Glasshouses and polythene tunnels
- Pest control
Glasshouses and Polythene Tunnels
Glasshouses and polythene tunnels are exterior structures that are designed to provide an ideal environment for growing crops inside. Glasshouses are made of glass while polythene tunnels are made of transparent plastic.
These are some ways that glasshouses and polythene tunnels help in increasing crop yield:
- Protection from harsh weather: Since glasshouses and polythene tunnels are enclosed, crops inside them can be protected from rain, wind or extreme temperature.
- Increased carbon dioxide concentration: The increased concentration of carbon dioxide inside the enclosed space will increase the rate of photosynthesis of plants.
- Artificial lighting: Artificial lighting increases the time per day that plants can photosynthesize.
- Heat trapped from the Sun: Heat can be trapped inside glasshouse or polythene tunnels to maintain a warm environment. This will create an optimum temperature for enzymes and also increase the rate of photosynthesis.
- Protection from pests and diseases: Growing in an isolated environment from the outside, crops can be protected from any pests or diseases.
- Fertilisers contain nutrients that allow plants to grow better, such as nitrate, phosphate and potassium.
- The nutrients need to be water soluble so that they can absorbed into plant roots by active transport.
- A very quick and efficient way to control pests is to use pesticides.
- However, there are some downsides of using pesticides. Pesticides can kill other organisms as well, and it may be toxic to the environment. Also, organisms can develop resistance to pesticides, so using pesticides may not become effective.
- Another way to control pests is biological control. Biological control is introducing another species that prey on the pests. For example, ladybugs eat aphids, which are tiny insects that feed on plants. Introducing ladybugs can reduce aphid population.