Content of review 1, reviewed on August 20, 2013

Basic reporting

No comment

Experimental design

Please could the authors clarify the following?

How is the optimal yield for each crop/land area calculated & what assumptions are made/what factors are taken into account?

What countries/regions are included in Figure 1? Is it all regions (including western Europe, Canada, US etc. as Figures 3&4 appear to show, or only the 'food insecure' regions specified in Figure 2?

Also, the data set used for 'current' land use appears to be 13 years old. Are the authors aware of how land-use/farming systems may have changed in any regions during that period & of any impacts said changes may have on their results/conclusions?

Validity of the findings

This is an interesting concept, the implications of which are perhaps oversimplified in the conclusions.

Although the authors recognise that there may be limitations to optimisation, I am concerned that as it stands at the moment some of the most important practical limitations (and potential impacts) are not acknowledged, and need to be discussed.
These include limitations caused by water scarcity (and any potential impacts of the proposed model on water security), any requirement for rotations to manage productivity, trade limitations/impacts, environmental impacts & any impact on nutritional deficiencies.

I am unsure whether the statement in the final sentence is directly relevant to the findings and would be more comfortable with conclusions that encouraged elements of the optimisation approach to be adopted where feasible.

Comments for the author

This is an interesting concept, the implications of which are perhaps oversimplified in the conclusions.

Although the authors recognise that there may be limitations to optimisation, I am concerned that as it stands at the moment some of the most important practical limitations (and potential impacts) are not acknowledged, and need to be discussed.
These include limitations caused by water scarcity (and any potential impacts of the proposed model on water security), any requirement for rotations to manage productivity, trade limitations/impacts, environmental impacts & any impact on nutritional deficiencies.

I am unsure whether the statement in the final sentence is directly relevant to the findings and would be more comfortable with conclusions that encouraged elements of the optimisation approach to be adopted where feasible.

Source

    © 2013 the Reviewer (CC BY 3.0 - source).

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