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Biological Yield: Factors, Examples, Calculation

by Waseem Iqbal
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Biological Yield

The biological yield of a plant system refers to the total dry matter accumulation of the plant, including leaves, stems, roots, and any other above-ground or below-ground plant tissue. The dry matter accumulation is a measure of the plant’s biomass, which can be used to calculate the plant’s yield in terms of weight or volume.

It is the amount of biomass or bioenergy produced by an organism or system. It is an important measure in agriculture, forestry, and other industries that rely on biological production.

Biological yield is an important measure of efficiency and productivity in agriculture, forestry, and other industries that rely on biological production. By understanding the factors that affect biological yield and how to calculate it, you can optimize production and improve the efficiency of your operation.

Factors Affecting Biological Yield

There are several factors that can affect biological yield, including:

  • Genetics: The genetic makeup of an organism can influence its growth rate, yield, and other characteristics. Some crops and livestock are naturally more productive than others, and breeding programs can be used to improve yield.
  • Environmental conditions: Temperature, humidity, light, and other environmental conditions can impact an organism’s growth and yield. For example, crops may require a certain range of temperatures or levels of sunlight to grow optimally, and livestock may be more productive in certain environments.
  • Nutrient availability: Adequate levels of nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, are essential for optimal growth and yield. Crops and livestock may require different levels of these nutrients, and they may need to be applied in different forms or at different times.
  • Pest and disease management: Pests and diseases can reduce yield if not properly controlled. This may involve the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other controls, as well as cultural practices such as crop rotation and sanitation.
  • Management practices: Proper management, such as irrigation, fertilization, and pruning, can improve yield. For example, irrigation can help ensure that crops have access to sufficient water, while fertilization can provide the nutrients needed for optimal growth.

Calculation of Biological Yield

To calculate biological yield, you will need to determine the weight or volume of the biomass or bioenergy produced and divide it by the area or volume of land or water used to produce it. For example, if a farmer grows corn on 1 acre of land and the corn has a yield of 200 bushels per acre, the biological yield would be 200 bushels per acre.

Calculation of Biological Yield

Here is an example of how to calculate the biological yield for a forestry operation:

  • Determine the volume of wood produced, measured in cubic feet.
  • Determine the area of land used to produce the wood, measured in acres.
  • Divide the volume of wood produced by the area of land used to produce it to calculate the biological yield, measured in cubic feet per acre.

For example, if a forestry operation produces 1000 cubic feet of wood on 50 acres of land, the biological yield would be 20 cubic feet per acre.


The harvest index is a measure of the plant’s efficiency at converting biomass into economically valuable organs, such as grains, fruits, or vegetables. A high harvest index indicates that a larger proportion of the plant’s biomass is allocated to these valuable organs, rather than to leaves, stems, or roots. An improved harvest index can be achieved through genetic selection, proper nutrition, and good management practices.


Increasing the harvest index can be an important goal for farmers and plant breeders, as it can lead to higher yields and improved profitability. However, it is important to note that the harvest index is not the only factor that determines plant yield, other factors such as environmental conditions and pest and disease management also play a role.



Biological yield is a measure of the efficiency with which an organism converts resources into growth and reproduction. It is an important concept in fields such as agriculture and forestry, where maximizing yield is often a key goal. By understanding the factors that influence biological yield, such as genetics, environment, and management practices, we can work to improve the productivity and sustainability of our natural and managed systems.

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