Problems in Estimating Impacts of Future Climate Change on Midwestern Corn Yields View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2003-05

AUTHORS

Stanley A. Changnon, Steven E. Hollinger

ABSTRACT

Recent studies of trends in Midwestern precipitation show marked increases over the last 50 years of the 20th Century, and most climate models project that future rainfall in the Corn Belt will be increased further. During five years, 1988–1991 and 1994, field tests were conducted on agricultural test plots in central Illinois, an area typical of the Corn Belt, to discern how corn yields reacted to varying levels of added rainfall (+10%, +25%, and +40%) during the growing season. The best treatment over the five years was a 40% rain increase, with an average yield increase of 9%. Its yield increase was up to 34% in a hot-dry year, but below that of natural rainfall in a wet year as were the yields of the other lesser increases. The average yield changes from the three treatments were not statistically significantly different. Major interannual yield differences were found in the yields for each rain treatment, reflecting how rain timing and temperatures also have major effects on yields. A 40% summer rain increase has little influence if natural rains do not occur in the high stress period of mid summer. The plots results show that only small average increases in corn yields occur from growing season rain additions in the 10% to 40% range, except in dry years. Weather-crop yield regression models incorporating the same rain increases predict greater yield increases than found in these field tests. This suggests that future yields projected for a wetter climate using yield-weather models may be over-estimated. The plot sample size is small but conditions sampled in the five years represented 43% of all past 97 growing seasons in central Illinois and extremely good and bad weather years, which resulted in large between-year yield differences. Hence, the experimental results provide useful information about how increased rainfall may affect future corn yields, especially since the sample included three of the five types of dry growing seasons found in the area's climate since 1900. More... »

PAGES

109-118

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1023/a:1023411401144

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/a:1023411401144

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1052583591


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