Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Physiological Aspects of Crop Yield: Proceedings of a symposium sponsored by the University of Nebraska, the American Society of Agronomy, and the Crop Science Society of America, and held at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebr., January 20-24, 1969. Edited by Jerry D. Eastin, F. A. Haskins, C. Y. Sullivan, C. H. M. Van Bavel, and Richard C. Dinauer (Madison, Wisconsin: American Society of Agronomy & Crop Science Society of America, 1969). Copyright © 1969 American Society of Agronomy & Crop Science Society of America. Used by permission.


It was difficult for me to understand the meaning of "engineering" as used in the title of my speech. I asked Dr. Haskins who told me that the term engineering is used here because one traditional role of the engineer has been the application of scientific principles in the solution of practical problems, and that in this case we want to consider the application of biological principles in both past and future increases in crop yield. Accordingly, I intend to express my thoughts on this problem, and to ask your suggestions for obtaining higher and better yields in the future. As I belong to an Asian nation, where rice is the main food, I will use the rice plant (Oryza sativa L.) as an example to illustrate my ideas. However, I am convinced that the principles which can be applied to the rice plant, will also apply to other crops such as wheat [Triticum (aestivum L.) sp.] or corn (Zea mays L.).