Navigation Links
Increased drought portends lower future Midwest crop yields
Date:5/1/2014

Increasingly harsh drought conditions in the U.S. Midwest's Corn Belt may take a serious toll on corn and soybean yields over the next half-century, according to research published today in the journal Science.

Corn yields could drop by 15 to 30 percent, according to the paper's estimates; soybean yield losses would be less severe.

North Carolina State University's Roderick Rejesus, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics and a co-author of the Science paper, says that corn and soybean yields show increasing sensitivity to drought, with yields struggling in dry conditions in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana during the 1995 to 2012 study period.

"Yield increases are getting smaller in bad conditions," Rejesus said. "Agronomic and genetic crop improvements over the years help a lot when growing conditions are good, but have little effect when growing conditions are poor, like during droughts."

U.S. corn and soybeans account for approximately 40 and 35 percent of global production, respectively, making the results important to the world's food supply.

Using field data over an 18-year period, the researchers point to the effects of vapor pressure deficit (VPD) on corn and soybean yields. VPD includes temperature and humidity measures; extremes at either end of this variable signify drought or too much water for crops. Akin to the sweet spot on a baseball bat, the best VPD condition is a value in its middle range.

Some 29 climate estimates modeled in the paper suggest that VPD will rise significantly over the next 40 years, bringing on more severe drought conditions.

The researchers ran the same tests using the Palmer Drought Severity Index, another widely used measure capturing nationwide temperature and humidity, and reported similar results. They also ran the same tests for a broader group of Corn Belt states to include South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. Those tests confirmed the results found in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

Rejesus adds that crop densities may be one reason for the problem. When plants are placed closer together, he says, it's easier for bad conditions to affect more plants. Crop simulations conducted in the study supported this notion.

Rejesus says that research into more drought-resistant seeds or other ways of combating sensitivity to drought is necessary because the findings have strong implications throughout the food chain.

"There are a number of risk management implications for farmers," he said. "Should farmers 80 percent of whom already purchase crop insurance buy even higher levels of crop insurance? What kinds of safety nets should be in place for farmers, if any? What happens to meat prices when corn yields diminish? There are lots of tradeoffs involved in this issue."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mick Kulikowski
mick_kulikowski@ncsu.edu
919-515-8387
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Increased fructose consumption may deplete cellular energy in patients with obesity and diabetes
2. NIH-led study finds genetic test results do not trigger increased use of health services
3. New research finds increased growth responsible for color changes in coral reefs
4. Specific toxic byproduct of heat-processed food may lead to increased body weight and diabetes
5. Increased sediment and nutrients delivered to bay as Susquehanna reservoirs near sediment capacity
6. Low ghrelin -- reducing appetite at the cost of increased stress?
7. Increased Focus on Security Bolsters Growth of Biometrics Market in Asia-Pacific, Finds Frost & Sullivan
8. Chernobyl cleanup workers had significantly increased risk of leukemia
9. Uranium exposure linked to increased lupus rate
10. Invasive grass fuels increased fire activity in the West
11. Jellyfish experts show increased blooms are a consequence of periodic global fluctuations
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 ... and partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) ... "With or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Terrorist Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with ... resettlement. (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event ... emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and ... alongside the expo portion of the event and feature ... focused on trending topics within 3D printing and smart ... event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No ... but researchers at the New York University Tandon ... of Engineering have found that partial similarities between ... systems used in mobile phones and other electronic ... The vulnerability lies in the fact ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2017)... WI (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2017 , ... Third ... in role of Sales Director, focused on leading new business development and ensuring quality ... years of experience in the food ingredient industry in technical, marketing and sales roles. ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... , ... June 23, 2017 , ... Biova, LLC., the ... has joined Biova’s Board of Directors. Dr. Henig will bring a wealth of scientific ... has served as the Chief Technical and Scientific Officer of four major global companies ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... a redesigned, easier-to-navigate website for all six of their healthcare job boards. ... dentists, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, and biotechnicians, DocCafe.com and the MedJobCafe.com ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 21, 2017 , ... RMC ... Carolina, and engages Timothy Reinhardt to manage the new site. , Tim has ... Inc, with his most recent role as the Director of Manufacturing and Supplier ...
Breaking Biology Technology: