Evidence is presented that water use efficiency and yield of wheat are reduced by insufficient leaf area and by inadequate content of nutrients in the top growth. Yields from field trials are compared with the potential yield, and a review is made of the limitations caused by weeds, the incidence of diseases and the harvest index. The data highlight the need for field experiments to define the evaporation and transpiration components of water use in each environment. They also indicate the need for multi-factorial treatments to overcome all yield limitations and thereby attain the potential yield.
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