New Study Finds Global Warming Causing Wheat Yield Declines
A new study entitled, “Effect of Warming Temperatures on U.S. Wheat Yields”, conducted by agricultural economists at the Universities of Mississippi, Kansas and Arkansas and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found a measurable decrease in U.S. wheat yields in a warmer climate.
The study’s authors chose to study eleven trial locations across the state of Kansas and, using location-specific weather data and regression analysis back to 1985, found major predictors of yield loss in hard red wheat with freezing conditions in the fall and “extreme heat events” in the spring – meaning temperatures exceeding 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Each additional ‘degree day’ above 93 degrees Fahrenheit, resulted in a 7.6% reduction in yield. Although a warming climate could reduce the exposure to freezing temperatures in the fall, it is expected to not be enough to offset the damage to the crop of very high spring temperatures.