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Are U.S. Corn and Soybeans Becoming More Drought Tolerant?


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An objective drought index that measures the dry and hot conditions adversely affecting crop yields is used in a regression analysis to test whether corn and soybeans have become more drought tolerant. Results indicate that corn yield losses, whether measured in quantity terms or as a percentage of mean yield, have decreased. The null hypothesis that the absolute level of soybean yield losses due to drought has not changed cannot be rejected. But yield losses in percentage terms have decreased over time. Because drought is the primary cause of yield loss in the U.S. crop insurance program and because U.S. crop insurance rates assume that percentage of yield losses are constant over time, these results indicate that U.S. crop insurance rates in the Corn Belt are too high.

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Paper provided by Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University in its series Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications with number 09-wp500.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:09-wp500

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Keywords: corn; crop insurance rates; drought tolerance; soybean; yield risk;

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  1. O'Brien, Daniel & Hayenga, Marvin L. & Babcock, Bruce A., 1996. "Deriving Forecast Probability Distributions of Harvest-Time Corn Futures Prices," Staff General Research Papers 5234, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Xiaodong Du & David A. Hennessy & Cindy L. Yu, 2010. "Testing Day's Conjecture that More Nitrogen Decreases Crop Yield Skewness," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 10-wp511, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  2. Du, Xiaodong & Hennessy, David A. & Yu, Cindy L. & Miao, Ruiqing, 2012. "Geography of Crop Yield Skewness," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124748, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Leister, Amanda M. & Lee, John G. & Paarlberg, Philip P., 2013. "Dynamic Effects of Drought on the U.S. Livestock Sector," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149946, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Adhikari, Shyam & Knight, Thomas O. & Belasco, Eric J., 2012. "Evaluation of Crop Insurance Yield Guarantees and Producer Welfare with Upward-Trending Yields," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 41(3), December.


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