Increased drought portends lower future Midwest crop yields

Date posted: May 1, 2014

corn(University Communications)

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.

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