Original Research

Economic exploitation of the photosynthetic process: the basis of agricultural production

P. S. Hammes
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 6, No 4 | a963 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v6i4.963 | © 1987 P. S. Hammes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 March 1987 | Published: 17 March 1987

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P. S. Hammes,, South Africa

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Abstract

Crop production is based on the photosynthetic process. Effective cropping systems are only attainable by optimising the size, active duration and effectivity of the photosynthesizing leaf canopy in the field. The extent of photosynthesis on a farm scale is impressive. A typical maize crop on one hectare of land utilises approximately 20 t. carbon dioxide, which is recovered from as much as 60 000 t. of air. Even highly productive cropping systems convert available radiation from the sun into chemical energy with an efficiency of less than 5%. Dramatic increases in crop yields may be attained in future, as has been the case in the past, as the process of photosynthesis is exploited with increasing skill.

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