Argentine Desertification Assessment: Land Degradation through Agriculture
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Farming is the center of civilization, and the implementation of tools first achieved in Mesopotamia five thousand years ago was the beginning of it. One of consequences of such advanced technology is that the earth is not a continuously recyclable resource, and without proper management the land becomes degraded. This eventually can lead to the condition of desertification, after becoming aridified by the combined changes in climate that is occurring around the world and anthropogenic action. This is an investigation into whether the only sub-humid region in Argentina has become less productive with the increased global demand for the grains it produces. This is determined from a yield gap assessment using data provided by the Global Yield Gap Atlas (GYGA) group and Sistema Integrado de Información Agropecuaria (SIIA). Yield gap being defined as the difference between the water limited yield potential and the actual yield collected from that site in tons. From the results over a six year period from 2006-2012, the yield data does not show a significant trend overall, with no significant relationship between yield gap and time. In conclusion, from the limited analysis it will be assumed that the land is not degrading currently but more variables and a longer study period would be necessary to make a more complete judgment.