Yield improvement is the main aim of all agricultural activities. Therefore, it is important to have an idea about the yield that can be produced from a piece of land before investing in it. This work is aimed at analysing the impact of climate change on crop yield potential and predicting the crop yield potential in six geo political zones in Nigeria using global solar radiation as the only limiting factor of production. Climatic data were obtained from Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Oshodi, Nigeria. Results of impact of climate change on the photosynthetic, light-temperature, and climatic potential productivities of maize and their gap differences are presented using a crop growth dynamics statistical method. The results showed that photosynthetic potential productivity decreased from north to south, with the largest values in two maize-growing zones due to higher average growing season radiation and a longer maize growing season. The light-temperature potential productivity of maize was higher than photosynthetic potential productivity, which varied from 3223.99 to 4425.79 kg ha−1, with a mean of 3821.402 kg ha−1; the climatic potential productivity varied from 11279.92 to 29263.75 kg ha−1, with a similar distribution pattern to light-temperature potential productivity with a mean of 23817.32 kg ha−1. The gap between light temperature and climatic potential productivity varied from 6884.07 to 33506.92 kg ha −1, with the high value areas centered in Southern Nigeria.
Key words: Climate change, crop yield potential, global solar radiation, dynamics statistical method, climatic potential productivity, light-temperature potential productivity.
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